Masterpiece Stories

Reluctant Bride. Auguste Toulmouche, The Reluctant Bride, 1866, Private collection. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Reluctant Bride by Auguste Toulmouche

Have you ever seen a bride more… angry? Should this not be the happiest day of her life? The Reluctant Bride or The Hesitant Fiancée by Auguste...

Jimena Escoto 19 March 2024

Love Story

Masterpiece Story: Three Ladies Adorning a Term of Hymen by Joshua Reynolds

Three Ladies Adorning a Term of Hymen is a huge triple portrait of the Montgomery sisters by Sir Joshua Reynolds. It thematizes aristocratic marriage...

Isla Phillips-Ewen 19 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Major’s Marriage Proposal by Pavel Fedotov

When you think of 19th-century Russia, images of Anna Karenina with black furs and white diamonds may come to mind. The lives of the wealthy...

James W Singer 19 March 2024

Rembrandt van Rijn, Saskia van Uylenburgh as Flora Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Saskia as Flora by Rembrandt

Rembrandt van Rijn married Saskia van Uylenburgh in 1634. They were together for only eight years before she died after childbirth, probably from...

Catriona Miller 18 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Três Orixás by Djanira da Motta e Silva

Djanira da Motta e Silva pictured a very unusual Holy Trinity made of three deities from the Afro-Brazilian Pantheon. They are accompanied by...

Alicja Gluszek 17 March 2024

Sculpture

Donatello’s Mary Magdalene: Penitence and Salvation

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi, better known as Donatello, was a sculptor born around 1386 in Florence, which is also the city in which he died in...

Soledad Castillo Jara 17 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Virgin of Guadalupe by Sebastián Zalcedo

The Virgin of Guadalupe depicts the narrative of the Christian Virgin Mary who allegedly appeared multiple times in December 1531 before a Mexican...

James W Singer 17 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Saint Anne

To the south of Egypt is the mysterious land of Nubia. It has a complex history due to the different states and religions that have occupied the...

James W Singer 17 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich

Sadness and desolation fill this scene like an oppressive melancholy. The sun is dying behind the horizon as fog enshrouds the ground. Skeletal trees...

James W Singer 16 March 2024

Woman with Stylus, 55-79 CE Ancient Rome

Woman with Stylus: What a Portrait Can Tell Us About Women in Ancient Rome

Woman with Stylus is an ancient Roman fresco unearthed in Pompeii nearly two millennia after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. Various details...

Natalia Iacobelli 15 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Oath of the Horatii by Jacques-Louis David

In a Neoclassicist masterpiece painted on the eve of the French Revolution, Jacques-Louis David depicts the beginning of an epic Roman story in The...

Coleman Richards 15 March 2024

Carl Gustav Carus, Woman on the Balcony, 1824, oil on canvas, Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden, Germany. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Woman on the Balcony by Carl Gustav Carus

Woman on the Balcony is an intimate portrait of a person lost in thought. There is no action and no obvious story to interpret. However, its quiet...

James W Singer 11 March 2024