WTF Art History

Animals

Holy Cow! Why Did the Dutch Painters Love Cows?

Every time I look at 17th century Dutch landscape paintings, I ask myself the same question: why do they always show cows? You will probably think...

Magda Michalska 11 March 2022

Cats

Women with Cats in Art: Crazy Cat Ladies?

Within art cats can be symbolic and, depending on the period of time, the interpretation may vary. Their nocturnal habits gave them a negative...

Lauren Kraut 11 March 2022

Animals

Henry Moore’s Sheep

Henry Spencer Moore was an English artist. Although his primary role was as a sculptor, there are lots of examples of his sketches. His forms are...

Candy Bedworth 11 March 2022

Animals

The Pre-Raphaelites and the Wombat

Many people are obsessed with cute cats, penguins, pandas, koalas, and all sorts of animals. However one rarely hears about the wombat, especially in...

Joanna Kaszubowska 11 March 2022

Fashion

Negligee Fashion: Top 5 Gorgeous Homewear Outfits in Art

Due to the pandemic and never-ending quarantines, homewear fashion is popular once again. But don’t think that boudoir fashion was unpopular...

Kateryna Martynova 10 March 2022

Spike Blackhurst, Love, 2021 Bizarre

Vile Bodies? Anatomy in Art

A deep dive into the work of artists who turn to the human body and anatomy for inspiration. Here we reveal flesh and blood art!

Candy Bedworth 7 March 2022

Ilya Repin, Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, 1880–1891, State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg WTF Art History

Want to Insult Your Enemy? Get Inspired by the Badass Zaporozhian Cossacks!

There are dozens if not hundreds of forged documents in the history of the world. They weren’t forged just for fun. Some of them were the basis...

Zuzanna Stańska 5 March 2022

Art State of Mind

Five Great Female Art Patrons in History

It’s high time to celebrate the many women who have made their mark on art history. Here, we’ll meet five female art patrons with...

Alexandra Kiely 4 March 2022

Museum Stories

Her Life and Her Museum: Isabella Stewart Gardner

The story of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and its founder before the robbery in 1990.

Jennifer S. Musawwir 4 March 2022

Women Artists

A Lesson in Illustration – The Whimsical Characters of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter, best known for the charming tale of Peter Rabbit, inspired the minds of budding young novelists and illustrators alike. Her most...

Tony Heathfield 2 March 2022

Renaissance

The Fantasy World of Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Portraits

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was the King of Mannerism. If you see a human portrait made of plants, vegetables, books, animals and generally speaking, stuff...

Zuzanna Stańska 28 February 2022

Alexandre Cabanel, Cleopatra, 1887, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Cleopatra by Alexandre Cabanel

Queen Cleopatra is a popular subject today – as she was in the late 19th century. Alexandre Cabanel’s Cleopatra explores a single moment of her...

James W Singer 28 February 2022