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

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Anthony van Dyck, <em>Charles I with M. de St. Antoine</em>
Anthony van Dyck, Charles I with M. de St. Antoine

Though he was eventually beheaded, this portrait encapsulates the king's notion of independent authority, and his belief in the divine right of kings.

Byzantine Mosaic of a Personification, Ktisis
Byzantine Mosaic of a Personification, Ktisis

This Byzantine mosaic shows the personification of the act of generous giving — Ktisis

Woman with Scroll
Woman with Scroll

An Early Byzantine sculpture of a woman with a scroll at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mapping nature’s stunning beauty, Maya Lin’s Silver Upper White River
Mapping nature’s stunning beauty, Maya Lin’s Silver Upper White River

The river's brilliant reflections gave shape to this enormous sculpture of silver

Alfred Stieglitz, <em>The Steerage</em>
Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage

The first modern photograph? Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage

Benin Art: Patrons, Artists and Current Controversies
Benin Art: Patrons, Artists and Current Controversies

Royal patrons, artists, and power in the Kingdom of Benin.

The Imagery of Power on Benin Bronze Plaques
The Imagery of Power on Benin Bronze Plaques

The audience hall in the palace in Benin City communicated to visiting ambassadors, traders, courtiers, and subjects the power and wealth of the Oba, or king.

The Medieval and Renaissance Altarpiece
The Medieval and Renaissance Altarpiece

The story embodied on the altarpiece offered an object lesson in the human suffering experienced by Christ.

Thomas Birch, <em>Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie</em>
Thomas Birch, Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie

"We have met the enemy and they are ours." The battle that turned the War of 1812

Sebastião Salgado’s Kuwait
Sebastião Salgado’s Kuwait

Finding heroism amidst one of the earth's most destructive environmental disasters