Location City: Boston


Artist Unidentified, Relief plaque showing a dignitary with drum and two attendants striking gongs, c. 1530-1570, copper alloy (Robert Owen Lehman Collection, Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
The audience hall in the palace in Benin City communicated to visiting ambassadors, traders, courtiers, and subjects the power and wealth of the Oba, or king.

The Imagery of Power on Benin Bronze ...



Detail of Oba, Benin plaque, MFA, Boston
How to impress your courtiers: a lesson from the Kingdom of Benin

Benin Plaques




Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait at the Easel, 1556, oil on canvas, 66 x 57 cm (Łańcut Castle)
Female painters were rare in sixteenth-century Italy. In self-portraits, Sofonisba made sure to appear virtuous.

Sofonisba Anguissola




Joseph Mallord William Turner, Slave Ship (detail)
A beautiful sunset, but look closer. One of humanity’s most hideous acts—seen in the waves of the indifferent sea.

J. M. W. Turner, Slave Ship





Mary Cassatt, In the Loge- detail
The subject looks through opera glasses, but she herself is the object of another man’s gaze—not to mention ours.

Mary Cassatt, In the Loge