At the Tate Britain, London

Turner, Constable, the Pre-Raphaelites, and much more. Virtually explore the Tate with Smarthistory as your guide.

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the Tate's website

John Singer Sargent, <em>Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose</em>
John Singer Sargent, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

Singer Sargent’s evocative canvas turns a sweet, ordinary scene into a symphony of shapes and colors.

William Powell Frith, <em>Derby Day</em>
William Powell Frith, Derby Day

Everyone wanted to have a look at the cast of characters Frith created—their variety provides the modern viewer with a fascinating glimpse into Victorian life.

J.M.W. Turner, <em>Snow Storm</em>
J.M.W. Turner, Snow Storm

Like a disaster movie, Turner’s painting transforms a natural catastrophe — with death a near-certainty — into entertainment.

Sheltered by the sea, Barbara Hepworth’s Pelagos
Sheltered by the sea, Barbara Hepworth’s Pelagos

Sheltered by the sea, a study in place and feeling

Describing what you see: Sculpture, Henry Moore’s <em>Reclining Figure</em>
Describing what you see: Sculpture, Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure

Describing is a key skill for art historians and for any museum visitor. Learn how.

Yinka Shonibare, <em>The Swing (After Fragonard)</em>
Yinka Shonibare, The Swing (After Fragonard)

What might Shonibare wish to communicate by bringing together these “African” textiles with Fragonard’s Rococo images?

TateShots: Piet Mondrian
TateShots: Piet Mondrian

Can color just be color, rather than representing something else? Step into Mondrian’s studio to find out.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti, <em>Beata Beatrix</em>
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix

In this tragic painting, Rossetti draws a comparison between himself and the medieval poet who shared his name.


Serious Art or a jungle gym? Morris shows us that art can be experienced bodily, and Minimalism can be fun.

J.M.W. Turner at Tate Britain
J.M.W. Turner at Tate Britain

Fancy a trip to Tate Britain? Visit the largest collection of work by Turner anywhere—no passport required.

Henry Fuseli, <em>Titania and Bottom</em>
Henry Fuseli, Titania and Bottom

Fuseli’s fairies resist his era’s embrace of the rational in favor of the emotive and fantastic.

Sir Frederic Leighton, <em>An Athlete Wrestling with a Python</em>
Sir Frederic Leighton, An Athlete Wrestling with a Python

An epic showdown between man’s moralizing musculature and serpentine sin.