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From the elements of art to the great goddess Durga — Smarthistory is adding new content every week.

Prehistoric to contemporary

videos + essays

Shan Goshorn, <em>Sealed Fate: Treaty of New Echota Protest Basket</em>
Shan Goshorn, Sealed Fate: Treaty of New Echota Protest Basket

Goshorn weaves stories about forced removal from homelands and protest in this basket made of printed archival documents

Baekje Gilt-bronze Incense Burner
Baekje Gilt-bronze Incense Burner

The lid of the incense burner is shaped like ascending levels of mountains, topped by a phoenix with its wings spread wide.

An Jungsik, <em>Spring Dawn at Mt. Baegak</em>
An Jungsik, Spring Dawn at Mt. Baegak

An Jungsik is one of the representative painters of the early twentieth century, during the first stages of Korean modern art.

Cast-iron Buddha
Cast-iron Buddha

This early iron Buddha is an imposing and impressive figure.

“One Hundred Birds” hanging scroll
“One Hundred Birds” hanging scroll

“One Hundred Birds” was a common subject matter in embroidery from the Guangzhou region.

How to recognize the Buddha
How to recognize the Buddha

Who was the Buddha and how have artists depicted him as a visually recognizable figure in sculpture?

Golden lunula and two gold discs (Coggalbeg hoard)
Golden lunula and two gold discs (Coggalbeg hoard)

This thin crescent-shaped piece of gold, along with two discs, indicates Ireland's early sophisticated metal-working and how travel and trade were prevalent even in the Bronze Age

Ancient Egyptian religious life and afterlife
Ancient Egyptian religious life and afterlife

Ancient Egyptian religious beliefs created a fascinating foundation for their unique society.

Private tombs, portals to the afterlife
Private tombs, portals to the afterlife

The ancient Egyptian desire to craft an ideal afterlife led to a later (incorrect) perception that they were obsessed with death.

Thomas Crawford, <em>George Washington Equestrian Monument</em>
Thomas Crawford, George Washington Equestrian Monument

Sculpted just before the U.S. Civil War, this monument to George Washington recalls an ancient Roman emperor and represents what the North and South could and could not agree on

Codex Canadensis
Codex Canadensis

This manuscript contains about 180 illustrations of people, plants, and animals in New France (a French colony in North America)—including a unicorn

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, <em>Pope Paul V</em>
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Pope Paul V

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was only 23 years old when he was commissioned to carve a bust of Pope Paul V. Learn more about this piece with Timothy Potts from the J. Paul Getty Museum.