Search in excerpt
Board of Advisors and Board of Trustees
Content editors and contributors
A Smarthistory timeline
Contribute an essay to Smarthistory
Support our work
We believe art has the power to transform lives and to build understanding across cultures. We believe that the brilliant histories of art belong to everyone, no matter their background.
Smarthistory unlocks the expertise of hundreds of scholars, making the history of art accessible and engaging to more people, in more places, than any other publisher.
Histories of Art
Overview of Prehistoric
Overview of Africa
Overview of Americas to 1900
North America to 1500
North America 1500 – 1900
South America to 1500
South America 1500 – 1900
Overview of Asia
Hinduism and Buddhism
Overview of Ancient Mediterranean
Ancient Near East
Medieval Europe & Byzantine
Overview of Medieval Europe + Byzantium
A beginner’s guide
Christianity and art
Judaism and art
The medieval book
The Islamic World
Overview of the Islamic World
Overview of Europe 1300 – 1800
Italy: 14th century
Italy: 15th century
Italy: 16th century
Northern Europe: 15th century
Northen Europe: 16th century
Spain: 15th and 16th century
Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Baroque: 17th century
Rococo: early to mid 18th century
Neoclassicism: late 18th century
British: 18th century
Overview of Europe: 19th century
Symbolism / Art Nouveau
Overview of Oceania
Overview of Modernisms 1900 – 1980
A beginner’s guide
Fauvism + Expressionism
Cubism + Early Abstraction
Dada + Surrealism
German art between the wars
Latin American modernism
American art to WWII
Postwar American art
Postwar European art
Conceptual + Performance art
Architecture + Design
Global cultures 1980 to now
Overview of Global Cultures 1980 – now
Appropriation and ideological critique
Identity and the body
Banality and kitsch
Ritual, spirituality and transcendence
Histories real and imagined
Looking at art
Approaches to art history
Understanding religion in art
For the very beginner
Featured | Art that brings U.S. history to life
Courses in art history & history
a portal to American history and art
At-Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series
Short and long courses
including AP and A-level
Creating + conserving
Video creation guide
More titles coming soon!
AP® Art History (vol. 1)
nos. 1 – 47
AP® Art History (vol. 2)
AP® Art History (vol. 3)
nos. 99 – 152
AP® Art History (vol. 4)
nos. 153 – 191
AP® Art History (vol. 5)
nos. 192 – 250
Ancient Near Eastern art
Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Aegean Art
Ancient Greek Art
Ancient Etruscan art
Ancient Roman art
museums & sites
art by location
Help Smarthistory continue to make a difference
Contribute an essay
Help make art history relevant and engaging
We created Smarthistory to provide students around the world with the highest-quality educational resources for art and cultural heritage—for free.
Location City: Rome
One of the most impressive monuments on the Roman Forum
The Arch of Septimius Severus, portal to ...
Thirty-three feet long, the Codex Borgia records historical, ritual, mythological, and botanical information.
This cloth—first woven by a wise spider—sends social messages through a system of specific patterns.
Rome’s pagan and Christian pasts merge at San Clemente, where a mosaic advertises the power of the Western Church.
The Basilica of San Clemente, Rome
That hoof, that sword—everything is so close! This chapel gives us a privileged view of a private conversion.
The Conversion of St. Paul
This ancient map served as an administrative tool for one of the largest empires in history.
Severan marble plan
(Forma Urbis Romae)
An earthquake buried this early Roman church. Recent excavations exposed layers of wall painting.
Santa Maria Antiqua
Even in death, great Roman families were concerned with reinforcing and projecting their status.
Tomb of the Scipios and the sarcophagus ...
This three-in-one temple to “Jupiter Best and Greatest,” Juno, and Minerva was central in ancient Roman religion.
Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Rome
Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, emerges from her bath, but what did her nudity mean to the Greeks?
Capitoline Venus (copy of the Aphrodite of ...
Is this delicate female portrait what we think? Take part in a discussion of a masterpiece we know little about.
Portrait Bust of a Flavian Woman (Fonseca ...
Abandoned as infants, the mythical founders of Rome were raised by a she-wolf.
Napoleon’s sister courted controversy and posed semi-nude for Canova, who sculpted her as a modern-day Venus.
Paolina Borghese as Venus Victorious
Below Rome’s streets lie shelves of tombs. Buried among the dead are early examples of Christian art.
Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome
The emperor Titus sacked the temple in Jerusalem and looted its most holy treasures.
The Spoils of Jerusalem
, Arch of Titus
Whose side are you on? Two great philosophers of antiquity, Plato and Aristotle, face off in this meeting of minds.
School of Athens
Inheritor of an ancient concrete tradition, Hadid bring 20th-century utopianism to her Rome museum design.
Zaha Hadid, MAXXI National Museum of XXI ...
Once identified as the founder of the Roman Republic, debate over this figure’s true identity rages on.
Built using new technologies, this building is overwhelming and unprecedented—displaying Roman imperial power.
Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine
Ancient Greek athletes cleaned themselves with oil. This sculpture shows one athlete’s bathing ritual.
See More >>
Sign up for our newsletter!
Receive occasional emails about new Smarthistory content.