#history painting

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Death of Barbara Radziwiłł by Józef Simmler

The National Museum in Warsaw is one of the largest museums in Poland and boasts an extensive art collection. Among its body of works is The Death of...

James W Singer 8 May 2024

Academic Art

Constructing Racism in Western Art – Hans Makart and the Case of Cleopatra

When Netflix cast Black actress Adele James as Cleopatra in a docu-series on the life of the famous Egyptian queen, the world went viral in a heated...

Kero Fichter 29 April 2024

Women Artists

Elisabetta Sirani: Pioneer, Teacher and Artist

Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665) was born in Bologna, a progressive city with a liberal attitude towards educating women. She was a pioneering female...

Gokce Dyson 22 March 2024

Baroque

The Art of Story Telling: The Abduction of the Sabine Women

According to popular belief, there are only seven plot types in storytelling. Hence it is not surprising to find artists inspired by the same...

Wendy Gray 15 March 2024

Thomas Cole, The Course of Empire, Destruction, 1836, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA. Wikimedia Commons (public domain). Ancient Rome

Painting the Fall of the Roman Empire

After many centuries, we are still wondering why the Roman Empire disappeared. Many theories try to explain it: wars, ideological problems, a chaotic...

Celia Leiva Otto 15 March 2024

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 3 March 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The African King Caspar by Hendrik Heerschop

White subjects have dominated the Western art tradition for millennia, while people of color have been vastly underrepresented and misrepresented.

James W Singer 20 February 2024

Painting

Masterpiece Story: Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Belley by Girodet

Although representations of Black people were overlooked in European art for a long time, current social and political movements participate to...

Amélie Pascutto 20 February 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat by John Weguelin

Here is a Masterpiece Story to honor our beloved cats. The Obsequies of an Egyptian Cat by John Weguelin presents an imaginative interpretation of an...

Alexandra Kiely 17 February 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi by Angelica Kauffman

Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi by Angelica Kauffman shows a pretty Roman woman and her three children. But it’s much more than that. It has an...

Alexandra Kiely 21 January 2024

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Roses of Heliogabalus by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Lust, Gluttony, and Sloth. Three of the Seven Deadly Sins are depicted in Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s The Roses of Heliogabalus. Many other sins are...

James W Singer 21 January 2024

Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps, 1802, Château de Versailles, France. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David

Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps is one of the most famous and politically iconic images of European art history. However, it is a...

James W Singer 4 December 2023