Location Country: Italy


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

Masaccio, Holy Trinity


Cimabue, Maestà or Santa Trinita Madonna and Child Enthroned (detail), 1280-90, tempera on panel, 385 x 223 cm (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence)
Set against gleaming gold, Mary and Christ sit on an intricately carved throne studded with gems.

Cimabue, Maestà



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

Pompeii, an introduction









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

Codex Borgia


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

Kente cloth


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.

Euphronios, Sarpedon Krater





Still Life with Peaches (left), two dates, a silver tray with prunes, dried figs and dates with a glass of red wine (center), and branch of Peaches, Fourth Style wall painting from Herculaneum, Italy, c. 62-69 C.E., fresco, 14 x 13 1/2 inches (Archaeological Museum, Naples)
Hospitality was key in ancient Rome, and this wall painting shows the gifts that guests may have received.

Still Life with Peaches




Donatello, St. Mark
When the citizens of Florence looked up at St. Mark, they saw a mirror of their own dignity—and of ancient nobility.

Donatello, St. Mark


An earthquake buried this early Roman church. Recent excavations exposed layers of wall painting.

Santa Maria Antiqua