#Symbols

Winterfled Diptych: Mary Magdalene Raised by Angels WTF Art History

Why Is She So Hairy? Iconography of Mary Magdalene

Whenever I come across Gothic or early Renaissance representations of Mary Magdalene I always ask myself this question – why is she so hairy? Keep...

Magda Michalska 30 January 2023

Jan van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait (detail), 1434, The National Gallery, London, England. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck

The Arnolfini Portrait is as enigmatic as it is iconic. Painted by Jan van Eyck in 1434, it spawns a lot of speculation – over half a millennium...

Vithória Konzen Dill 29 January 2023

Animals

Holy Cow! Why Did the Dutch Painters Love Cows?

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

Magda Michalska 13 January 2023

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Still Life with a Golden Goblet by Pieter de Ring

Why is food such a popular image for art and culture? For millennia it has been a source of inspiration from ancient Roman mosaics through Dutch...

James W Singer 7 January 2023

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms by Pieter Aertsen

Pieter Aertsen’s Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms is an interesting painting as it provides a wonderful glimpse into the varied...

James W Singer 7 January 2023

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger

The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger is one of those paintings that we know so well we tend to forget to look closer. It’s like the Mona...

Joanna Kaszubowska 6 January 2023

Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Vase with Flowers by Rachel Ruysch

Let’s discuss one of the greatest still-life artists: Rachel Ruysch. Still-life paintings do not draw the crowds at museums. They are often...

James W Singer 28 December 2022

Animals

Secrets of Pets in Art

There’s nothing better than going to a museum and spotting a cute pet hidden in a painting. I mean, after all, one of art’s functions is...

Marta Wiktoria Bryll 26 December 2022

WTF Art History

Listen to the Butt Music on Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights is a three-part altarpiece showing the Garden of Eden on the left and a vision of hell on the right.

Zuzanna Stańska 22 December 2022

Literature

The Snow Queen – Book Illustrations

The Snow Queen is one of the most beautiful winter tales. It was originally published on December 21st, 1844. The fairytale has been continuously...

Errika Gerakiti 21 December 2022

Painting

Rainbows in Art History: A Symbol of Hope for a Better Future

Let us look at the significance of rainbows in art history across different cultures. Even though we now know the scientific reason behind rainbows,...

Anuradha Sroha 19 December 2022

Painting

The Hidden Meanings of Nature in Čiurlionis’ Paintings

What’s nature like outside your window today? Is it calm and relaxing, or maybe there’s a frightening storm swaying the trees? Perhaps you are...

Guest Profile 17 December 2022