Venus of Willendorf

From Khan Academy By Dr. Bryan Zygmont / 11.21.2015 Associate Professor of Art History Clarke University Venus of Willendorf, c. 24,000-22,000 B.C.E., limestone, 11.1 cm high (Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna) Can a 25,000-year-old object be a work of art? The artifact known as the Venus of Willendorf dates to between 24,000-22,000 B.C.E., making it one of the oldest and most[…]

Paleolithic Art on the Apollo 11 Cave Stones

Apollo 11 Cave Stones, Namibia, quartzite, c. 25,500–25,300 B.C.E. Image courtesy of State Museum of Namibia.’ By Nathalie Hager / 11.21.2015 PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies University of British Columbia, Okanagan A significant discovery Approximately 25,000 years ago, in a rock shelter in the Huns Mountains of Namibia on the southwest coast of Africa (today part[…]

A Brief Introduction to Paleolithic Art

Replica of the painting from the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in southern France (Anthropos museum, Brno)    By Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker / 08.08.2015 Harris: Founder and Executive Editor of Smarthistory, CUNY Graduate Center Zucker:  Founder and Executive Editor of Smarthistory, CUNY Graduate Center The oldest art: ornamentation Humans make art. We do this[…]

Adaptive Reuse of Ancient Buildings in Rome

From Dr. Stephen T. Muench (by student Bailey Anne Cook) / 12.04.2015 Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Washington Introduction    [LEFT]: Figure 1: Column left in side of wall [RIGHT]: Figure 2: Reuse of decorations The idea of “green buildings” has been rapidly growing around the world since the 1970s due to the[…]

Artist Zeke Peña on Illustrating the Life of Photographer Graciela Iturbide

Photographer Graciela Iturbide Artist and illustrator Zeke Peña talks about making comic books and bringing photographer Graciela Iturbide’s work to life in a new graphic biography. By Sarah Waldorf / 11.21.2017 Media Producer Getty Web Group The new book Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide, Getty Publications’ first graphic biography, tells the story of Mexican photographer Graciela[…]

Brief Encounters with Jean-Frédéric Maximilien de Waldeck

Engraving by Jean-Frédéric de Waldeck, featured in Monuments anciens du Mexique. Palenqué et autres ruines de l’ancienne civilisation du Mexique (1866). Note the lions, not known for their presence in the pre-Columbian Americas  / National Library of France Not a lot concerning the artist, erotic publisher, explorer, and general enigma Count de Waldeck can be taken at[…]

Rembrandt – ‘The Jewish Bride’

‘ Rembrandt van Rijn, Portrait of a Couple as Isaac and Rebecca, known as The Jewish Bride, 1665-69, oil on canvas, 121.5 x 166.5 cm (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) By Dr. Saskia Beranek / 11.18.2017 Visiting Professor of Art History Duquesne University Portrait of a Couple as Isaac and Rebecca, commonly known as The Jewish Bride, is a painter’s painting. According to his letters,[…]

Remembering Alex Colville: Genius and the Politics of Art History

Canadian artist Alex Colville, war artist attached to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, on the Dutch/German border in the final months of WWII / Library and Archives Canada By Dr. Andrew Nurse / 10.25.2017 Associate Professor of Canadian Studies Mount Allison University By all accounts the 2014-5 Alex Colville retrospective — staged first by the AGO — was a monumental[…]

Two Panathenaic Peploi: A Robe and a Tapestry

So-called “Peplos Scene” from the east Parthenon frieze (panels E31-35). The scene may depict the peplos garment being folded by a child (perhaps a weaver) and a chief priest. Mansfield believes that this image depicts the smaller peplos/robe of the annual Lesser Panathenaia. By Dr. Monica Bowen / 06.28.2017 Professor of Art History Seattle University A few weeks[…]

Portraiture of Ancient Palmyra

The Beauty of Palmyra, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek By Judith Weingarten / 09.02.2015 Archaeologist The Beauty of Palmyra When the Danish archaeologist Harald Ingholt was just beginning his third season of digging at Palmyra in 1928, someone offered to sell him this stunning portrait of a woman – and, in accordance with the practices of the time,[…]

It’s Not Easy to Make Landscape a Place: You Have to Feel It

View over Buttermere in Wordsworth’s favoured Lake District, England. Paul Albertella/Flickr By Dr. Fiona Stafford / 11.07.2016 Professor of English Language and Literature University of Oxford There is a big difference between ‘place’ and ‘landscape’, even though the words are often used interchangeably. The original meaning of ‘landscape’ came from 17th-century artistic discourse. It referred to[…]

The Incomparable da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci, the ultimate Renaissance man, is the subject of Walter Isaacson’s newest book. Pictured is Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic “Vitruvian Man” c.1490. / Courtesy of Harvard Repository, Harvard Fine Arts Library, Digital Images & Slides Collection d2011.01721 Uneducated and his own creation, he still rose to the top ranks in both science and art,[…]

The Ghent Altarpiece in 100 Billion Pixels

Closed altarpiece. Left to right: before, during, and after restoration. A newly expanded web application provides an amazingly close look at the Ghent Altarpiece. By Alexandria Sivak / 11.07.2017 Senior Communications Specialist J. Paul Getty Trust Since 2012 it has been possible to zoom in on the intricate, breathtaking details of one of the most important works[…]

The ‘Rembrandts of Anatomical Preparation’ Who Turned Skeletons into Art

Engraving of a tableau by Frederik Ruysch (1744) Etching with engraving / National Library of Medicine By Dolly Stolze / 06.14.2015 In the 17th and 18th centuries, makers of osteological specimens built fanciful displays with skeletons standing in landscapes made with embalmed human organs, skeletons dangling hearts on a string like a yo-yo, or specimens playing instruments while[…]

The Hope Collection, from London to Los Angeles

The Illustrated London News (August 4, 1917) with highlights from the Hope Heirlooms sale including the Hope Athena and Hope Hygieia (now at LACMA). © Illustrated London News Group Provenance research unlocks the modern history of a renowned antiquities collection. By Nicole Budrovich / 07.25.2017 Curatorial Assistant, Department of Antiquities Getty Villa One hundred years[…]

What is Art History?

Peter Paul Rubens, three paintings from the 24-picture cycle Rubens painted for the Medici Gallery in the Luxembourg Palace, Paris (today in the Musée du Louvre, Paris), 1621-25, oil on canvas. From left to right: The Presentation of the Portrait of Marie de’ Medici, The Wedding by Proxy of Marie de’ Medici to King Henry IV, Arrival (or[…]

Exploring Late Roman Mosaics in Ancient City of Idyrus in Turkey

The Late Roman Early Christian floor mosaics from a 4th century church in Idyrus in Turkey’s Antaliya Province have been rediscovered 40 years later. Photo: Hurriyet Daily News By Ivan Dikov / 10.10.2017 Archaeology in Bulgaria 1,600-year-old Late Roman mosaics decorating the floor of an Early Christian church have been rediscovered and explored further in the[…]

The Science of Life as Art and Dissent

By Christopher Martiniano / 06.16.2017 PhD Candidate in English and Art History University of Indiana, Bloomington “For some time now,” Friedrich Nietzsche opened Will To Power, “our whole European culture has been moving with a tortured tension that is growing.”  Nietzsche worried that it had been moving “toward a catastrophe: relentlessly, violently, headlong, like a river[…]

Introduction to the Chimú Culture

Wall of the main plaza of the ciudadela Nik An in Chan Chan, capitol of Chimor, Peru, c. 950-1470 (photo: Kevstan, CC BY-SA 3.0) By Dr. Sarahh Scher / 10.23.2017 Visiting Lecturer in Art History Salem State University Following the decline of the Moche on the north coast of Peru, there arose two cultures in their place. One was the Sicán (or[…]

Huis ten Bosch (House in the Woods)

Huis ten Bosch, The Hague, Netherlands, begun 1645 (photo: Gerard Dukker, Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed) By Dr. Saskia Beranek / 09.07.2017 Visiting Professor of Art History Duquesne University Situated in a wooded area just outside The Hague sits a small brick palace called Huis ten Bosch (House in the Woods). Designed, decorated, and built between 1645 and 1652[…]

The Manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal

Luis de Carvajal, Decalogue (The Ten Commandments), c. 1596 (Princeton University Digital Library) By Dr. Ronnie Perelis / 10.22.2017 Associate Professor of Sephardic Studies Yeshiva University A secret faith In 1596, Luis de Carvajal, along with his mother and sisters, were condemned to the flames of an auto da fé in Mexico City for their secret adherence to[…]

Paper in Ancient China

A 13th century CE wooden printing plate and paper bank note from the Chinese Yuan dynasty (1271-1368 CE). (Tokyo Currency Museum) By Mark Cartwright / 09.15.2017 Historian The widespread use of paper and printing were features of ancient China which distinguished it from other ancient cultures. Traditionally, paper was invented in the early 2nd century CE, but[…]

Frederick Wiseman Talks About His New Documentary, ‘Ex Libris: New York Public Library’

In this fantastic documentary, the celebrated filmmaker takes us inside a critically important institution for our democracy. By Titi Yu / 10.12.2017 To make a three-and-a-half-hour film about a place where people go to sit and read books is not an endeavor that a lot of filmmakers would eagerly take on. But Frederick Wiseman’s new[…]

3,400-Year-Old Encrusted Ceramics Discovered in Bronze Age Necropolis on Danube

Some of the newly discovered 3,400-year-old vessels from the Bronze Age necropolis in Bulgaria’s Baley. Photo: BNT By Ivan Dikov / 09.25.2017 Archaeology in Bulgaria A large number of uniquely decorated ceramic vessels from ca 1400 BC have been described during archaeological excavations in the necropolis of a Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age settlement[…]

‘Topographic Memory’ and Landscape Photography

Bruce Lindsey, “Paradise Valley, MT. July 28, 2013.” Lindsey explores the inherent tensions of landscape photography. By Liam Otten / 09.27.2017 Senior News Director, Arts and Humanities Washington University in St. Louis Storm clouds gather above Rocky Mountain peaks, summer rains sweeping amber fields below. Skeletal trees overlook muddy flood waters, bark shining silver in[…]