Virtually explore the MFA in Boston with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
A relatively humble example of Xhosa beadwork became a potent symbol of tradition as well as a statement of defiance in South Africa.
The art of adire is one of continual change and innovation adapting to shifting social and economic circumstances.
More than 5 million artworks were produced in 17th-century Holland in the span of about 100 years
Idealized depictions of sugar plantations and African laborers in Dutch-colonial Brazil were popular in the Dutch art market in the 17th century
From Asia to the Netherlands, the Dutch East India Company dominated maritime trade in the 17th and 18th centuries
This willfully forgotten Dutch artist explores how we experience the world around us during the time of the Scientific Revolution
This collection of objects speaks to the international mercantile culture and wealth of the Netherlands in the 17th century.
One of the earliest of its type, these architectural finials would have decorated a Torah, the sacred text of Judaism, and feature dragon-like creatures and bells
This intimate portrait of Rembrandt's friend and his collection also hints at the city of Amsterdam's wealth and global connections at this time
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.