Virtually explore this gallery with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
In this painting, Rembrandt plays with the division between reality and illusion, present and past. Who’s the girl?
Are we awaiting a duet or interrupting a solo? One of Dou’s finest, this intimate scene defies easy interpretation.
Was it a diplomatic gift? Is it even a Rubens? Many questions surround this work; technical analysis can help.
Will Samson wake from his slumber? In this dramatic scene, all eyes are on those giant shears.
Van Huysum clearly took his time—and meditated on its passage. Here, a bird’s nest symbolizes the cycle of life.