videos + essays
Gold, glass, and marble dazzle the eye in this 6th-century church. High above us, Emperor Justinian presides.
Lack of an American sculptural tradition compelled Jefferson to look to France for this portrait of Washington.
Napoleon masterfully manipulated his image, and this painting meant for Parisian audiences is pure propaganda.
Sources tell us that painting was the Greek’s finest art form: is this a hint at what we’re missing?
Trajan expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest extent, celebrating his victories with this monumental column.
Warrior, politician, reformer—Charlemagne was all three. Crowned emperor in 800, he made northern Europe a center of the Christian world.
Wood infuses a famous folktale about George Washington with theatricality, humor, and a Gilbert Stuart sample.
Made for a sultan, this unusual automaton emblematizes the fierce hostility between British and Indian rulers.
Enlightenment ideals of democracy planted the seeds for colonial movements in the Spanish colonies of the Americas.
In this hunting scene from the Persian Book of Kings, the ruler Bahram lives up to his nickname “Gur,” or swift.
This energetic image of military victory captures a moment of transition between classical and Byzantine art.
Was this the beginning of the end for David—or a new dawn? As far as portraits of Napoleon go, there’s none better.