Virtually explore the MFA in Boston with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
Inspired by Renaissance panel painting and the works of Hieronymus Bosch, Varo brings complex, supernatural scenes to life with the hand of a miniaturist
Tour a doll’s house modeled after a 17th-century Dutch home
What lies behind this ornate display of pewter, oysters, blue-and-white porcelain, and sugary sweets?
Based on a print made a century earlier, this figure appeared again in a later Rubens painting as the artist attempted to create an authentic portrayal of an African king.
Van Mander rewrites art history in this book of "celebrity" artists from the Netherlands
Van Dyck paints himself as Icarus, a boy whose wings melted when he flew too close to the sun
Ceramics factories in Holland compete with the demand for Chinese porcelain
Rembrandt makes a case for painting and art-making as an intellectual endeavor, rather than a craft
From Indonesia to the Netherlands, this coconut encased in silver features a fish tail, a mermaid, and a chimp
A very expensive Atlas from Amsterdam attempts to map the known world to Dutch viewers
What does the Virgin Mary look like?
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.