Art in the United Kingdom

We admit it, we are anglophiles. From Lincoln Cathedral to Sir Christopher Wren to the Young British Artists.

videos + essays

Européenerie on a Chinese Table Screen
Européenerie on a Chinese Table Screen

Why does this Qing-dynasty porcelain mimic ivory?

Albrecht Dürer, <em>The Triumphal Arch</em> or <em>Arch of Honor</em>
Albrecht Dürer, The Triumphal Arch or Arch of Honor

The Arch of Honor praises Maximilian I as the ideal emperor, a paragon of modern rulership, guided by traditional chivalric values but also aggressively modern in both diplomacy and warfare.

The Lewis Chess Pieces
The Lewis Chess Pieces

Quite possibly the most famous chess pieces in the world, the Lewis Chess Pieces were discovered on the Isle of Lewis, off the coast of northwest Scotland, around 1831.

Lacquer pen-case, signed by the artist Ashraf ibn Riza
Lacquer pen-case, signed by the artist Ashraf ibn Riza

This luxury pen-case is made from papier mâché with lacquer painting, a tradition inspired by Chinese lacquer.

Buddha preaching at Vulture Peak embroidery
Buddha preaching at Vulture Peak embroidery

This embroidery, discovered at Dunhuang, dates from China’s Tang dynasty (618–907) and depicts the Buddha preaching at Vulture Peak – in Buddhist tradition a favorite retreat of the Buddha and his disciples.

John Everett Millais, <em>Bubbles</em>
John Everett Millais, Bubbles

Victorian art is often dismissed as overly sentimental and nowhere is this more apparent than in Bubbles.

Annie Leibovitz, <em>Queen Elizabeth II</em>
Annie Leibovitz, Queen Elizabeth II

This picture was taken to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s official state visit to the United States in 2007.

William Holman Hunt, <em>The Shadow of Death</em>
William Holman Hunt, The Shadow of Death

The Shadow of Death is an inspired representation of a youthful Christ who cannot escape his destiny.

Horst P. Horst, <em>Mainbocher Corset, Paris</em>
Horst P. Horst, Mainbocher Corset, Paris

Horst's Mainbocher Corset photograph journeyed across oceans and time to transform Vogue into a concept and a verb.

A silk painting of sacred Buddhist images from Dunhuang
A silk painting of sacred Buddhist images from Dunhuang

A fragmentary silk painting tells us about Buddhist art along the Silk Roads, numerous Buddhist sacred icons, and the complex life of an object after its creation.

Head of the Buddha, Gandhara
Head of the Buddha, Gandhara

Positioned at the crossroads of Asia, Gandhara has always been an ancient transit zone—as we see in this sculpture of the Buddha

A Portrait of Humanity: The Compelling Story of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo
A Portrait of Humanity: The Compelling Story of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

The life of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, from modern-day Senegal, reveals some of the startling and uncomfortable truths behind the historic slave trade.