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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

Gordon Matta-Clark, <em>Splitting</em>
Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting

Gordon Matta-Clark’s interventions explored modernist architecture and urban decay.

Fit for a duke: Broederlam’s <em>Crucifixion Altarpiece</em>
Fit for a duke: Broederlam’s Crucifixion Altarpiece

Introducing a lavish altarpiece with vibrant images. Exploring the narrative and visual threads that connect its featured stories.

Byzantine Griffin Panel
Byzantine Griffin Panel

A panel with a Griffin (a lion and an eagle — the king of birds and the king of animals — combined).

A  chalise from the Attarouthi Treasure
A chalise from the Attarouthi Treasure

A sumptuous silver and gold chalice starring a youthful Christ, a saint slaying a dragon (could it be George?), and more.

Renaissance woman: Isabella d’Este
Renaissance woman: Isabella d’Este

In history classes, we often hear about renaissance men: Cosimo de’ Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, and Niccolò Machiavelli. Where were the women?

Durga Slays the Buffalo Demon at Mamallapuram
Durga Slays the Buffalo Demon at Mamallapuram

The great goddess Durga slays the buffalo demon Mahishasura in a 7th century rock-cut temple in Mamallapuram, India.

The European Palaces of the Qianlong Emperor, Beijing
The European Palaces of the Qianlong Emperor, Beijing

An imperial surprise: staging Europe in China

A brief history of the cultures of Asia
A brief history of the cultures of Asia

An introduction to the diverse cultures of Asia and their intersecting histories

Should Art Be Publicly Funded?
Should Art Be Publicly Funded?

In 2018, .004% of the US budget went to the National Endowment for the Arts.

What does art tell us about gender?
What does art tell us about gender?

There is a huge range of ways that gender has been understood and represented in the history of art.

What does resistance look like?
What does resistance look like?

Resistance isn't always visible, but when we can see it in art, what does it look like?