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

Prehistoric to contemporary

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The Roman Forum: Part 2, Ruins in modern imagination (The Renaissance and after)
The Roman Forum: Part 2, Ruins in modern imagination (The Renaissance and after)

What did Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Masaccio take from ancient ruins of Rome?

The Severan Tondo: damnatio memoriae in ancient Rome
The Severan Tondo: damnatio memoriae in ancient Rome

A family drama in which Caracalla assassinates his brother and damns his memory.

The Roman Forum: Part 1, Ruins in modern imagination
The Roman Forum: Part 1, Ruins in modern imagination

How do we find meaning in amidst the ruins of the Roman Forum?

<em>The Court of Gayumars</em>
The Court of Gayumars

Producing this lush miniature involved many Persian artists—and likely some familiarity with Chinese sources.

Basilica of Saint-Sernin
Basilica of Saint-Sernin

Even almost 950 years after its construction was begun, St. Sernin remains a religious structure that awes and inspires the pilgrims who still visit.

The Gallery of Francis I at Fontainebleau (and French Mannerism)
The Gallery of Francis I at Fontainebleau (and French Mannerism)

Francis had great reason to emphasize his wealth and magnanimity. For years he had been at war with the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, a gamble that continued to go poorly for the French king.

Botticelli, <em>Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici</em>
Botticelli, Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo il Vecchio de’ Medici

Touch an artwork? Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal helped viewers to think about touch and physical experience.

The Pont-Aven School and Synthetism
The Pont-Aven School and Synthetism

Gauguin’s paintings of Brittany are, in the end, more fantasies than accurate images of an authentic peasant culture.

Jean le Noir, Bourgot (?), and workshop, Miniature of Christ’s Side Wound and Instruments of the Passion from the Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg
Jean le Noir, Bourgot (?), and workshop, Miniature of Christ’s Side Wound and Instruments of the Passion from the Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg

Images of the side wound and the mystical tradition from which they emerge have provided fertile material for scholars engaged in “queering” the Middle Ages.

Making Manuscripts: The Page
Making Manuscripts: The Page

How did scribes prepare their pages for writing?

Discovering Sacred Texts: Hinduism
Discovering Sacred Texts: Hinduism

Discover the diversity and richness of Hinduism, from the ancient oral tradition of the Vedic texts, the colourful stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and the ways in which gods and goddesses are worshipped today.

The Buddha and Buddhist sacred texts
The Buddha and Buddhist sacred texts

A Buddha is seen as one who becomes awakened to the true nature of reality, and awakened from ingrained greed, hatred and delusion.