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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
Northern 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
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Location Country: Spain
What a camel in New York reveals about medieval Spain.
Camel from San Baudelio de Berlanga
If you suddenly found yourself the heir to a royal throne that your family members felt belonged to them, then what steps would you take to advertise that you are indeed the rightful inheritor?
Gil de Siloé, The Tomb of Juan ...
Indigenous Nahua artists depict the traumatic events of the Spanish conquest, offering an alternative narrative to the one written by the Spaniards.
Indigenous Images of the Conquest of Mexico
Two years before the Spanish expel the Jews and begin their invasion of the Americas, an artist paints an image of redemption.
Piedad with Canon Lluís Desplà
An imagined garden teeming with curious creatures and bizarre structures. What are we to think?
Spotlight — Hieronymus Bosch,
The Garden of
The sculptor Martínez Montañés was the “God of Wood,” but it’s the painter Pacheco who brought this work to life.
Juan Martínez Montañés and Francisco Pacheco,
The severe exterior of this palace complex belies its highly decorative interior, once filled with art.
El Escorial, Spain
These statues of the Virgin and Child often held relics. Designed to be mobile, they starred in parades and plays.
“Throne of Wisdom” sculptures
Haacke documents the provenance of a Seurat sketch held in a bank vault to lay bare the commodification of art.
Seurat’s “Les Poseuses” (small version),
Delicate and brightly colored, this statue from Spain combines elegance with solidity, the human with the divine.
Virgin from Ger
Wild! Everything seems transient in this otherworldly scene, but El Greco’s bold colors stay with us.
Adoration of the Shepherds
Ribera depicts the moment before St. Philip’s death, yet the martyr’s body distorts and collapses before our eyes.
Jusepe de Ribera,
The Martyrdom of Saint
With its sumptuous foliage and gold detail, this painting celebrates the decorative and captures the spiritual.
The Annunciation and Life of
Mantegna’s draped figures resurrect classical sculpture, but the landscape was from life—that’s Renaissance Mantua.
Dormition (or Death) of the
These frescoes covered the thick walls of a Romanesque church. Once isolated in the Pyrenees, they adorn a museum.
Circle of the Master of Pedret,
Romanesque sculptors adorned the tops of columns with bible stories. These scenes are bold, emotional, and direct.
Historiated capitals, Church of Sant Miquel, Camarasa
This puzzling painting about painting is half genre scene, half family portrait. But what’s on the large canvas?
Goya depicts the king’s family in scintillating detail… but the sparkle of the monarchy is beginning to fade.
The Family of Charles IV
This “miraculous” building brought art, prestige, and economic prosperity to a struggling port city.
Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao
Don’t strike the messenger! Interrupted at his forge, a horrified Vulcan looks ready to hammer Apollo.
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