videos + essays

Masaccio, <em>Holy Trinity</em>
Masaccio, Holy Trinity

This painting blends deep piety with scientific observation. Both its architecture and figures were radically new.

Cimabue, Maestà
Cimabue, Maestà

Set against gleaming gold, Mary and Christ sit on an intricately carved throne studded with gems.

Codex Amiatinus, the oldest complete Latin Bible
Codex Amiatinus, the oldest complete Latin Bible

One of the oldest surviving bibles was made in England but has clear visual ties to traditions from the ancient Mediterranean.

Pompeii, an introduction
Pompeii, an introduction

Pompeii, once called the "City of the Dead," gives a marvelous sense of day-to-day Roman life.

Titian, two portraits of Pietro Aretino
Titian, two portraits of Pietro Aretino

Two portraits capture the ambition and impudence of Titian's close friend and publicist.

The rediscovery of Pompeii and the other cities of Vesuvius
The rediscovery of Pompeii and the other cities of Vesuvius

The rediscovery of ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum and the beginnings of archaeology.

The Romanesque churches of Tuscany: San Miniato in Florence and Pisa Cathedral
The Romanesque churches of Tuscany: San Miniato in Florence and Pisa Cathedral

What colorful stone and stark geometry! San Miniato hovers above the Arno river; Pisa Cathedral lies in its marshes.

Devotional confraternities (scuole) in Renaissance Venice
Devotional confraternities (scuole) in Renaissance Venice

Brotherhoods lent stability to religious and civic life. These wealthy institutions also commissioned paintings.

Plunder, War, and the Horses of San Marco
Plunder, War, and the Horses of San Marco

To the victor go the spoils? These sculptures were taken by the Byzantines, the Venetians, and Napoleon.

Codex Borgia
Codex Borgia

Thirty-three feet long, the Codex Borgia records historical, ritual, mythological, and botanical information.

Kente cloth
Kente cloth

This cloth—first woven by a wise spider—sends social messages through a system of specific patterns.

Euphronios, <em>Sarpedon Krater</em>
Euphronios, Sarpedon Krater

Gods carry away the dead on a pot looted from a tomb, trafficked out of Italy, bought by the Met, and finally returned.