Just published

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

Prehistoric to contemporary

videos + essays

Donatello, <em>Saint George</em>
Donatello, Saint George

A soldier saint in Renaissance Florence.

Charles I as art collector
Charles I as art collector

Whatever his character failings and political misdeeds as king, King Charles I was undoubtedly a great collector and connoisseur of art.

Prints and Printmakers in Colonial New Spain
Prints and Printmakers in Colonial New Spain

Throughout the colonial period, this reproductive medium allowed for the wide circulation of images to a broad public, creating a shared religious and political culture.

Anthony van Dyck, <em>Equestrian Portrait of Charles I</em>
Anthony van Dyck, Equestrian Portrait of Charles I

A portrait of the cultivated, but deeply flawed, politically inept, and unlucky King Charles I, who ended his days beheaded on a scaffold.

Oppression and resistance, the long history of African-American struggle
Oppression and resistance, the long history of African-American struggle

The protest is always the way those who are voiceless speak.

Female artists in the renaissance
Female artists in the renaissance

Despite obstacles, women became exceptional artists in the Renaissance

The Renaissance Synagogues of Venice
The Renaissance Synagogues of Venice

The original Ghetto, on a small Venetian island, hides Renaissance era synagogues of startling beauty

Types of renaissance patronage
Types of renaissance patronage

Patrons mattered during the renaissance. Find out why.

A Portrait of John Ruskin and Masculine Ideals of Dress in the Nineteenth Century
A Portrait of John Ruskin and Masculine Ideals of Dress in the Nineteenth Century

The contrast between the dark menswear and the ornate womenswear of the 19th century helped to cast women as accessories of their fathers or husbands.

John Michael Wright, The Coronation Portrait of Charles II
John Michael Wright, The Coronation Portrait of Charles II

Each element of Charles II's dress conveys his status and wealth, as well as a masculine ideal.

A portrait of St. Francis Xavier and Christianity in Japan
A portrait of St. Francis Xavier and Christianity in Japan

A portrait that celebrated Francis Xavier, the “Apostle of Japan” whose mission had inaugurated the Japanese Catholic Church. 

An Inka <em>paccha</em>
An Inka paccha

The ritual this was made for was enacted in fields the Inka owned — in the Chancay lands they had conquered.