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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

Hasegawa Tōhaku, <em>Pine Trees</em>
Hasegawa Tōhaku, Pine Trees

This pair of six-panel screens beautifully captures the richness of a Japanese landscape.

David Wojnarowicz, <em>Untitled (One Day This Kid . . .)</em>
David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (One Day This Kid . . .)

Having the young Wojnarowicz’s face disseminated as a visible queer child was a potent political symbol.

Richard Evans, Portraits of the Caribbean’s first Black king and prince
Richard Evans, Portraits of the Caribbean’s first Black king and prince

These portraits remain important images of post-revolutionary Haiti and Christophe’s reign, encapsulating the complexities of his ambitions and the path he sought for his country in an international stage as the Americas’ first Black nation

What is genre painting?
What is genre painting?

Learn what a genre scene is and why this type of subject grew in popularity

Édouard Baldus, <em>Cloister of St. Trophîme, Arles</em>
Édouard Baldus, Cloister of St. Trophîme, Arles

Baldus’s Cloister of St. Trophîme, Arles aspired to use photography to make an imagined reality visible, tangible, and therefore achievable.

Wang Shimin, <em>Cloud Capped Mountains and Misty Riverside</em>
Wang Shimin, Cloud Capped Mountains and Misty Riverside

Wang Shimin reimagines the past in this Qing dynasty landscape

Zhao Zhiqian, <em>Flowers Album</em>
Zhao Zhiqian, Flowers Album

Peonies, plum blossoms, radishes, and cabbages are all depicted in these calligraphic ink paintings

Winslow Homer, <em>Taking Sunflower to Teacher</em>
Winslow Homer, Taking Sunflower to Teacher

Painted during Reconstruction, this sentimental watercolor depicts the hope of transformation and possibility

Egyptian deities
Egyptian deities

Osiris, Isis, Horus, Ra, Hathor, Seth, Taweret—With more than 1,500 named deities, the Egyptian pantheon was complex and vast

Samarra, a palatial city
Samarra, a palatial city

The Abbasid caliphs spared no expense to build a palatial city of grand buildings and sprawling residential complexes

Abu’l Hasan, <em>Emperor Jahangir Embraces Shah ‘Abbas</em>
Abu’l Hasan, Emperor Jahangir Embraces Shah ‘Abbas

This work of watercolor, ink, silver and gold on paper isn't just brilliantly executed—it's also layered with meaning, capturing the complexity of early 17th-century power politics in Southern Asia

Amazigh (Berber) jewelry
Amazigh (Berber) jewelry

These elaborate ear pendants and headdress were worn by Jewish or Berber women in modern-day Morocco