At the Courtauld Gallery, London

Virtually explore the Courtauld Gallery with Smarthistory as your guide

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Courtauld Gallery's website

Better Know: Manet’s Bar
Better Know: Manet’s Bar

You've likely seen this glassy-eyed late 19th Century barmaid before, but what can we make of this painting today?

<em>A Bar at the Folies-Bergère</em> with Griselda Pollock
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère with Griselda Pollock

Griselda Pollock unpacks some of the questions raised by Manet’s last masterpiece.

Édouard Manet, <em>A Bar at the Folies-Bergère</em>
Édouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère

Manet turns the tables—or in this case, the bar—on how we view painting.

Auguste Renoir, <em>La Loge</em>
Auguste Renoir, La Loge

The Paris Opera was a who’s who of society, and the attendees were as much on display as the performers.

Lucas Cranach the Elder, <em>Adam and Eve</em>
Lucas Cranach the Elder, Adam and Eve

Is that a lion, or a dog? Cranach’s peculiar animals have us scratching our heads along with Adam.

Paul Gauguin, <em>Nevermore</em>
Paul Gauguin, Nevermore

Gauguin’s nude is suspended between dreams and reality— just like his imperialistic vision of Tahiti.

Paul Cézanne, <em>Still Life with Plaster Cupid</em>
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Plaster Cupid

All conventions of perspective are called into question in Cézanne’s meditation on the nature of experience.

Vincent van Gogh, <em>Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear</em>
Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear

An optimistic message to his doctors, or a farewell letter to his utopian artistic dream? We’re all ears.