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  • The Spanish Guitar

    This is in fact the repeating story of the Spanish guitar: the innovations of Spain’s virtuosic musicians and ingenious craftsmen disperse to captivate and transform guitar-playing traditions around the world.

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  • Shakespeare Portrayed

    Early portraits of Shakespeare preserve his appearance for posterity, while copies and variations indicate how perceptions of the poet-playwright shifted across later generations.

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  • The Rise of Paper Photography in Italy, 1839–55

    The early history of photography in Italy was characterized by its international flavor, a mixing of local and foreign practitioners, predilections, and points of view that fostered a flourishing experimentation and exchange.

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  • Ancient Maya Painted Ceramics

    Ceramic vessels nourished in both life and death: they held food and drink for daily life, but also offerings in dedicatory caches and burials, which range from the simplest graves to the richest royal tombs.

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  • Fabricating Sixteenth-Century Netherlandish Boxwood Miniatures

    Undoubtedly, the viewer’s first response upon opening the prayer beads and miniature altarpieces must have been a sense of wonder, soon followed by a keen desire to understand how and by whom these extraordinary and delightful objects were made.

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    All Essays
    (1016)

  • Abraham and David Roentgen

    From its humble beginnings in 1742 to its closing about 1800, the Roentgen firm pioneered advancements in superb marquetry, innovative designs, visionary production methods, and forward-thinking marketing strategies.

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  • Abstract Expressionism

    The German expatriate Hans Hofmann (1880–1966) became the most influential teacher of modern art in the United States, and his impact reached both artists and critics.

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  • The Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 B.C.)

    The Achaemenid Persian empire was the largest that the ancient world had seen, extending from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern India and Central Asia.

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  • Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803)

    [Labille-Guiard] was versed in a variety of artists’ materials, had exhibited twice at the Salon de la Correspondance, was an experienced teacher of aspiring young women artists, and had cultivated a wide acquaintance among academicians…

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  • The Aesthetic of the Sketch in Nineteenth-Century France

    Viewed by Academicians and art critics as an artist’s personal reaction to a subject, the sketch was considered to be a sign of genius and originality.

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  • African Christianity in Ethiopia

    Christianity afforded the possibility of unifying the many diverse ethnic and linguistic peoples of the Aksumite kingdom, a goal of Ezana’s leadership.

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  • African Christianity in Kongo

    In parts of Kongo, Christianity was accepted not as a new religion that would replace the old, but rather as a new syncretic cult that was fully compatible with existing structures.

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  • African Influences in Modern Art

    In the contemporary postcolonial era, the influence of traditional African aesthetics and processes is so profoundly embedded in artistic practice that it is only rarely evoked as such.

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  • African Lost-Wax Casting

    While it is difficult to establish how the method was developed or introduced to the region, it is clear that West African sculptors were casting brass with this method for several hundred years prior to the arrival of the first Portuguese explorers along the coast in 1484.

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  • African Lost-Wax Casting: Bronze, Copper, and Brass

    The metals used in Ife bronzeworks were from brass brought across the Sahara by Arab caravans.

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  • African Lost-Wax Casting: The Tada Figure

    The seated Tada figure, dated to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century and named for the village in which it was found, is one of the finest works in this tradition.

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  • African Rock Art

    Rock paintings and engravings are Africa’s oldest continuously practiced art form.

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  • African Rock Art of the Central Zone

    The [rock art of the central zone] differs significantly from that to the south and to the north in that images of animals and human beings do not predominate.

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  • African Rock Art of the Northern Zone

    Many new discoveries have been made in recent years; scholars are hopeful that among these a clue to the meaning of some of the images will be found.

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  • African Rock Art of the Southern Zone

    The rock painting of this region is characterized by exquisitely minute detail and complex techniques of shading.

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  • African Rock Art: Game Pass

    For a shelter so open to the elements, the paintings [at Game Pass] are miraculously well preserved and in some places the brush marks can still be seen.

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  • African Rock Art: Tassili-n-Ajjer (?8000 B.C.–?)

    Although close to the Iberian Peninsula, it is currently believed that the rock art of Algeria and Tassili developed independently of that in Europe.

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  • African Rock Art: The Coldstream Stone

    Southern African rock paintings and engravings often combine geometric forms with images of humans and animals, in what some scholars have argued represents hallucinatory trance imagery.

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  • Africans in Ancient Greek Art

    Long before Homer, the seafaring civilization of Bronze Age Crete, known today as Minoan, established trade connections with Egypt.

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  • Afro-Portuguese Ivories

    The discovery of vast quantities of West African ivory, called “white gold” in Europe, transformed the nature of African-Portuguese trading in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

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  • The Age of Iron in West Africa

    The fabrication of iron tools and weapons allowed for the kind of extensive systematized agriculture, efficient hunting, and successful warfare necessary to sustain large urban centers.

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  • The Age of Saint Louis (1226–1270)

    At the end of Louis’s reign, 101 different craft guilds were established in the city; the university welcomed scholars and students from across Europe.

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  • The Age of Süleyman “the Magnificent” (r. 1520–1566)

    Under Süleyman, popularly known as “the Magnificent” or “the Lawmaker,” the Ottoman empire reached the apogee of its military and political power.

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  • The Akkadian Period (ca. 2350–2150 B.C.)

    At its greatest extent, the [Akkadian] empire reached as far as Anatolia in the north, inner Iran in the east, Arabia in the south, and the Mediterranean in the west.

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  • Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)

    Dürer revolutionized printmaking, elevating it to the level of an independent art form. He expanded its tonal and dramatic range, and provided the imagery with a new conceptual foundation.

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  • Alexander Jackson Davis (1803–1892)

    Design, not structure or theory, was [Davis’] chief interest and strength. His artistic temperament and eye imbued his work with its special, imaginative quality.

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  • Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) and American Photography

    Alfred Stieglitz returned to New York in 1890 determined to prove that photography was a medium as capable of artistic expression as painting or sculpture.

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  • Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) and His Circle

    Alfred Stieglitz, photographer, publisher, gallerist, and impresario, made unparalleled contributions to the introduction of modern art in America and gave unequivocal support to young American modernist painters.

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  • Alice Cordelia Morse (1863–1961)

    Morse enjoyed working in many styles, while constantly adapting her designs both to complement each book’s theme and appeal to the widest audience.

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  • The Amarna Letters

    Since Egypt is outside the area where cuneiform writing developed, the Amarna Letters testify to the use of the Mesopotamian script and the Akkadian language across the eastern Mediterranean during this period.

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  • America Comes of Age: 1876–1900

    Patrons promoted an American Renaissance to beautify the city with civic monuments, grand mansions, and public sculptures.

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  • American Bronze Casting

    By 1850, the prospect of bronze casting in the United States had taken on added symbolism—a medium that reflected America’s growing confidence and ambition as a world power while at the same time proclaiming its artistic independence from European sculptural models and materials.

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  • American Federal Era Period Rooms

    While the interpretation of American Neoclassicism differed from one Atlantic coast city to the next, it typically drew from common sources.

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  • American Furniture, 1620–1730: The Seventeenth-Century and William and Mary Styles

    Furniture in the early Baroque, or William and Mary, style broke away from the solid, horizontal massing and rectilinear outlines of the preceding era.

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  • American Furniture, 1730–1790: Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles

    By the 1780s the sweeping curves of the late Baroque and the exuberant ornament of the Rococo were giving way to a renewed interest in classical precedents, which found expression in the delicate, rectilinear forms of the Neoclassical, or Federal, style.

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  • American Georgian Interiors (Mid-Eighteenth-Century Period Rooms)

    Georgian design, which was characterized by an adherence to theories of order, symmetry, and proportion drawn from classical models during the Renaissance, represented a significant departure from earlier English decorative traditions.

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  • American Impressionism

    In 1886, with a series of brilliant images of New York’s new public parks, William Merritt Chase became the first major American painter to create Impressionist canvases in the United States.

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  • American Ingenuity: Sportswear, 1930s–1970s

    Designer sportswear was not usurped from Europe, as “modern art” would later be; it was genuinely invented and developed in America.

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  • American Needlework in the Eighteenth Century

    These small bits of embroidered cloth are often all that remains to testify to the otherwise unrecorded lives of their makers.

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  • American Neoclassical Sculptors Abroad

    Florence and Rome—with their internationally cosmopolitan environments—were favored by expatriate American sculptors.

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  • American Portrait Miniatures of the Eighteenth Century

    Patronage for miniatures extended beyond the court to include the political and merchant elite, eager to own and wear such stunning small portraits of loved ones.

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  • American Portrait Miniatures of the Nineteenth Century

    [Miniatures] acquired a high finish and sharp focus, taking on the qualities of their impending rival, the photograph.

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  • American Quilts and Coverlets

    Easily portable, and certainly necessary, bedcovers might be some of the few decorative objects a woman had in her home.

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  • American Relief Sculpture

    Also executed on a domestic scale for private patrons, relief portraits and ideal subjects (drawn from history, mythology, literature, or the Bible) were considered desirable alternatives to the standard in-the-round busts or statues.

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  • American Revival Styles, 1840–1876

    Nineteenth-century American architecture and furniture design was characterized by a parade of different styles that purported to take their inspiration from the design vocabulary of the past.

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  • American Rococo

    The Rococo crossed the Atlantic via three principal means: engraved designs in printed pattern books, imported objects, and immigrant artisans.

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  • American Scenes of Everyday Life, 1840–1910

    American painters recorded everyday life as it changed around them, capturing the temperament of their respective eras, defining the character of people as individuals, citizens, and members of ever-widening communities.

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  • American Sculpture at the World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893

    For the sculptors whose works were displayed outdoors on the fairgrounds as well as in the Fine Arts Building, the World’s Columbian Exposition was a professional and aesthetic coming of age.

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  • American Silver Vessels for Wine, Beer, and Punch

    In an era when drinking water could be hazardous to one’s health, beer, wine, and spirits were considered safe and even nutritious.

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  • American Women Sculptors

    They broke new ground through their independent lifestyles and emphasis on career over marriage and motherhood.

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  • Americans in Paris, 1860–1900

    As Henry James remarked in 1887: “It sounds like a paradox, but it is a very simple truth, that when to-day we look for ‘American art’ we find it mainly in Paris.”

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  • Amulets and Talismans from the Islamic World

    Talismans that contain inscriptions with the names of prophets and religious heroes have the power to protect an individual from hardship and danger by acting as a conduit between the two.

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  • Ana Nzinga: Queen of Ndongo

    One leader who proved to be adept at overcoming difficulties was the queen of Ndongo, Ana Nzinga.

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  • Anatomy in the Renaissance

    Italian Renaissance artists became anatomists by necessity, as they attempted to refine a more lifelike, sculptural portrayal of the human figure.

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  • Ancient American Jade

    Many American works of art in jade are green in color with widely varied tonal values.

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  • Ancient Greek Bronze Vessels

    Many more bronze vessels must have existed in antiquity because they were less expensive than silver and gold, and more have survived because they were buried in tombs or hidden in hoards beneath the ground.

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  • Ancient Greek Colonization and Trade and their Influence on Greek Art

    The ancient Greeks were active seafarers seeking opportunities for trade and founding new independent cities at coastal sites across the Mediterranean Sea.

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  • Ancient Greek Dress

    Greek vase painting and traces of paint on ancient sculptures indicate that fabrics were brightly colored and generally decorated with elaborate designs.

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  • Ancient Maya Painted Ceramics

    Ceramic vessels nourished in both life and death: they held food and drink for daily life, but also offerings in dedicatory caches and burials, which range from the simplest graves to the richest royal tombs.

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  • Ancient Maya Sculpture

    Maya sculptors celebrated the human form in a naturalistic way, portraying royal individuals as they sit, stand, hold things, and interact with one another.

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  • Ancient Near Eastern Openwork Bronzes

    Finely crafted small openwork bronzes produced in the early second millennium B.C. are among the more enigmatic objects known from the ancient Near East.

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  • Andean Textiles

    Andean weaving was among the arts practiced in colonial Latin America that retained the closest connection to Precolumbian traditions.

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  • Animals in Ancient Near Eastern Art

    Control of the natural world, as expressed by fierce animals, was a key aspect of the iconography of kingship.

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  • Animals in Medieval Art

    In addition to providing intriguing interpretations of animals, bestiaries offered tales about the existence of bizarre and loathsome creatures, many of which appeared in medieval art.

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  • Annibale Carracci (1560–1609)

    During the 1580s, the Carracci were painting the most radical and innovative pictures in Europe.

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  • Anselm Kiefer (born 1945)

    The great majority of Kiefer’s works since his emergence in the late 1960s through the 1990s refer to subjects drawn from Germany and its culture.

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  • Antelopes and Queens: Bambara Sculpture from the Western Sudan: A Groundbreaking Exhibition at the Museum of Primitive Art, New York, 1960

    The Museum of Primitive Art’s focus on works linked to a single cultural or ethnic group was unprecedented, and it created a standard for exhibitions of African art that endured throughout the twentieth century.

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  • Antique Engraved Gems and Renaissance Collectors

    While carved gems frequently functioned as signatures and means of identification for their owners, they were also treasured as magical amulets and used as personal ornaments.

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  • Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)

    Despite his unconventional training, Watteau was permitted to compete for the Prix de Rome at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.

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  • Antonello da Messina (ca. 1430–1479)

    Antonello da Messina is, in a sense, the first truly European painter and his remarkably varied achievements raise issues crucial to our understanding of European art.

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  • The Antonine Dynasty (138–193)

    The Antonine Dynasty reflects the connections between wealthy provincial and Italian families.

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  • Antonio Canova (1757–1822)

    Antonio Canova is considered the greatest Neoclassical sculptor of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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  • Apollo 11 (ca. 25,500–23,500 B.C.) and Wonderwerk (ca. 8000 B.C.) Cave Stones

    Until recently, the Apollo 11 stones were the oldest known artwork of any kind from the African continent.

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  • Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas

    As diverse as ancient American architectural effigies are, they all speak to an enduring tradition of capturing the essence of key structures and their associated meanings in miniature.

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  • Architecture in Ancient Greece

    Every piece of a Greek building is integral to its overall structure; a fragment of molding often can be used to reconstruct an entire building.

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  • Architecture in Renaissance Italy

    Architects trained as humanists helped raise the status of their profession from skilled laborer to artist. They hoped to create structures that would appeal to both emotion and reason.

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  • Architecture, Furniture, and Silver from Colonial Dutch America

    Despite diversity, the persistence of Dutch customs and styles remained strong into the eighteenth century.

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  • Archtop Guitars and Mandolins

    The archtop guitar, with its many subtleties of sound, became a dominant instrument in the new bebop and cool jazz styles.

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  • Arms and Armor in Medieval Europe

    European warriors of the early Middle Ages used both indigenous forms of military equipment and arms and armor derived from late Roman types.

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  • Arms and Armor in Renaissance Europe

    Although arms and armor are most commonly associated with warfare, both were used in other contexts, including hunting, tournaments, and as parade costume.

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  • Arms and Armor—Common Misconceptions and Frequently Asked Questions

    The field of arms and armor is beset with romantic legends, gory myths, and widely held misconceptions. Most of them are utter nonsense, devoid of any historical base.

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  • Art and Craft in Archaic Sparta

    In the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., and especially in the first half of the sixth century B.C., Sparta and its region, Laconia, had its own workshops in several genres of artistic craft, such as vase painting, metalwork, ivory and bone carving, and even stone sculpture.

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  • Art and Death in Medieval Byzantium

    The Virgin’s peaceful falling asleep in death, combined with Christ’s tender embrace of her soul—represented in Byzantine art as a swaddled infant —rendered an ideal image, one in which the Virgin’s soul was conveyed to heaven immediately upon her death.

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  • Art and Death in the Middle Ages

    In keeping with Roman and Jewish practice born of sanitary concerns, the first Christians were buried outside the city, often in subterranean catacombs, into the walls of which gold glass disks were set as memorial markers.

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  • Art and Identity in the British North American Colonies, 1700–1776

    By the second quarter of the eighteenth century, British colonists of all ranks were experiencing a consumer revolution.

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  • Art and Love in the Italian Renaissance

    The primary functions of the institution of marriage centered on the family and society, and love rarely entered into the equation. Yet the subjects of love, beauty, and attraction mesmerized Renaissance men and women.

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  • Art and Nationalism in Twentieth-Century Turkey

    With the dissolution of the Ottoman sultanate and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, artists and politicians alike called for a new kind of art to represent the fledgling nation.

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  • Art and Photography: 1990s–present

    As the decade mellowed under the lulling influence of the dot-com boom and the end of the Cold War, the art of the mid-1990s reflected both the newly global situation and the increasingly blurred line between the real and the virtual.

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  • Art and Photography: The 1980s

    Recently the subject of much critical reappraisal, the art of the 1980s can now be seen in retrospect as a powerful synthesis of the personal and political, as well as an implicit rebuke to the hollow conformity and historical amnesia that characterized the Reagan era.

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  • Art and Society of the New Republic, 1776–1800

    In addition to portraits, status symbols included sets of silver or porcelain for the service of tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.

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  • Art and the Fulani/Fulbe People

    Above all, Fulani people are known for their mastery of verbal art expressed in song and poetry.

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  • Art for the Christian Liturgy in the Middle Ages

    Because of their sacred function, liturgical objects were often crafted of the most precious materials.

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  • Art Nouveau

    Taking inspiration from the unruly aspects of the natural world, Art Nouveau influenced art and architecture especially in the applied arts, graphic work, and illustration.

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  • The Art of Classical Greece (ca. 480–323 B.C.)

    Greek artists of the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. attained a manner of representation that conveys a vitality of life as well as a sense of permanence, clarity, and harmony.

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  • The Art of Ivory and Gold in Northern Europe around 1000 A.D.

    Under Ottonian rule, churches and monasteries produced magnificent illuminated manuscripts, imposing buildings, and sumptuous luxury objects intended for church interiors and treasuries.

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  • The Art of the Abbasid Period (750–1258)

    During this period, a distinctive style emerged and new techniques were developed that spread throughout the Muslim realm and greatly influenced Islamic art and architecture.

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  • The Art of the Almoravid and Almohad Periods (ca. 1062–1269)

    Although they began by sponsoring austere programs of architectural decoration, their later monuments and textile manufactory in Almería indicate that the Almoravids eventually succumbed to the luxury culture of al-Andalus.

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  • Art of the Asante Kingdom

    The king himself was perceived as a creative force whose dynamic patronage of the arts, along with his health and appearance, were considered an important metaphor for his kingdom’s strength and stability.

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  • The Art of the Ayyubid Period (ca. 1171–1260)

    Signatures of artists on refined and prized brass works inlaid with silver seem to indicate that the craftsmen were from Mosul (in present-day Iraq) and had fled from the approaching Mongol armies.

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  • The Art of the Book in the Ilkhanid Period

    The Mongols clearly brought with them an excitement about the art of painting.

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  • The Art of the Book in the Middle Ages

    The most lavish medieval books were bound in covers set with enamels, jewels, and ivory carvings.

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  • Art of the Edo Period (1615–1868)

    In Japan’s self-imposed isolation, traditions of the past were revived and refined, and ultimately parodied and transformed in the flourishing urban societies of Kyoto and Edo.

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  • The Art of the Fatimid Period (909–1171)

    The opulence of the Fatimid court fueled a renaissance in the decorative arts, which made Cairo the most important cultural center in the Islamic world.

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  • Art of the First Cities in the Third Millennium B.C.

    The art of the third millennium B.C. reflects not only the extraordinary developments in the cities of the Near Eastern heartland but also their interaction with contemporary civilizations to the east and west.

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  • Art of the Hellenistic Age and the Hellenistic Tradition

    Hellenistic kings became prominent patrons of the arts, commissioning public works of architecture and sculpture, as well as private luxury items that demonstrated their wealth and taste.

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  • The Art of the Ilkhanid Period (1256–1353)

    East Asian elements absorbed into the existing Perso-Islamic repertoire created a new artistic vocabulary, one that was emulated from Anatolia to India, profoundly affecting artistic production.

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  • Art of the Korean Renaissance, 1400–1600

    The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries witnessed the revival and reinterpretation of classical traditions alongside significant achievements in innovative art forms.

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  • The Art of the Mamluk Period (1250–1517)

    Within a short period of time, the Mamluks created the greatest Islamic empire of the later Middle Ages, which included control of the holy cities Mecca and Medina.

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  • The Art of the Mughals after 1600

    Jahangir’s claim that he could instantly recognize any painter’s work is a reflection of the rise of the individual artist.

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  • The Art of the Mughals before 1600

    The artists who worked for Akbar, the first great Mughal patron of the arts of the book, included Persians as well as Indian Muslims and Hindus.

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  • The Art of the Nasrid Period (1232–1492)

    Despite its precarious political situation, for over two and a half centuries Granada served as a great cultural center of the Muslim West, attracting leading scholars and literati of the day.

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  • The Art of the Ottomans after 1600

    It became more profitable for artists to produce items for the open market than to be tied to the workshops of the low-paying court.

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  • The Art of the Ottomans before 1600

    With the conquest of the Mamluk empire in 1517, the Ottomans ruled over the most powerful state in the Islamic world.

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  • Art of the Pleasure Quarters and the Ukiyo-e Style

    For the first time, artists were inspired by and responded to the interests and preferences of the general public.

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  • Art of the Roman Provinces, 1–500 A.D.

    Art demonstrates both the scope and the limits of Roman influence, for the circulation of materials, methods, objects, and art forms created a certain cultural unity, and yet in each place, the persistence of local customs ensured the survival of cultural diversity.

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  • The Art of the Safavids before 1600

    Artists from the Qara Quyunlu, Aq Quyunlu, and Timurid court studios were brought together and their work helped form a new Safavid style of painting.

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  • The Art of the Seljuq Period in Anatolia (1081–1307)

    Apart from an earlier brief period of Arab rule in the east, Anatolia was new to Islam, and the Seljuqs were thus among the first to cultivate Islamic art and architecture in these lands.

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  • The Art of the Seljuqs of Iran (ca. 1040–1196)

    Under the Seljuq sultanate, Iran enjoyed a period of material and cultural prosperity, and the ingenuity in architecture and the arts during this period had a notable impact on later artistic developments.

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  • Art of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in Naples

    Neapolitan painting of the early seventeenth century is characterized by dramatic expression, emphatic naturalism, and intense chiaroscuro derived from the profound influence of Caravaggio.

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  • The Art of the Timurid Period (ca. 1370–1507)

    Timurid rulers were sympathetic to Persian culture and lured artists, architects, and men of letters who would contribute to their high court culture.

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  • The Art of the Umayyad Period (661–750)

    The Umayyad period is often considered the formative period in Islamic art.

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  • The Art of the Umayyad Period in Spain (711–1031)

    Of works of art and other material culture only coins and scant ceramic fragments remain from this early period of the Umayyad governors (711–56).

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  • Art, Architecture, and the City in the Reign of Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten (ca. 1353–1336 B.C.)

    As a beehive of building and production, the city provides many insights into ancient industry and technology, from construction, to manufacture of glass and faience, to statuary and textile production, to bread making.

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  • The Art, Form, and Function of Gilt Bronze in the French Interior

    A rigid guild system maintained high standards of craftsmanship and regulated the process of gilt-bronze manufactory.

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  • Arthur Dove (1880–1946)

    Dove created a number of inventive works of art that used stylized, abstract forms at a remarkably early date in American art; he is considered the first American artist to have created such purely nonrepresentational imagery.

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  • An Artisan’s Tomb in New Kingdom Egypt

    Almost thirty-three centuries ago, a young man named Khonsu became a “servant in the Place of Truth”—a designation that identified members of the crew of artisans who carved and decorated the royal tombs of the New Kingdom.

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  • Artistic Interaction among Cultures in Medieval Iberia

    During the medieval period, peoples of three faiths—Islam, Christianity, and Judaism—inhabited this land, undertaking sustained and intensive interactions that proved especially fruitful for the visual arts.

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  • Artists of the Saqqakhana Movement (1950s–60s)

    The unique combination of national support, local contact between artists, and international curiosity fueled the rapid growth of the saqqakhana movement.

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  • The Arts and Crafts Movement in America

    Arts and Crafts designers sought to improve standards of decorative design, believed to have been debased by mechanization, and to create environments in which beautiful and fine workmanship governed.

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  • The Arts of Iran, 1600–1800

    Semi-nude women, languid youths, and lovers soon came to replace the heroes of the Shahnama and the Khamsa in many an artist’s repertoire.

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  • Arts of Power Associations in West Africa

    [Power associations] are dynamic institutions that respond to local contexts and historical change and thus exhibit great variability.

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  • The Arts of the Book in the Islamic World, 1600–1800

    Workshops supported by rulers and members of their extended family produced copies of famous literary works, histories, and Qur’ans.

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  • Arts of the Mission Schools in Mexico

    Only a very few examples of the earliest Christian feather mosaics survive, as the medium is so inherently fragile; only a fraction retain a semblance of their original radiant colors.

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  • Arts of the San People in Nomansland

    Many of the figures have features, such as blood from the nose or divining switches, that indicate they are depictions of San shamans.

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  • Arts of the Spanish Americas, 1550–1850

    The church not only exerted enormous power over the lives of the European and indigenous peoples, but also, through its patronage, profoundly influenced the nature of the visual arts in these regions.

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  • Asante Royal Funerary Arts

    Women who had difficulty conceiving children visited burial grounds and left offerings in the hope that the spirits of the deceased would intercede on their behalf.

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  • Asante Textile Arts

    Akan textile arts were key markers of status and dominion.

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  • The Ashcan School

    Ignoring or registering only gently harsh new realities such as the problems of immigration and urban poverty, they shone a positive light on their era.

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  • Asher Brown Durand (1796–1886)

    He fashioned progressively vivid compositions typically of woodland interiors, culminating in masterpieces of organic verisimilitude.

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  • The Asmat

    The Asmat believe that there is a close relationship between humans and trees, and recognize wood as the source of life.

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  • Assyria, 1365–609 B.C.

    After several centuries of obscurity and even loss of independence from around 1400 B.C., Assyria’s fortunes revived in the reign of Ashur-uballit I.

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  • The Assyrian Sculpture Court

    The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Assyrian Sculpture Court (Gallery 401) showcases sculptures from the Assyrian capital city of Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) in a space designed to evoke their original palace setting.

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  • Astronomy and Astrology in the Medieval Islamic World

    While their work was based on ancient sources from Greece, Iran, and India, [scientists in the Islamic world] updated methods for measuring and calculating the movement of heavenly bodies, and continued to develop models of the universe and the movements of the planets within it.

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  • Asuka and Nara Periods (538–794)

    Japan’s first historical epoch–the Asuka period, named for the area near Nara where the court resided–coincides with the introduction of Buddhism into the country.

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  • Athenian Vase Painting: Black- and Red-Figure Techniques

    Their pictorial decorations provide insights into many aspects of Athenian life, and complement the literary texts and inscriptions from the Archaic and, especially, Classical periods.

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  • Athletics in Ancient Greece

    The victors [of] games brought honor to themselves, their families, and their hometowns.

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  • Augustan Rule (27 B.C.–14 A.D.)

    By 1 A.D., Rome was transformed from a city of modest brick and local stone into a metropolis of marble.

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  • The Augustan Villa at Boscotrecase

    While earlier artists focused on creating an illusion of architectural depth with solid architectural forms, the artists at Boscotrecase presented the idea with whimsical, attenuated, and highly refined elements.

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  • Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)

    Famed for his sensual nudes and charming scenes of pretty women, Auguste Renoir was a far more complex and thoughtful painter than generally assumed.

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  • Auguste Rodin (1840–1917)

    The increasingly erotic character of Rodin’s sculpture in the 1880s can be explained by his preoccupation with two highly charged literary sources. These were Dante’s Inferno and Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil.

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  • Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907)

    Saint-Gaudens’ contribution to American Renaissance art and culture must be measured not only as a master sculptor of works large and small, public and private, but also as a gifted teacher, arbiter of taste, and professional role model for a succeeding generation of French-trained American sculptors.

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  • Aztec Stone Sculpture

    Aztec stone sculpture is the culmination of a long Mesoamerican tradition in the carving of stone—from ordinary volcanic rock to highly prized semi-precious stones such as jade—into objects and monuments of all sorts.

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  • Babylon

    Although [Babylon] was not among the oldest cities in this part of the world, in ancient Mesopotamian mythology it came to be seen as the first city, made at the creation of the world …

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  • The Ballet

    Ballet technique, like other classical Baroque figurative arts, favored symmetry, dynamic balance, and the harmony of the entire body.

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  • The Bamana Ségou State

    Traditional Bamana society was a gerontocracy governed by a council of elders, and the tòn enabled young Bamana men to organize themselves into a workforce and represent their interests to their superiors.

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  • Barbarians and Romans

    Promises of Roman citizenship and military and economic support encouraged barbarian leaders to assist their wealthy neighbor, primarily by providing troops.

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  • The Barbizon School: French Painters of Nature

    They shared a recognition of landscape as an independent subject, a determination to exhibit such paintings at the conservative Salon, and a mutually reinforcing pleasure in nature.

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  • Baroque Rome

    Baroque architects, artists, and urban planners so magnified and invigorated the classical and ecclesiastical traditions of the city that it became for centuries after the acknowledged capital of the European art world.

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  • Bashford Dean and the Development of Helmets and Body Armor during World War I

    Dean’s pioneering efforts helped pave the way for this life-saving change in attitudes toward the use of modern body armor.

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  • The Batak

    The most powerful members of a Batak community are ritual specialists, known as datu.

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  • Baths and Bathing Culture in the Middle East: The Hammam

    Although today we think of bathing as a private activity, the public bath, or hammam, was a vital social institution in any Middle Eastern city for centuries before the advent of modern plumbing.

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  • The Bauhaus, 1919–1933

    The Bauhaus was founded in 1919 in the city of Weimar by German architect Walter Gropius (1883–1969). Its core objective was a radical concept: to reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts.

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  • Benin Chronology

    Brass commemorative heads are commissioned by each oba (king) in the first years of his reign to honor his immediate predecessor.

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  • Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872–1955)

    Her stated artistic objective, as she told an interviewer in 1925, was to “look for beauty in the every-day world, to catch the joy and swing of modern American life.”

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  • The Bikini

    Simply defined, the bikini is an abbreviated two-piece swimsuit with a bra top and panties cut below the navel. Broadly defined, the bikini represents a social leap involving body consciousness, moral concerns, and sexual attitudes.

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  • Birds of the Andes

    Andean people attentively observed the natural world, and the various roles attributed to birds in religions and artistic representations often seem to derive from their properties and behaviors in nature.

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  • Birth and Family in the Italian Renaissance

    Many contemporary objects manifest the attendant risks and potential joys of bearing offspring.

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  • The Birth and Infancy of Christ in Italian Painting

    Italian piety and Italian art of the late Middle Ages and after tended to stress the Incarnation narrative, the sequence of events surrounding his birth, and the events of the Passion, the sufferings of his final week on earth.

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  • The Birth of Islam

    Because it is through writing that the Qur’an is transmitted, the Arabic script was first transformed and beautified in order that it might be worthy of divine revelation.

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  • Blackwater Draw (ca. 9500–3000 B.C.)

    Blackwater Draw in eastern New Mexico, which evidences human activity from about 9500 to 3000 B.C., is one of the most important of the early hunter locations.

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  • Blackwork: A New Technique in the Field of Ornament Prints (ca. 1585–1635)

    As with many inventions, it is hard to ascertain what initially inspired goldsmiths to adapt the champlevé technique for printmaking.

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  • Blown Glass from Islamic Lands

    Glassblowing enabled craftsmen to create vessels quickly and in a wide range of shapes, making glassware affordable and available.

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  • Body/Landscape: Photography and the Reconfiguration of the Sculptural Object

    At the same time that some sculptors turned outward toward the wider landscape, others turned in upon their own bodies as both the subject and object of sculptural activity.

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  • Boscoreale: Frescoes from the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor

    The fact that the mid-first-century B.C. decoration was not replaced by another, more contemporary, decoration in the first century A.D. is a clear indication that there was already an awareness of the quality of the frescoes in antiquity.

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  • Botanical Imagery in European Painting

    The use of botanical imagery in painting proliferated especially in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as artists became increasingly interested in the realistic depiction of objects from the natural world.

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  • Bronze Sculpture in the Renaissance

    Many European cities had bronze foundries, but Florence saw the first true flowering of bronze sculpture.

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  • Bronze Statuettes of the American West, 1850–1915

    By the late nineteenth century, the concept of “the vanishing West” drove many sculptors to record their perceptions of western life.

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  • Buddhism and Buddhist Art

    The Gupta period, from the fourth to the sixth century A.D., in northern India, sometimes referred to as a Golden Age, witnessed the creation of an “ideal image” of the Buddha.

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  • Building Stories: Contextualizing Architecture at the Cloisters

    There are, to this date, architectural elements at The Cloisters whose original location remains unknown.

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  • Burgundian Netherlands: Court Life and Patronage

    Already one of Europe’s richest centers of cloth production and an important trade hub, the Netherlands under Burgundian rule attracted and inspired some of the most talented artists of the Renaissance period.

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  • Burgundian Netherlands: Private Life

    Though the Burgundian court was the single most important artistic patron during the period, private citizens were no less interested in using art to express their spiritual concerns and personal ambitions.

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  • Byzantine Art under Islam

    Mirroring the political climate, art became a medium of confrontation and cooperation between the two sides.

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  • The Byzantine City of Amorium

    Amorium was one of the largest and most important cities in Anatolia during the early Middle Ages, becoming in the second half of the seventh century the capital of the Byzantine province or theme of Anatolikon.

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  • Byzantine Ivories

    The allure of this substance is easily understood: its smooth, tactile quality and creamy color made it ideal for the creation of luxury goods.

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  • The Byzantine State under Justinian I (Justinian the Great)

    Justinian drew upon administrators and counselors from outside the aristocratic class. His own modest origins, along with his selection of these court members, contributed to lasting tensions with the Byzantine nobility.

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  • Byzantium (ca. 330–1453)

    The emperor renamed this ancient port city Constantinople (“the city of Constantine”) in his own honor.

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  • Calligraphy in Islamic Art

    Objects from different periods and regions vary in the use of calligraphy in their overall design, demonstrating the creative possibilities of calligraphy as ornament.

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  • Cameo Appearances

    Cameos were, and still are, especially prized when the artist manipulated the strata of the stone in relation to the design, exploring the stone’s depths to enhance its visual impact.

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  • Candace Wheeler (1827–1923)

    Wheeler’s weapons in her struggle to make a difference were artistic talent and a strong social conscience.

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  • Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) (1571–1610) and his Followers

    Caravaggio pushed the figures up against the picture plane and used light to enhance the dramatic impact and give the figures a quality of immediacy.

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  • Carleton Watkins (1829–1916) and the West: 1860s–70s

    Embracing both human enterprise and the natural wonders of California, Watkins created crystalline views of the West that balanced the works of man and nature in an ideal harmony we can only envy today.

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  • Carolingian Art

    “Throughout his whole reign, the wish that he had nearest to heart was to re-establish the ancient authority of the city of Rome under his care and by his influence” (Life of Charlemagne 27).

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  • Carpets from the Islamic World, 1600–1800

    [Carpets] were traded to Europe and the Far East where, too precious to be placed on the ground, they were used to cover furniture or hung on walls. Within the Islamic world, especially fine specimens were collected in royal households.

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  • Cave Sculpture from the Karawari

    Preserved in the [Kawawari] caves for generations, some of the carvings are between 200 and 400 years old, making them the oldest surviving examples of wood sculpture from New Guinea.

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  • Ceramics in the French Renaissance

    Having closely observed the locomotion of animals, [Palissy] transformed the slithering or coiling of snakes into motifs that invigorated his clay compositions.

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  • Cerro Sechín

    [Cerro Sechín] is best known for its megalithic architecture and engraved stone slabs, which depict graphic scenes of human sacrifice and death.

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  • Cerro Sechín: Stone Sculpture

    While evidence for large-scale warfare during the second millennium B.C. is scant for this region of Peru, it seems clear that notions of violence and combat were present, perhaps even celebrated, at Cerro Sechín.

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  • The Cesnola Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The richness and fame of the Cesnola Collection also did much to establish the Museum’s reputation as a major repository of classical antiquities and put it on a par with the foremost museums in Europe, whose collections had largely been formed at an earlier date.

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  • Charles Eames (1907–78) and Ray Eames (1912–88)

    From their architecture, furniture, and textile designs to their photography and corporate design, the husband-and-wife team exerted a profound influence on the visual character of daily life in America, whether at work or at home.

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  • Charles Frederick Worth (1825–1895) and the House of Worth

    With his talent for design and promotion, Charles Frederick Worth built his design house into a huge business during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

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  • Charles James (1906–1978)

    Never having had formal dressmaking training, [Charles James] developed his own methodology based on mathematical, architectural, and sculptural concepts as they relate to the human body.

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  • Charles Sheeler (1883–1965)

    The sharpness and clarity of [Sheeler’s] vision associated him with the group of artists working in a style termed Precisionist.

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  • Chauvet Cave (ca. 30,000 B.C.)

    From the archaeological record, it is clear that these animals were rarely hunted; the images are thus not simple depictions of daily life at the time they were made.

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  • Childe Hassam (1859–1935)

    The man who will go down to posterity is the man who paints his own time and the scenes of every-day life around him.

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  • Chinese Buddhist Sculpture

    Works with powerful physiques and thin clothing derive from Indian prototypes, while sculptures that feature thin bodies with thick clothing evince a Chinese idiom.

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  • Chinese Calligraphy

    Calligraphy, or the art of writing, was the visual art form prized above all others in traditional China.

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  • Chinese Cloisonné

    Cloisonné objects were intended primarily for the furnishing of temples and palaces, because their flamboyant splendor was considered appropriate to the function of these structures.

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  • Chinese Gardens and Collectors’ Rocks

    One of the most important considerations in garden design is the harmonious arrangement of elements expressing different aspects of yin and yang.

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  • Chinese Handscrolls

    Looking at a handscroll that one has seen before is like visiting an old friend whom one has not seen for a while.

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  • Chinese Hardstone Carvings

    With exceptional artistic sensibility and intimate knowledge of the material, [a master craftsman] is able to visualize the completed product in an unworked rock.

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  • Chinese Painting

    Integrating calligraphy, poetry, and painting, scholar-artists for the first time combined the “three perfections” in a single work.

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  • The Chiton, Peplos, and Himation in Modern Dress

    In the absence of any surviving clothing, art and literature provide the only evidence of classical dress, opening a Pandora’s box of confusion and contradiction.

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  • The Chopine

    Developed in the early sixteenth century and especially popular among Venetian women, the high-platformed shoe called the chopine had both a practical and symbolic function.

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  • Christian Dior (1905–1957)

    After years of military and civilian uniforms, sartorial restrictions and shortages, Dior offered not merely a new look but a new outlook.

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  • Christopher Dresser (1834–1904)

    [Dresser] believed that truth was founded in science and that art reflected beauty.

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  • Classical Antiquity in the Middle Ages

    Even in a ruined state, the baths, aqueducts, and sanctuaries of the classical world provoked the people of the Middle Ages to reflect upon the grandeur of the past.

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  • Classical Art and Modern Dress

    In depicting details of the distinctive modes of ancient Greek attire, subsequent artists and designers have changed, as much as preserved, the actual qualities of ancient garb.

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  • Classical Cyprus (ca. 480–ca. 310 B.C.)

    Greek artists and intellectuals were welcomed in Cyprus, although there was always more incentive for Cypriot sculptors, philosophers, and writers to move from Cyprus to the Greek mainland.

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  • Classicism in Modern Dress

    Although components of Hellenic attire have appeared throughout Western fashion’s 600-year history, it is only from the 1790s to the 1810s that classicized forms are embraced as the prevailing mode.

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  • Claude Lorrain (1604/5?–1682)

    Claude drew inspiration from his close, constant study of nature and changing effects of light.

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  • Claude Monet (1840–1926)

    Monet found subjects in his immediate surroundings, as he painted the people and places he knew best.

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  • Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate in Early Colonial America

    Celebrated by some, deplored by others, these stimulating brews gave rise to a number of important social institutions, such as the coffeehouse, the tea garden, and the ritual of afternoon tea.

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  • Collecting for the Kunstkammer

    A compilation of remarkable things was attempted as a mirror of contemporary knowledge, regardless of whether those objects were created by the genius of man or the caprice of nature.

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  • Colonial Kero Cups

    The religious elements involved in their design and use had made kero cups frequent targets of early Spanish drives to destroy “pagan” rites.

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  • Colossal Temples of the Roman Near East

    Although their exteriors often look like Roman temples, the interior layout of sanctuary buildings was actually very Near Eastern, designed as a throne room for a deity, usually with a raised platform approached by stairs.

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  • Commedia dell’arte

    Because the mask partially or entirely obscured facial expression, emphasis was placed on dialect and exaggerated gesture to convey emotion and intention.

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  • Commercial Exchange, Diplomacy, and Religious Difference between Venice and the Islamic World

    [Marco] Polo is simply the most famous of the thousands of Venetian merchants who sought to make a fortune by acquiring luxury goods, spices, and raw materials in the East and selling them for a high return on Venetian markets.

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  • Company Painting in Nineteenth-Century India

    While in the early phases of this school artists depended on a few key patrons, by the beginning of the nineteenth century, enterprising Indian artists had begun to create sets of standard popular subjects that could be sold to any tourist passing through the major attractions.

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  • Conceptual Art and Photography

    In the wake of Abstract Expressionism, a number of painters developed strategies that both extended the life of painting while simultaneously pointing to its inevitable demise.

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  • Constantinople after 1261

    Constantinople was one of the first cities to lose many of its citizens to the Black Death in 1347.

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  • Contemporary Deconstructions of Classical Dress

    The richness and variety of the costumes represented in ancient Greek art are often the result of simple manipulations of the three basic garment types: the chiton, the peplos, and the himation.

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  • Contexts for the Display of Statues in Classical Antiquity

    Few statues from antiquity have survived both in situ and intact, but the evidence suggests an ever-changing and expanding range of contexts for their display.

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  • Costume in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    The Costume Institute houses a collection of more than 35,000 costumes and accessories spanning five continents and just as many centuries, arguably the greatest such collection in the world.

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  • The Countess da Castiglione

    Fascinated by her own beauty, the countess would attempt to capture all its facets and re-create for the camera the defining moments of her life.

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  • Courtly Art of the Ilkhanids

    Members of the Ilkhanid court wore expensive clothes and accessories, whether they were traveling in luxurious tents or settling in one of their palaces for a while.

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  • Courtship and Betrothal in the Italian Renaissance

    The physical embodiment of desire, these objects often display literary or symbolic representations of the pursuit or attainment of the lover.

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  • Cristobal Balenciaga (1895–1972)

    Balenciaga achieved what is considered to be his most important contribution to the world of fashion: a new silhouette for women.

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  • The Croome Court Tapestry Room, Worcestershire

    Although Adam had only recently established his practice in London, his new Neoclassical style found a ready and eager audience with the nobility and gentry.

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  • The Crucifixion and Passion of Christ in Italian Painting

    Formidable traditions governed the representation of the Crucifixion and other Passion scenes, and yet Italian painters continually renewed them through creative engagement with established conventions.

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  • The Crusades (1095–1291)

    The Crusaders then took over many of the cities on the Mediterranean coast and built a large number of fortified castles all over the Holy Land to protect their new territories.

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  • Ctesiphon

    Ctesiphon’s strategic location as well as its political importance made the city an international trading and market center with a diverse population.

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  • Cubism

    The Cubist painters rejected the inherited concept that art should copy nature, or that they should adopt the traditional techniques of perspective, modeling, and foreshortening.

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  • The Cult of the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages

    Theologians established a parallel between Christ’s Passion and the Virgin’s compassion: while he suffered physically on the cross, she was crucified in spirit.

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  • Cut and Engraved Glass from Islamic Lands

    From Egypt to Iran, Islamic cut and engraved decoration took various forms, ranging from complex relief patterns created using mechanically operated wheels and drills to hair-width incisions made with a pointed tool.

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  • Cyprus—Island of Copper

    Cypriot smiths produced some of the finest bronzework in the eastern Mediterranean, most notably tripods and four-sided stands.

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  • Daguerre (1787–1851) and the Invention of Photography

    From the moment of its birth, photography had a dual character—as a medium of artistic expression and as a powerful scientific tool—and Daguerre promoted his invention on both fronts.

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  • The Daguerreian Age in France: 1839–55

    While portraiture was by far the most common subject of daguerreotypes, artists and scientists, explorers and archaeologists all took up the camera and produced pictures unlike any that had been made before.

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  • The Daguerreian Era and Early American Photography on Paper, 1839–60

    The daguerreotype process, employing a polished silver-plated sheet of copper, was the dominant form of photography for the first twenty years of picture making in the United States.

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  • The Damascus Room

    Although most of the woodwork elements date to the early eighteenth century, some elements reflect changes over time in its original historical context, as well as adaptations to its museum setting.

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  • Daniel Chester French (1850–1931)

    Daniel Chester French attained prominence as the leading American monumental sculptor of the early twentieth century.

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  • Daoism and Daoist Art

    Over time, Daoism developed into an organized religion—largely in response to the institutional structure of Buddhism—with an ever-growing canon of texts and pantheon of gods, and a significant number of schools with often distinctly different ideas and approaches.

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  • David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848)

    In the mid-1840s, the Scottish painter-photographer team of Hill and Adamson produced the first substantial body of self-consciously artistic work using the newly invented medium of photography.

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  • Death, Burial, and the Afterlife in Ancient Greece

    The Greeks believed that at the moment of death the psyche, or spirit of the dead, left the body as a little breath or puff of wind. The deceased was then prepared for burial according to time-honored rituals.

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  • The Decoration of Arms and Armor

    It was the use and function of the individual weapon or armor that determined why, how, and to what extent an object was decorated.

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  • The Decoration of European Armor

    As part of Europe’s first standing army, the soldiers of the Roman Republic and empire were equipped with plain and serviceable armor of bronze or iron, and shields often painted with devices signifying the unit to which the soldier belonged.

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  • The Decoration of Tibetan Arms and Armor

    The degree of ornamentation and the range of symbols found on Tibetan arms and armor can vary considerably, but generally the same decorative motifs found on other Tibetan objects and works of art, such as furniture, ritual implements, sculpture, and paintings, are seen on arms and armor.

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  • Design Reform

    Design reformers attempted to help a new and rapidly growing generation of middle-class homemakers create artistic yet healthy homes.

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  • Design, 1900–25

    By the turn of the twentieth century, a new stylistic vocabulary—with distinct regional characteristics—had been firmly established. Whether realistic or abstract, exuberant or restrained, curvilinear or geometric, there was a consistency in the purposeful rejection of outmoded tastes and exploration of new design influences.

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  • Design, 1925–50

    Inspired in part by pre-war European efforts to democratize design through industrial production, [the Good Design] movement energetically promoted modern design to the American consumer through museum exhibitions, trade shows, and advertising.

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  • Design, 1950–75

    New materials and technologies, many of which had been developed during wartime, helped to free design from tradition, allowing for increasingly abstract and sculptural aesthetics as well as lower prices for mass-produced objects.

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  • Design, 1975–present

    The last quarter of the twentieth century saw a surge of unbridled consumerism manifested in a number of diverse, often contradictory, design currents.

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  • The Development of the Recorder

    A full family of recorders was needed for playing the notated polyphonic repertory of the period—motets, secular songs, fantasias, canzonas, and arrangements of dances—music made commonly available in the sixteenth century by the invention of music printing in 1501.

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  • Direct versus Indirect Casting of Small Bronzes in the Italian Renaissance

    No later than the last quarter of the fifteenth century, Italian sculptors began to use methods to cast bronzes without destroying their original model.

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  • Divination and Senufo Sculpture in West Africa

    Diviners invest in the arts to foster personal relationships with the spirit world and enhance communication between nature spirits and humans.

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  • Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri) (1581–1641)

    Domenichino fully subscribed to the classical notion that painting was like silent poetry and required a stylized expressive vocabulary to be properly understood and deciphered.

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  • Domestic Art in Renaissance Italy

    The manufacture of secular art objects, usually for the purpose of commemoration, personalized these lavish Italian Renaissance interiors.

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  • Dona Beatriz: Kongo Prophet

    Dona Beatriz claimed to be possessed by the spirit of Saint Anthony, who addressed the kingdom’s problems through her.

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  • Donatello (ca. 1386–1466)

    The powerful expressivity of his art made him the greatest sculptor of the early Renaissance.

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  • Drawing in the Middle Ages

    The study of medieval drawings requires that we both expand and rethink our notion of what a drawing is and how it might be used.

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  • Dress Rehearsal: The Origins of the Costume Institute

    The Museum of Costume Art established a pattern of collecting that continues to inform The Costume Institute’s acquisitions program to this day.

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  • Dressing for the Cocktail Hour

    Christian Dior was the first to name the early evening frock a “cocktail” dress in the late 1940s, and in doing so allowed magazines, department stores, and rival Parisian and American designers to promote fashion with cocktail-specific terminology.

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  • Dualism in Andean Art

    Subtly or clearly expressed in art, opposite doubles and mirror images reflect the ancient heritage of symbolic dualism in the ideologies, world visions, and social structures of Andean people.

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  • Duncan Phyfe (1770–1854) and Charles-Honoré Lannuier (1779–1819)

    In addition to standing among the most prominent craftsmen of their era, Phyfe and Lannuier have become two of the most recognized names in the field of American decorative art scholarship.

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  • Dutch and Flemish Artists in Rome, 1500–1600

    Rome’s principal attractions were its classical ruins, works by contemporary masters like Raphael and Michelangelo, and patronage from local aristocracy and the Roman Catholic Church.

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  • Eagles After the American Revolution

    Today, the eagle remains one of the most prevalent symbols of the nation.

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  • Early Cycladic Art and Culture

    Early Cycladic sculpture comprises predominantly female figures that range from simple modification of the stone to developed representations of the human form, some with natural proportions and some more idealized.

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  • Early Documentary Photography

    Photographers used its growing influence to expose society’s evils, which the prosperous, self-indulgent Belle Époque chose to ignore: the degrading conditions of workers in big-city slums, the barbarism of child labor, the terrorism of lynching, the devastation of war.

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  • Early Dynastic Sculpture, 2900–2350 B.C.

    These [Early Dynastic] statues embodied the very essence of the worshipper so that the spirit would be present when the physical body was not.

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  • Early Histories of Photography in West Africa (1860–1910)

    African patrons and entrepreneurs quickly picked up the new technology, which circulated and flourished through local and global networks of exchange. Photographers, clients, and images moved across the region often traversing both national and ethnic boundaries.

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  • Early Maori Wood Carvings

    Examples of ancient Maori wood sculpture are rare but a number survive, due, in part, to the practice of hiding valuable carvings by immersing them in swamps during times of unrest.

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  • Early Modernists and Indian Traditions

    Early modernist artists used a variety of approaches to negotiate between the need to create a national style and a desire to develop personal modes of expression.

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  • Early Netherlandish Painting

    Whether they were made as objects for veneration, as records of human existence in a certain time and place, or as adornments for private dwellings or public sites, early Netherlandish paintings reveal the pursuit of a common goal—to make the painted image vividly present and to render the unseen palpable.

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  • Early Qur’ans (Eighth–Early Thirteenth Centuries)

    While early single-volume Qur’ans were often large and even monumental for use in recitations, others were miniature in scale and may have been used as talismans.

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  • East and West: Chinese Export Porcelain

    The porcelains were often stored at the lowest level of the ships, both to provide ballast and because they were impervious to water.

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  • East Asian Cultural Exchange in Tiger and Dragon Paintings

    The strong religious associations of tiger and dragon motifs contributed to their popularity in the fine and decorative arts throughout China, Japan, and Korea.

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  • Easter Island

    The most recognizable art forms from Easter Island are its colossal stone figures, or moai, images of ancestral chiefs whose supernatural power protected the community.

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  • Eastern Religions in the Roman World

    The Roman pantheon presented a wide range of cults and gods with different functions, but foreign cults promised something different, something the traditional Roman cults could not-change, both in everyday life and even, at times, in the afterlife.

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  • Ebla in the Third Millennium B.C.

    The sculpture and the royal archive were preserved by chance when Ebla was attacked and the palace contents were buried under the building’s rubble.

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  • Edgar Degas (1834–1917): Bronze Sculpture

    His sculpture remained a private medium, akin to sketches or drawings, in which Degas, limiting himself to a small range of subjects, explored the problems that fascinated him.

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  • Edgar Degas (1834–1917): Painting and Drawing

    Unusual vantage points and asymmetrical framing are a consistent theme throughout Degas’s works.

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  • Edo-Period Japanese Porcelain

    The porcelain the Dutch brought to Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was some of the first Japanese art to which Europeans were exposed.

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  • Édouard Baldus (1813–1889)

    In ten years, Baldus established the model for photographic representation in genres that barely existed before him.

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  • Édouard Manet (1832–1883)

    Despite his efforts, Manet’s modern scenes remained a target of criticism.

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  • Edward Hopper (1882–1967)

    Hopper sought and explored his chosen themes: the tensions between individuals (particularly men and women), the conflict between tradition and progress in both rural and urban settings, and the moods evoked by various times of day.

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  • Edward J. Steichen (1879–1973): The Photo-Secession Years

    Steichen’s embrace of editorial and commercial photography in his own work—to Stieglitz’s mind, nothing less than apostasy—drove a still greater wedge between the former mentor and protégé.

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  • Edward Lycett (1833–1910)

    Lycett’s artistic talent and entrepreneurial skill fueled the dramatic upward trajectory of his success and distinguish his story from those of many industrious immigrants to the land of opportunity.

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  • Egypt in the Late Period (ca. 712–332 B.C.)

    During the Late Period, the reemergence of a centralized royal tradition that interacted with the relatively decentralized network inherited from the Third Intermediate Period created a rich artistic atmosphere.

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  • Egypt in the Middle Kingdom (2030–1640 B.C.)

    The Middle Kingdom (mid-Dynasty 11–Dynasty 13, ca. 2030–1640 B.C.) began when Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II reunited Upper and Lower Egypt, setting the stage for a second great flowering of Egyptian culture.

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  • Egypt in the New Kingdom (ca. 1550–1070 B.C.)

    The pharaohs built their mortuary temples [in Thebes] and were buried in huge rock-cut tombs decorated with finely executed paintings or painted reliefs illustrating religious texts concerned with the afterlife.

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  • Egypt in the Old Kingdom (ca. 2649–2150 B.C.)

    Although much of their artistic effort was centered on preserving life after death, Egyptians also surrounded themselves with beautiful objects to enhance their lives in this world.

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  • Egypt in the Ptolemaic Period

    Examining Egyptian art during these 300 years reveals strong continuities in its traditions but also interactions with Greek art, whose forms and styles swept the world with Alexander’s armies.

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  • Egypt in the Third Intermediate Period (1070–712 B.C.)

    Relatively little building took place during the Third Intermediate Period, but the creation of stylistically and technologically innovative bronze and precious temple statuary of gods, kings, and great temple officials flourished.

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  • Egyptian Amulets

    In ancient Egypt, amulets might be carried, used in necklaces, bracelets, or rings, and—especially—placed among a mummy’s bandages to ensure the deceased a safe, healthy, and productive afterlife.

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  • Egyptian Modern Art

    The first generation of modern Egyptian artists was driven by a renewed appreciation of their national patrimony and the return to ancient pharaonic art detached from any African, Arab, or religious cultural references.

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  • Egyptian Red Gold

    Alfred Lucas, one of the foremost early researchers in the study of ancient Egyptian technology, correctly surmised that the vast majority of such colorations resulted from fortuitous tarnishing of silver-bearing gold and also recognized correctly that a smaller group of objects bearing a distinctly different red coloration represented another phenomenon altogether.

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  • Egyptian Revival

    The vocabulary of ancient Egyptian art would be interpreted and adapted in different ways depending on the standards and motivations of the time.

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  • Egyptian Tombs: Life Along the Nile

    Tombs provide us with invaluable information about the lives of the ancient Egyptians.

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  • The Eighteenth Century: From Geometric to Informal Gardens

    This growing vogue for the Orient resulted in the chinoiserie garden style, usually expressed by adding Chinese structures to the garden.

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  • Eighteenth-Century European Dress

    Dress of the eighteenth century is not without anachronisms and exoticisms of its own, but that singular, changing, revolutionizing century has become an icon in the history of fashion.

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  • The Eighteenth-Century Pastel Portrait

    By the eighteenth century, color, not line, became dominant as pastels moved aesthetically closer to painting.

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  • Eighteenth-Century Silhouette and Support

    Although the iconic silhouette of the eighteenth century is that of the rectangularly panniered, conically corseted court dress, a simpler line of dress launched the era.

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  • Eighteenth-Century Women Painters in France

    Although many critics applauded their new prominence, others lamented the immodesty of women who would display their skills so publicly.

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  • El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (1541–1614)

    No other great Western artist moved mentally—as El Greco did—from the flat symbolic world of Byzantine icons to the world-embracing, humanistic vision of Renaissance painting, and then on to a predominantly conceptual kind of art.

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  • Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842)

    [Vigée Le Brun] contributed more than fifty pictures [to the Salon] and had reached the high point of her career when, after the march on Versailles, she fled the French Revolution.

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  • Elizabethan England

    Elizabeth I’s admiration for the arts, along with England’s economic buoyancy during her reign, provided ripe conditions for the production of enduring hallmarks in the visual, decorative, and performing arts.

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  • Elsa Schiaparelli (1890–1973)

    While her contemporaries Gabrielle Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet set the period’s standards of taste and beauty in fashion design, Schiaparelli flouted convention in the pursuit of a more idiosyncratic style.

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  • Empire Style, 1800–1815

    Revolutionary conquests were echoed in the fine and decorative arts, in which figures of Fame and Victory abounded.

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  • The Empires of the Western Sudan

    Strategically located between southern gold-producing regions and Saharan salt mines like Taghaza, the kingdoms of the western Sudan were well positioned to amass great wealth through the taxation of imports and exports.

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  • The Empires of the Western Sudan: Ghana Empire

    The legacy [of Ghana (Wagadu)] is still celebrated in the name of the Republic of Ghana; apart from this, however, modern-day and ancient Ghana share no direct historical connections.

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  • The Empires of the Western Sudan: Mali Empire

    The Mali empire extended over an area larger than western Europe and consisted of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces.

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  • The Empires of the Western Sudan: Songhai Empire

    Under the Askias, the Songhai empire reached its zenith, Timbuktu and Jenne flourished as centers of Islamic learning, and Islam was actively promoted.

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  • Enameled and Gilded Glass from Islamic Lands

    The numerous enameled and gilded objects that have survived intact demonstrate that such vessels were highly prized and probably used for special occasions.

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  • English Embroidery of the Late Tudor and Stuart Eras

    While this skill is traditionally associated with femininity and the education of young girls, it was in fact practiced by both men and women, children and adults, paid professionals and talented amateurs.

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  • English Pattern Books in Eighteenth-Century America

    The books ran the gamut from princely folio size to pocket handbook, but most were modest volumes intended to guide tradesmen in constructing fashionable furniture.

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  • English Silver, 1600–1800

    From James I to George III, silver styles reflected the policies and aesthetic preferences of the sovereign.

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  • Epic of Creation (Mesopotamia)

    In Mesopotamia, the surviving evidence from the third millennium to the end of the first millennium B.C. indicates that although many of the gods were associated with natural forces, no single myth addressed issues of initial creation.

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  • Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) and Art

    Painters and their works were integral to Hemingway’s learning to see, to hear, and to feel or not feel.

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  • Ernst Emil Herzfeld (1879–1948) in Persepolis

    Along with his studies at the Islamic city of Samarra, [Herzfeld’s] research at Persepolis is the best known work of his career.

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  • Ernst Emil Herzfeld (1879–1948) in Samarra

    Herzfeld’s work at Samarra effectively established the field of Islamic archaeology and played a seminal role in expanding the field of Islamic studies and art history generally.

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  • Etching in Eighteenth-Century France: Artists and Amateurs

    Etching offered students the ability to replicate their own paintings and thus build, from afar, their reputations at home.

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  • The Etching Revival in Nineteenth-Century France

    The etching revival inspired an interest in the medium that was sustained throughout the rest of the nineteenth century in France.

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  • Ethiopia’s Enduring Cultural Heritage

    The most impressive surviving evidence of Ethiopia’s artistic past is its stone monuments.

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  • Ethiopian Healing Scrolls

    Images on scrolls are nonrepresentational talismanic designs that reveal mysteries and enhance the effectiveness of written prayers.

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  • Etruscan Art

    While some 13,000 Etruscan texts exist, most of these are very short. Consequently, much of what we know about the Etruscans comes not from historical evidence, but from their art and the archaeological record.

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  • Etruscan Language and Inscriptions

    We have no surviving histories or literature in Etruscan, and the only extant writing that can be considered a text, as opposed to an inscription, was painted in ink on linen, preserved through the fortuitous reuse of the linen as wrappings for an Egyptian mummy.

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  • Eugène Atget (1857–1927)

    [Atget] became obsessed with making what he modestly called “documents” of the city and its environs, and compiling a visual compendium of the architecture, landscape, and artifacts that distinguish French culture and its history.

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  • Europe and the Age of Exploration

    In addition to the discovery and colonization of far off lands, these years were filled with pronounced advancements in cartography and navigational instruments, along with other advances in the study of anatomy and optics.

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  • Europe and the Islamic World, 1600–1800

    As the Europeans were introduced to many new kinds of textiles, carpets, spices, and clothing, so too was the Islamic world enriched.

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  • European Clocks in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

    The adoption of the pendulum in the seventeenth century radically changed the European clock.

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  • European Exploration of the Pacific, 1600–1800

    Much of the European exploration of the Pacific was inspired by two obsessions, the search for the fastest routes to the spice-rich islands of the Moluccas as well as the theory that somewhere in the South Pacific lay a vast undiscovered southern continent.

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  • European Revivalism

    The nineteenth century was marked by an array of revival styles ranging from the classicism of Greece and Rome to the Renaissance and the later Rococo and Neoclassical styles.

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  • European Tapestry Production and Patronage, 1400–1600

    The process of tapestry weaving, where every stitch is placed by hand, enabled the creation of complex figurative images on an enormous scale.

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  • European Tapestry Production and Patronage, 1600–1800

    Lacking the traditions of commercial production and established markets that supported the continued growth and vitality of the Netherlandish and French industries, manufactories like the Medici, Mortlake, and Barberini workshops were dependent on the fortune of their founding patrons.

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  • Exchange of Art and Ideas: The Benin, Owo, and Ijebu Kingdoms

    Royal pendants and masquettes, openwork bracelets, and altar sculpture are some of the art forms that found broad dissemination and usage within this region.

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  • Exoticism in the Decorative Arts

    Like Orientalist subjects in nineteenth-century painting, exoticism in the decorative arts and interior decoration was associated with fantasies of opulence and “barbaric splendour.”

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  • Extravagant Monstrosities: Gold- and Silversmith Designs in the Auricular Style

    The organic shapes, in particular, suggest that anatomical study and dissection played a significant part in the development of the characteristic idiom of the Auricular Style.

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  • Eynan/Ain Mallaha (10,000–8200 B.C.)

    Natufian art, while it follows some of the same representational conventions of the European Paleolithic in its naturalistic and sensitive portrayal of animals, reflects a new awareness of individual identity and social life.

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  • Fabricating Sixteenth-Century Netherlandish Boxwood Miniatures

    Undoubtedly, the viewer’s first response upon opening the prayer beads and miniature altarpieces must have been a sense of wonder, soon followed by a keen desire to understand how and by whom these extraordinary and delightful objects were made.

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  • The Face in Medieval Sculpture

    The image of the head or face can have the capacity to instruct, but in certain forms it can possess a special power to protect, to heal, or even do harm.

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  • Famous Makers and European Centers of Arms and Armor Production

    Critical factors in the establishment and success of any such center were proximity to water (which would provide energy as well as transport routes) and the availability of metal either from nearby natural supplies or through trade.

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  • Fashion in European Armor

    Armor was subject not only to technical advances but also to changes in taste as well as aesthetic and artistic expression within each period of its development.

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  • Fashion in European Armor, 1000–1300

    The equipment and appearance of twelfth- and early thirteenth-century knights and men-at-arms from England would have differed little from those of their French, German, or Italian counterparts.

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  • Fashion in European Armor, 1300–1400

    In terms of the technical development of European armor, the fourteenth century is often referred to as the “age of experimentation.”

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  • Fashion in European Armor, 1400–1500

    It is during the fifteenth century that certain characteristics in form, construction, and decoration can be seen, which are typical for different regions of Europe.

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  • Fashion in European Armor, 1500–1600

    From the beginning of the sixteenth century onward, and at first in addition to the decorative ridges and grooves, armor began to be adorned more and more frequently with etched decoration.

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  • Fashion in European Armor, 1600–1700

    The growing demand to fit out large standing armies with armor at low cost (and, consequently, low quality) drastically curbed the influence fashion had on armor.

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  • Fashion in Safavid Iran

    Safavid dress is characterized by innovative color combinations, distinctive figural motifs on fabrics, and rich texture due to the extensive use of gold- and silver-wrapped threads. The resulting overall ensemble of garments created an opulent and elegant look for both men and women.

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  • Fauvism

    The Fauve painters were the first to break with Impressionism as well as with older, traditional methods of perception.

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  • Fell’s Cave (9000–8000 B.C.)

    Fell’s Cave, a rock shelter in the valley of the Río Chico not far from the Strait of Magellan, was initially occupied by hunters around 10,000 B.C. who left behind an impressive layer of refuse.

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  • Feudalism and Knights in Medieval Europe

    Despite the knights’ gradual loss of military importance, the system by which noble families were identified, called heraldry, continued to flourish and became more complex.

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  • Figural Representation in Islamic Art

    As with other forms of Islamic ornamentation, artists freely adapted and stylized basic human and animal forms, giving rise to a great variety of figural-based designs.

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  • Filippino Lippi (ca. 1457–1504)

    Filippino’s style as a painter and draftsman was marked by animated form and line, as well as a rather warm colorism.

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  • Fire Gilding of Arms and Armor

    The gilt surface must be polished and burnished, but when complete it is bright and lustrous, a fitting decoration for masterwork arms and armor.

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  • The Five Wares of South Italian Vase Painting

    South Italian wares, unlike Attic, were not widely exported and seem to have been intended solely for local consumption.

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  • The Flavian Dynasty (69–96)

    [The Flavians] restored stability to Rome following the reign of Nero (r. 54–68 A.D.) and the civil wars that had wreaked havoc on the empire, and particularly on Italy itself.

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  • Flemish Harpsichords and Virginals

    Under the influence of Joannes and Andreas Ruckers I, in the seventeenth century Antwerp reached its peak of production and began producing more uniform instruments.

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  • Flood Stories

    Mesopotamian versions of the flood story may have had their beginnings in the annual spring flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

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  • Folios from the Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings)

    The Shahnama, with its rich detailing of the largely lost material culture of the Mongol court, presents a view of the contemporary Ilkhanid world, transforming a popular text into a splendid visual document of the period.

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  • Folios from the Jami’ al-tavarikh (Compendium of Chronicles)

    The paintings draw upon a wide range of sources, including pre-Mongol Persian and Arabic texts, Chinese handscrolls and woodblock illustrations, and Byzantine religious and historical manuscripts.

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  • Fontainebleau

    A revealing sensuousness in the nude figure, largely absent in French art before this time, evolved at Fontainebleau.

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  • Food and Drink in European Painting, 1400–1800

    In the fifteenth century, artists took increasing inspiration from the culture of antiquity and from the natural world, and began to depict objects such as fruits, sweets, and wine vessels, as well as flora and fauna, in both devotional and secular images.

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  • Foundations of Aksumite Civilization and Its Christian Legacy (First–Seventh Centuries)

    Ethiopia’s rich and unique artistic heritage is the product of a series of transcontinental cultural exchanges whose beginnings can be traced back as far as the late first millennium B.C.

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  • Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro) (ca. 1395–1455)

    His life and work have been celebrated for centuries, yet only recently has Fra Angelico’s fundamental importance in the development of European painting been fully appreciated.

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  • Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) and the Spanish Enlightenment

    Over the course of his long career, Goya moved from jolly and lighthearted to deeply pessimistic and searching in his paintings, drawings, etchings, and frescoes.

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  • François Boucher (1703–1770)

    Boucher’s most original contribution to Rococo painting was his reinvention of the pastoral, a form of idealized landscape populated by shepherds and shepherdesses in silk dress, enacting scenes of erotic and sentimental love.

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  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959)

    His abiding feeling for the land and his belief in man’s need for a direct relationship with nature were essential to his concept of an “organic architecture.”

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  • Frans Hals (1582/83–1666)

    Hals’ portraits suggest friendliness, preoccupation, or reserve, without giving away much about the person.

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  • Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)

    Though Church had rarely shared his teacher’s taste for explicit moral and religious allegory in landscape art, he often disclosed both his patriotism and his piety.

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  • Frederic Remington (1861–1909)

    As Theodore Roosevelt observed of Remington […]: “He is, of course, one of the most typical American artists we have ever had, and he has portrayed a most characteristic and yet vanishing type of American life.”

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  • Frederick William MacMonnies (1863–1937)

    Although most of MacMonnies’ works were conceived to be cast in bronze, the artist employed various media to achieve his creative goals.

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  • The French Academy in Rome

    The classical ideal propagated at the Academy was complemented by the influence of contemporary art in Rome and the city’s thriving artistic community.

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  • French Art Deco

    During the Art Deco period there was a fairly wide acceptance by the consumer public of many of the ideas put forth by avant-garde painters and sculptors, especially as they were adapted by designers and applied to fashionable luxury objects that encapsulated the sophisticated tastes of the times.

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  • French Art Pottery

    Considered the father of French art pottery, Ernest Chaplet (1835–1909) played an influential role in nearly all genres of the movement.

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  • French Decorative Arts during the Reign of Louis XIV (1654–1715)

    In the still small but gay and colorful pavilion devised by Le Vau, now his favorite architect, the young sovereign surrounded himself with sensuous Italian or Flemish cabinets.

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  • French Faience

    Faience, or tin-glazed and enameled earthenware, first emerged in France during the sixteenth century, reaching widespread usage among elite patrons during the seventeenth and early eighteenth century, prior to the establishment of soft-paste porcelain factories.

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  • French Furniture in the Eighteenth Century: Case Furniture

    One of the most gifted and successful cabinetmakers of the second half of the eighteenth century, Riesener was the favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette.

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  • French Furniture in the Eighteenth Century: Seat Furniture

    Since only the menuisier was obliged to sign his work, the names of the other craftsmen are, unfortunately, rarely known.

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  • French Porcelain in the Eighteenth Century

    The soft-paste porcelain factory founded at Vincennes in about 1740 was to dominate not only the French ceramic industry, but also the entirety of European ceramics for the second half of the eighteenth century.

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  • French Silver in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

    Silver has always held an exalted position within the decorative arts.

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  • Frescoes and Wall Painting in Late Byzantine Art

    Fresco painting from the later Byzantine period reveals much about the mobility of artistic techniques and styles.

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  • From Italy to France: Gardens in the Court of Louis XIV and After

    From Austria in the South, to Sweden and Russia in the North, French gardens became the model for garden design.

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  • From Model to Monument: American Public Sculpture, 1865–1915

    Throughout the ages, public sculptures have served as didactic tools, offering moral, patriotic, and cultural instruction. Symbols of pride, they have proclaimed cities as tastemakers in civic and aesthetic matters.

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  • The Fulani/Fulbe People

    Scholars specializing in Fulani culture believe that some of the imagery depicts rituals that are still practiced by contemporary Fulani people.

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  • The Function of Armor in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

    All armor, whether used in warfare, tournaments, or parades, once had a “working lifetime.” Often these objects have been subjected, literally, to extreme “wear and tear.” Therefore, no matter how well armor may be displayed in museums today, its original use and function can be difficult to convey.

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  • Funerary Vases in Southern Italy and Sicily

    Liquid libations offered to the dead were poured through the containers into the soil containing the deceased’s remains.

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  • Furnishings during the Reign of Louis XIV (1654–1715)

    The king favored carved and gilded wood furniture and commissioned a broad range of objects in solid silver that included tall candlestands, massive tables, benches and stools, chandeliers, and mirror frames.

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  • Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel (1883–1971) and the House of Chanel

    Chanel succeeded in packaging and marketing her own personal attitudes and style, making her a key arbiter of women’s taste throughout the twentieth century.

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  • Gandhara

    Synthesis of foreign styles with Indian forms is typical of the multi-ethnic character of Gandharan taste.

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  • Gardens in the French Renaissance

    Gardens played many roles in French society—and thus found increasing representations in art—as places for relaxation, for music and dance, for poetry and learning, for horticulture, as symbolic spaces for myth and allegory, and finally as decorative motifs.

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  • Gardens of Western Europe, 1600–1800

    Seventeenth-century explorations of the world seas and subsequent advances in natural history and botanical sciences directly affected the appearance of gardens.

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  • Genre Painting in Northern Europe

    A large facet of a genre scene’s appeal was the opportunity it afforded to gaze into a private interior and to identify with the values expressed by the subject.

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  • Geometric Abstraction

    Geometric abstraction, through the Cubist process of purifying art of the vestiges of visual reality, focused on the inherent two-dimensional features of painting.

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  • Geometric and Archaic Cyprus

    The most important development on Cyprus between about 1200 and 1050 B.C. was the arrival of successive waves of immigrants from the Greek mainland. These newcomers brought with them, and perpetuated, Mycenaean customs of burial, dress, pottery, production, and warfare.

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  • Geometric Art in Ancient Greece

    Geometric Greece experienced a cultural revival of its historical past through epic poetry and the visual arts.

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  • Geometric Patterns in Islamic Art

    These abstract designs not only adorn the surfaces of monumental Islamic architecture but also function as the major decorative element on a vast array of objects of all types.

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  • George Inness (1825–1894)

    Inness distinguished himself from the Hudson River School in the profound degree to which philosophical and spiritual ideas inspired his work. Ultimately, he became the leading American artist-philosopher of his generation.

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  • George Washington: Man, Myth, Monument

    Over the course of the nineteenth century, American and European popular culture elaborated on Washington’s iconic persona and adapted it to patriotic and sentimental purposes.

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  • Georges Seurat (1859–1891) and Neo-Impressionism

    Artists of the Neo-Impressionist circle renounced the random spontaneity of Impressionism in favor of a measured painting technique grounded in science and the study of optics.

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  • Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986)

    With exceptionally keen powers of observation and great finesse with a paintbrush, [Georgia O’Keeffe] recorded subtle nuances of color, shape, and light that enlivened her paintings and attracted a wide audience.

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  • Gerard David (born about 1455, died 1523)

    David worked in a progressive, even enterprising, mode, casting off his late medieval heritage and proceeding with a certain purity of vision in an age of transition.

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  • German and Austrian Porcelain in the Eighteenth Century

    In 1709 an alchemist named Johann Friedrich Böttger discovered the materials required to produce a white, translucent, high-fired porcelain body, and this discovery was to have profound consequences for the entire European ceramic industry.

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  • The Ghent Altarpiece

    The [Ghent Altarpiece] stands on its own as a visual account of the redemptive mysteries of the Catholic faith, beginning with the incarnation of Christ at the moment of the Annunciation represented on the exterior.

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  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680)

    Forging a path for future artists, [Bernini] played an instrumental role in establishing the dramatic and eloquent vocabulary of the Baroque style.

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  • Gilbert Stuart (1755–1828)

    [Stuart] knew well the conventions of portraiture, easily rendered the attributes of gentility and affluence, and succeeded time and again in executing portraits that fulfilled in pictorial terms the wishes and desires of his sitters.

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  • Gilgamesh

    No contemporary information is known about Gilgamesh, who, if he was in fact an historical person, would have lived around 2700 B.C.

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  • Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778)

    One of the greatest printmakers of the eighteenth century, Piranesi always considered himself an architect.

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  • Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)

    In [Tiepolo’s] hands, the informal oil sketch was raised to a primary art form, worthy to be collected alongside his finished paintings.

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  • Glass from Islamic Lands

    In the field of Islamic art, glass is a craft that often rose to excellence but has been largely overlooked by art historians.

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  • Glass Ornaments in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (ca. 500–1000)

    Combined with other sumptuous materials such as wood, marble, and other decorative stones, these glass ornaments transformed the interiors of churches, mosques, palaces, and shrines.

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  • Glass with Mold-Blown Decoration from Islamic Lands

    Since their introduction by the Romans in the early first century A.D., molds have been used continuously and remain one of the most common tools of the glassmaker.

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  • The Gods and Goddesses of Canaan

    Although there existed no single state theology, the major gods reflect local geographical concerns about the fertility of the earth and the importance of water as well as relationships to the sky and the underworld.

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  • Gold in Ancient Egypt

    Although gold as a commodity appears to have been largely controlled by the king, Egyptians of less than royal status also owned gold jewelry.

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  • Gold in Asante Courtly Arts

    Cast gold ornaments exhibiting imagery of political and martial supremacy dangled from sword hilts and scabbards enhanced the prestige of those who wore them.

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  • Gold of the Indies

    During the earliest years of European expansion onto the American continents, the search for gold was one of the driving factors in the exploration and colonization of the vast lands.

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  • The Golden Age of French Furniture in the Eighteenth Century

    French furniture of this period was the collaborative effort of various artists and craftsmen who worked according to strictly enforced guild regulations.

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  • The Golden Harpsichord of Michele Todini (1616–1690)

    Todini is best known for constructing the complex musical mechanisms that he displayed in his Galleria Armonica e Matematica in Rome, one of the first museums of musical instruments.

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  • Golden Treasures: The Royal Tombs of Silla

    From the time of their construction, these tombs have stood as symbols of political authority and cultural grandeur.

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  • Goryeo Celadon

    The term celadon is thought to derive from the name of the hero in a seventeenth-century French pastoral comedy.

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  • Gothic Art

    With growing assurance, architects in northern France, and soon all over Europe, competed in a race to conquer height.

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  • The Grand Tour

    The Grand Tour gave concrete form to Northern Europeans’ ideas about the Greco-Roman world and helped foster Neoclassical ideals.

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  • The Graphic Art of Max Klinger

    Among the most prolific and creative printmakers of his era, the German artist Max Klinger (1857–1920) revived printmaking in his native country at a time when it struggled to overcome industrial connotations.

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  • Great Plains Indians Musical Instruments

    While other instruments, such as whistles and rattles, can be used to augment the music of the Great Plains, the drum most often accompanies the human voice.

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  • Great Serpent Mound

    Effigy mounds, earthworks in the shape of animals and birds, were raised in North America in areas that now correspond to parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and Ohio.

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  • Great Zimbabwe (Eleventh–Fifteenth Centuries)

    Enormous walls are the best-preserved testaments of Great Zimbabwe’s past and the largest example of an architectural type seen in archaeological sites throughout the region.

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  • The Greater Ottoman Empire, 1600–1800

    As the largest city in western Asia or Europe, Istanbul was the natural center of this commerce.

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  • Greek Art in the Archaic Period

    Greek artists rapidly assimilated foreign styles and motifs into new portrayals of their own myths and customs, thereby forging the foundations of Archaic and Classical Greek art.

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  • Greek Gods and Religious Practices

    Ancient Greek religious practice, essentially conservative in nature, was based on time-honored observances, many rooted in the Bronze Age (3000–1050 B.C.), or even earlier.

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  • Greek Hydriai (Water Jars) and their Artistic Decoration

    Of all the Greek vase shapes, the hydria probably received the most artistically significant treatment in terracotta and in bronze.

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  • The Greek Key and Divine Attributes in Modern Dress

    Over time, reductive simplicity emerged as a way of conveying an aura of the antique, a strategy that was further developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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  • Greek Terracotta Figurines with Articulated Limbs

    The vast majority of [the figurines with articulated limbs] have suspension holes on top of their heads; the dangling arms and legs were in motion when the figurines were shaken or hung.

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  • Group f/64

    The name [“f/64”] referred to the smallest aperture available in large-format view cameras at the time and it signaled the group’s conviction that photographs should celebrate rather than disguise the medium’s unrivaled capacity to present the world “as it is.”

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  • The Guitar

    The vihuela and guitar existed simultaneously until the seventeenth century, when the popularity of the guitar superseded the vihuela.

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  • Gustave Courbet (1819–1877)

    Through his powerful realism, Courbet became a pioneering figure in the history of modernism.

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  • Gustave Le Gray (1820–1884)

    In the 1852 edition of his treatise, Le Gray wrote: “It is my deepest wish that photography, instead of falling within the domain of industry, of commerce, will be included among the arts.”

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  • Hagia Sophia, 532–37

    This central dome was often interpreted by contemporary commentators as the dome of heaven itself.

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  • The Halaf Period (6500–5500 B.C.)

    The Halaf potters used different sources of clay from their neighbors and achieved outstanding elaboration and elegance of design with their superior quality ware.

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  • Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–220 A.D.)

    China was reunited under the rule of the Han dynasty.

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  • Harry Burton (1879–1940): The Pharaoh’s Photographer

    Far more than dry scientific records, Burton’s photographs also inspire a sense of wonder because of his ability to tell a story.

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  • Hasanlu in the Iron Age

    The remains discovered at Hasanlu demonstrate that it was a major local center of commerce and artistic production with close ties to other political and creative centers of the Near East during the early first millennium B.C.

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  • Haute Couture

    Couture has long stood as the modern equilibrium between the garment as exquisite aggregate and the burgeoning notions of fashion as a system.

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  • Heian Period (794–1185)

    Fujiwara courtiers encouraged an aura of courtly sophistication and sensitivity in all of their activities, including the visual and literary arts, and even religious practice.

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  • Hellenistic and Roman Cyprus

    The wealth of its natural resources and its strategic position on the principal maritime route linking Greece and the Aegean with the Levant and Egypt made Cyprus a major prize for the warring Hellenistic rulers.

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  • Hellenistic Jewelry

    A wide variety of jewelry types were produced in the Hellenistic period-earrings, necklaces, pendants, pins, bracelets, armbands, thigh bands, finger rings, wreaths, diadems, and other elaborate hair ornaments.

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  • Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617)

    One of the most important engravers and print publishers of his time, [Hendrick Goltzius] is most widely known today for the Mannerist engravings that he and his workshop produced during the period between 1585 and 1589.

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  • Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004)

    To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which gave that event its proper expression.

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  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)

    An aristocratic, alcoholic dwarf known for his louche lifestyle, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created art that was inseparable from his legendary life.

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  • Henri Matisse (1869–1954)

    Initially trained as a lawyer, Matisse developed an interest in art only at age twenty-one.

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  • Henry Kirke Brown (1814–1886), John Quincy Adams Ward (1830–1910), and Realism in American Sculpture

    Together [Brown and Ward] redefined American sculpture in their choice of aesthetics, subjects, and materials.

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  • Heroes in Italian Mythological Prints

    Just as the emperor Augustus had claimed descent from Aeneas, a son of Venus, so many Italian princes traced their ancestry to the participants in the Trojan War or sought to equate their own accomplishments with the deeds of these heroes.

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  • Hinduism and Hindu Art

    Although a Hindu temple is dedicated to the glory of a deity and is aimed at helping the devotee toward moksha, its walls might justifiably contain sculptures that reflect the other three goals of life.

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  • Hiram Powers (1805–1873)

    Among the most influential and best-known American sculptors of the nineteenth century, Hiram Powers enjoyed international recognition for marbles executed in the prevailing Neoclassical style.

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  • The Hittites

    The reasons for the rapid disappearance of the Hittites, who had dominated Anatolia for centuries, remain unexplained.

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  • The Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburgs, 1400–1600

    From the time of Otto’s coronation until the official dissolution of the empire in 1806, the imperial title was held almost exclusively by German monarchs and, for nearly four centuries, by members of a single family.

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  • Hopewell (1–400 A.D.)

    Flourishing centers with enormous earthworks in geometric shapes as varied as octagons, trapezoids, and ellipses were present in the southern Ohio region of Hopewell.

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  • Horse Armor in Europe

    Mankind has used animals such as onagers (wild donkeys), horses, camels, elephants, and dogs in conflicts for thousands of years, but no other animal has been employed so widely and continuously and was at times so comprehensively protected as the horse.

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  • Hot-worked Glass from Islamic Lands

    The objects produced in the hot-worked technique range widely in place of origin, from Egypt to Central Asia, and in time, from the early Islamic period in the seventh century to the thirteenth.

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  • The Housemistress in New Kingdom Egypt: Hatnefer

    When we consider that she lived in the middle of the second millennium B.C., Hatnefer was fortunate to have been born into a culture that recognized a woman as an individual, not merely as the possession of her male relatives.

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  • How Medieval and Renaissance Tapestries Were Made

    In European medieval and Renaissance practice, the design was invariably copied from a full-scale colored pattern, known as the cartoon, a practice that continues to this day.

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  • The Hudson River School

    Though the earliest references to the term “Hudson River School” in the 1870s were disparagingly aimed, the label has never been supplanted and fairly characterizes the artistic body, its New York headquarters, its landscape subject matter, and often literally its subject.

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  • Hungarian Silver

    Silver objects in an astonishing variety of shapes and sizes reflect the wide array of influences that artisans translated into a characteristic Hungarian/Transylvanian style.

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  • Icons and Iconoclasm in Byzantium

  • The Idea and Invention of the Villa

    Pliny’s retreats slipped into the landscape with terraced gardens and opened outward to natural surroundings through colonnades, or loggias, which replaced solid enclosing walls.

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  • Idia: The First Queen Mother of Benin

    Queen Mothers were viewed as instrumental to the protection and well-being of the oba and, by extension, the kingdom.

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  • Ife (from ca. Sixth Century)

    The discovery of Ife’s now famous naturalistic bronzes, terracottas, and stone sculptures challenged European assumptions about the nature of African art and initiated significant debates concerning the antiquity of its past.

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  • Ife Pre-Pavement and Pavement Era (800–1000 A.D.)

    The categories given to the distinct periods of ancient Ife’s artistic production center around the paving of the city’s courtyards and passageways with terracotta bricks sometime around 1000 A.D., marking the beginning of Ife’s Pavement period.

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  • Ife Terracottas (1000–1400 A.D.)

    Terracottas are usually associated with shrines but most of these pieces have been found in secondary sites where they have been integrated into contemporary ritual, making it difficult to know their original function.

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  • Igbo-Ukwu (ca. Ninth Century)

    It is possible that the inhabitants of Igbo-Ukwu had a metalworking art that flourished as early as the ninth century (though this date remains controversial).

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  • Images of Antiquity in Limoges Enamels in the French Renaissance

    While religious themes had dominated Limoges enamels in the Middle Ages and continued to cover the surfaces of Limoges plaques particularly in the first third of the sixteenth century, images of Greek and Roman subjects predominated from the 1530s.

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  • Impressionism: Art and Modernity

    In addition to their radical technique, the bright colors of Impressionist canvases were shocking for eyes accustomed to the more sober colors of Academic painting.

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  • In Pursuit of White: Porcelain in the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910

    Color is not entirely eschewed in Joseon white ware. On the contrary, white ware painted with cobalt blue was highly prized, perhaps even more than undecorated white ware.

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  • Indian Knoll (3000–2000 B.C.)

    The burials [found in the Indian Knoll mound] were of individuals, not groups, and included men, women, children, and dogs. Many held gender-specific objects.

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  • Indian Textiles: Trade and Production

    The popularity of Indian textiles is evidenced in the number of words that have made their way into English: calico, pajama, gingham, dungaree, chintz, and khaki.

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  • Industrialization and Conflict in America: 1840–1875

    The rapid shift from an agrarian to industrial economy and the growth of the business sector, with their attendant social and economic dislocations, spurred the development of a powerful ideology in which private and public spheres were considered antithetical.

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  • The Industrialization of French Photography after 1860

    Within a quarter-century of its birth, photography had established a ubiquitous presence in society.

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  • Inland Niger Delta

    Abandoned by 1400, Jenne-jeno left behind tells (settlement mounds) containing the remains of a once-thriving city, including funerary pots and a multitude of buried statuary.

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  • Intellectual Pursuits of the Hellenistic Age

    In addition to philosophy, students engaged in rhetoric (the art of public speaking), mathematics, physics, botany, zoology, religion, music, politics, economics, and psychology.

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  • Intentional Alterations of Early Netherlandish Painting

    Occasionally, the close scrutiny of early Netherlandish paintings yields quite another finding—that portraits of figures, and sometimes figures in their entirety, were reworked or initially painted by a different hand.

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  • Interior Design in England, 1600–1800

    Increasing prosperity fueled demand for houses that were more comfortable and more elegant, while patrons grew more sophisticated, architects better esteemed, and craftsmen capable of realizing ever more ambitious designs.

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  • Interiors Imagined: Folding Screens, Garments, and Clothing Stands

    By recasting these screens as pictorialized versions of actual clothing stands laden with lavishly patterned garments, we can associate them more closely with interior furnishings and displays of wealth.

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  • International Pictorialism

    The controversy between the two aesthetic camps—those who insisted that photographs should not be altered […] and those who believed that such manual intervention was necessary […]—was continued in lively debates that clarified the aesthetic role of photography in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century art.

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  • Internationalism in the Tang Dynasty (618–906)

    The direct exchange of goods, such as textiles, metalware, and ceramics, inspired Tang craftsmen to experiment with novel techniques, shapes, and designs.

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  • Introduction to Prehistoric Art, 20,000–8000 B.C.

    The account of the origins of art is a very long one marked less by change than consistency.

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  • The Isin-Larsa and Old Babylonian Periods (2004–1595 B.C.)

    People of the ancient Near East inhabited a world that was saturated with supernatural powers, and the arts of the Isin-Larsa and Old Babylonian periods show the range of deities available to the individual as sources of protection and well-being.

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  • Islamic Arms and Armor

    Islamic arms and armor were often decorated with a wide variety of Qur’anic passages and pious invocations, which functioned as expressions of piety, as powerful defenses in the form of talismans, or simply as visually pleasing ornament.

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  • Islamic Art and Culture: the Venetian Perspective

    Venetian merchants and diplomats definitely developed a taste for Islamic ceramics, textiles, arms and armor, metalwork, and manuscripts and displayed them in their homes as works of art alongside objects from other periods and places.

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  • Islamic Art of the Deccan

    The art, poetry, and music of the Deccani courts were marked by an affinity for Persia; many rulers of this area were of Persian descent or were Shi’i and thus felt stronger ties to the west than to the Sunni rulers in northern India.

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  • Islamic Carpets in European Paintings

    From biblical times onward, the concept of having an expensive textile underfoot has been associated with wealth, power, and sanctity.

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  • Italian Painting of the Later Middle Ages

    With Giotto, the flat world of thirteenth-century Italian painting was transformed into an analogue for the real world, for which reason he is considered the father of modern European painting.

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  • Italian Porcelain in the Eighteenth Century

    The commedia dell’arte—a type of improvisational street theater—provided a seemingly limitless source of subjects for both porcelain modelers and painters in the eighteenth century.

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  • Italian Renaissance Frames

    Pictures have always been required to live unobtrusively among furnishings of a period not their own, and frames have always been the vehicle enabling them to do so.

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  • Ivory and Boxwood Carvings, 1450–1800

    Responsive to the cutting of fine detail, it enables carvers to achieve great artistic and emotional expressiveness in a highly compressed format.

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  • Ivory Carving in the Gothic Era, Thirteenth–Fifteenth Centuries

    Elephant tusks—exotic, rare, and characterized by a pearly lustrous surface, were prized in medieval Europe for carving into luxurious objects.

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  • Jacopo dal Ponte, called Bassano (ca. 1510–1592)

    Today, Bassano is recognized as the author of some of the most astonishing as well as original pictures of the sixteenth century: works that combine an acute attention to naturalistic detail with elegantly choreographed figures and an interest in everyday activities.

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  • Jade in Costa Rica

    With Mesoamerica, Costa Rica is one of the two regions in which jade was extensively carved in Precolumbian times.

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  • Jade in Mesoamerica

    Generally small in scale, exhibiting an extraordinary command of the extremely difficult-to-carve stone medium, Olmec jade objects were of preference translucent blue green in color and were unsurpassed in the ancient Americas for compact, symmetrically balanced, three-dimensional form, and elegance of surface detail.

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  • Jain Manuscript Painting

    As the custom of building large temple complexes became more widespread, so did the production of images and other objects associated with ritual and worship.

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  • Jain Sculpture

    The total absence of garments distinguishes the jinas from the otherwise similar images of Buddhas.

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  • James Cox (ca. 1723–1800): Goldsmith and Entrepreneur

    Cox produced lavishly ornamented articles for trade with the Far East, first with India and then with China, where the reception of his “toys” or “sing songs,” as the Chinese are believed to have called them, was at first a success.

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  • James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903)

    Whistler began to envision and entitle his works with the abstract language of music, calling them symphonies, compositions, harmonies, nocturnes, and arrangements.

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  • James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) as Etcher

    Etching offered Whistler the opportunity to sketch ideas quickly, then slowly refine and develop them through multiple states, creating variations with expressive inking.

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  • Jan Gossart (ca. 1478–1532) and His Circle

    What is new to Northern art of the time is Gossart’s introduction of mythological themes with nude figures portrayed with heightened eroticism.

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  • Jan van Eyck (ca. 1390–1441)

    [Van Eyck] frequently aimed to deceive the eye and amaze the viewer with his sheer artistry …

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  • The Japanese Blade: Technology and Manufacture

    To fashion these blades, the smith not only must possess physical strength, but also patience, dexterity, and a refined eye for the limits of the material and the beauty of a finished sword.

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  • Japanese Illustrated Handscrolls

    Like a book, a handscroll is an intimate object that is held in the hands and is ideally viewed by only a few people at a time.

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  • Japanese Incense

    The burning of expensive, rare incense woods on special occasions increased their value, and made them a “once in a lifetime” experience.

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  • The Japanese Tea Ceremony

    Each tea gathering is a unique experience, so a particular assemblage of objects and people is never repeated.

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  • Japanese Weddings in the Edo Period (1615–1868)

    Wealthy and powerful daimyô ordered magnificent wedding trousseaus for their daughters, and these trousseaus became symbolic of the social rank and the political alliances upon which the marriages were founded.

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  • Japanese Writing Boxes

    While writing boxes are designed for the practical function of housing writing implements such as the inkstone, they are also often consummate examples of lacquer art.

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  • Japonisme

    Experimentation with a wide range of pictorial modes, and with printmaking techniques as well, coincided with the growing popularity of Japanese woodcuts during the 1890s.

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  • Jasper Johns (born 1930)

    Throughout his career, Johns has included in most of his art certain marks and shapes that clearly display their derivation from factual, unimagined things in the world, including handprints and footprints, casts of parts of the body, or stamps made from objects found in his studio, such as the rim of a tin can.

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  • Jean Antoine Houdon (1741–1828)

    The Enlightenment virtues of truth to nature, simplicity, and grace all found sublime expression through his ability to translate into marble both a subject’s personality and the vibrant essence of living flesh, their inner as well as outer life.

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  • Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)

    As in the pastorals of his former master Boucher, Fragonard’s rustic protagonists are envisioned with billowing silk clothing, engaged in amorous pursuits.

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  • Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827–1875)

    Breaking with traditional approaches to historical subjects and portraiture, Carpeaux infused his sculpture with a previously unseen freedom and immediacy.

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  • Jewish Art in Late Antiquity and Early Byzantium

    In early Byzantine synagogues, specifically Jewish symbols—shofarot (ram’s horns), menorot (branched lamps), and Torah shrines—might appear alongside pomegranates, birds, lions, and fountains.

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  • Jews and the Arts in Medieval Europe

    Jews served as both patrons and artists, and the art that does survive reveals awareness by Jews of the artistic currents of the day and regular interaction with the majority Christian or Muslim (in the case of Spain) community.

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  • Jiahu (ca. 7000–5700 B.C.)

    The sound of the flutes is alleged to lure cranes to a waiting hunter.

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  • Joachim Tielke (1641–1719)

    In the hands of the numerous craftsmen in Tielke’s workshop, these instruments became the decorative equivalents of the virtuosic music for which they were used.

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  • Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675)

    His compositions are mostly invented and exhibit the most discriminating formal relationships, including those of color. In addition, Vermeer’s application of paint reveals extraordinary technical ability and time-consuming care.

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  • Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) and The Milkmaid

    Tactile and optical sensations coexist: nowhere else in Vermeer’s oeuvre does one find such a sculptural figure and such seemingly tangible objects, and yet the future painter of luminous interiors has already arrived.

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  • John Constable (1776–1837)

    While most landscapists of the day traveled extensively in search of picturesque or sublime scenery, Constable never left England.

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  • John Frederick Kensett (1816–1872)

    The delicate texture of [Kensett’s] brushwork was concentrated to produce pure and exquisite states of light and atmosphere, today referred to as luminist.

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  • John Singer Sargent (1856–1925)

    In May 1876, accompanied by his mother and his sister Emily, Sargent began his first trip to the United States, which would include visits to the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia and Niagara Falls.

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  • John Singleton Copley (1738–1815)

    [Copley’s] swift ascent and sustained eminence were the result of an innate ability to handle paint and produce images that eclipsed anything executed by his predecessors in America.

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  • John Townsend (1733–1809)

    Among his peers, [Townsend] was unique in habitually signing and dating his finest work.

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  • Jomon Culture (ca. 10,500–ca. 300 B.C.)

    The increased production of female figurines and phallic images of stone, as well as the practice of burying the deceased in shell mounds, suggest a rise in ritual practices.

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  • Joseon Buncheong Ware: Between Celadon and Porcelain

    There is no mistaking the distinctive style of buncheong ware. If Goryeo celadon embodies classical elegance, buncheong ware represents experimental spirit.

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  • Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)

    Though profoundly influenced by landscapists and history painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Turner was an innovator who has been hailed as a forerunner of modernist abstraction.

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  • Juan de Flandes (active by 1496, died 1519)

    Juan de Flandes adapted to his surroundings, altering his style to conform to the prevailing aesthetic and to the requirements of various patrons.

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  • Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879)

    Although she may have taken up photography as an amateur and sought to apply it to the noble noncommercial aims of art, [Julia Margaret Cameron] immediately viewed her activity as a professional one, vigorously copyrighting, exhibiting, publishing, and marketing her photographs.

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  • The Julio-Claudian Dynasty (27 B.C.–68 A.D.)

    The Julio-Claudians were Roman nobles with an impressive ancestry, but their fondness for the ideals and lifestyle of the old aristocracy created conflicts of interest and duty.

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  • Kamakura and Nanbokucho Periods (1185–1392)

    The Kamakura and Nanbokucho eras were remarkable for the shift that occurred in the Japanese aesthetic. The highly refined sensibilities of the superceded aristocracy did not interest the new patrons.

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  • The Kano School of Painting

    The Kano school was the longest lived and most influential school of painting in Japanese history; its more than 300-year prominence is unique in world art history.

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  • The Kilt

    From its origins as the basic garb of the Highlander, Scotsmen and non-Scotsmen alike have embraced [the kilt] as uniform, formal and semi-formal wear, and casual everyday wear.

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  • Kingdoms of Madagascar: Malagasy Funerary Arts

    Taken as a whole, the sculptural [of Malagasy funerary arts] program evokes the balance, harmony, and symmetry of the physical and metaphysical worlds.

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  • Kingdoms of Madagascar: Malagasy Textile Arts

    Far from mere trade commodities, textiles were an essential aspect of Malagasy social and ethnic identity, and some types of cloth were imbued with supernatural powers.

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  • Kingdoms of Madagascar: Maroserana and Merina

    The island of Madagascar has long served as a point of social and economic contact among the peoples of Africa and the Indian Ocean region.

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  • Kingdoms of the Savanna: The Kuba Kingdom

    At the Kuba court, appreciation of artistic innovation was balanced by reverence for tradition and continuity.

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  • Kingdoms of the Savanna: The Luba and Lunda Empires

    The emergence of the Luba and Lunda empires in the seventeenth century had a profound impact upon political and artistic practices in the Central African savanna.

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  • Kings and Queens of Egypt

    The living king was associated with the god Horus and the dead king with the god Osiris, but the ancient Egyptians were well aware that the king was mortal.

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  • Kings of Brightness in Japanese Esoteric Buddhist Art

    Wrathful in countenance, the Kings of Brightness are staunch protectors of the Buddhist Law, as well as masters of channeling unruly passions toward constructive ends.

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  • The Kirtlington Park Room, Oxfordshire

    The dining room, even in its unfinished state, was a splendid room, from which one looked out through the windows over a broad terrace to the verdant park.

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  • The Kithara in Ancient Greece

    Strings of gut or sinew were stretched from a holder at the base of the [kithara] over a bridge to the crossbar that joined the two sidepieces.

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  • Kodak and the Rise of Amateur Photography

    By simplifying the apparatus and even processing the film for the consumer, [George Eastman] made photography accessible to millions of casual amateurs with no particular professional training, technical expertise, or aesthetic credentials.

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  • Kofun Period (ca. Third Century–538)

    The practice of building sepulchral mounds and burying treasures with the dead was transmitted to Japan from the Asian continent about the third century A.D.

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  • Kongo Ivories

    With the rise of the transatlantic trade through the seventeenth into nineteenth centuries, ivory became among the most valuable African natural resources desired by Western industry.

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  • Korean Chaekgeori Paintings

    In addition to illustrating the appeal of new and foreign items in Joseon society, chaekgeori paintings represent three significant aesthetic trends of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: illusionism; antiquarianism and empiricism; and auspicious symbolism.

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  • Korean Buddhist Sculpture (Fifth–Ninth Centuries)

    Many Korean monks traveled not only to China but also to India to learn the various teachings of the Buddha.

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  • Kushan Empire (ca. Second Century B.C.–Third Century A.D.)

    It was also a period of great wealth marked by extensive mercantile activities and a flourishing of urban life, Buddhist thought, and the visual arts.

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  • La Venta

    First explored in 1925, La Venta has provided some of the most important archaeological finds from ancient Mesoamerica.

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  • La Venta: Sacred Architecture

    La Venta’s rulers oversaw a burgeoning economy that included trade in exotic materials such as greenstones, much of which was buried in the elaborate offerings of Complex A.

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  • La Venta: Stone Sculpture

    In addition to the three-dimensional colossal heads, Olmec sculptors carved stelae and thrones with a mixture of low- and high-relief techniques.

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  • The Labors of Herakles

    Herakles, the Greek hero of superhuman strength, was the son of the Greek god Zeus and Alkmene.

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  • Lacquerware of East Asia

    Because lacquer is such a volatile substance, only a few additional coloring agents will combine with it.

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  • Landscape Painting in Chinese Art

    Painting was no longer about the description of the visible world; it became a means of conveying the inner landscape of the artist’s heart and mind.

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  • Landscape Painting in the Netherlands

    Dutch and Flemish landscape paintings were rarely symbolic but were usually rich in associations, ranging from God and all of nature to national, regional, or local pride, agriculture and commerce, leisure time, and the sheer pleasure of physical sensation.

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  • The Lansdowne Dining Room, London

    With its stately facade, handsomely proportioned rooms of varying shapes, and Neoclassical decoration of great refinement, it was regarded as Adam’s finest London house.

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  • Lapita Pottery (ca. 1500–500 B.C.)

    Lapita art is best known for its ceramics, which feature intricate repeating geometric patterns that occasionally include anthropomorphic faces and figures.

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  • Lascaux (ca. 15,000 B.C.)

    Through these early achievements in representation and abstraction, we see a newfound mastery of the environment and a revolutionary accomplishment in the intellectual development of humankind.

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  • Late Eighteenth-Century American Drawings

    American draftsmanship before 1800 was dominated by portraiture.

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  • Late Medieval German Sculpture

    The mobility of late medieval artists ensured the dissemination of styles over wide geographic areas.

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  • Late Medieval German Sculpture: Images for the Cult and for Private Devotion

    The destruction of religious images during the Protestant Reformation, along with neglect, changes in taste, fire, and the secularization of ecclesiastic institutions account for this loss.

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  • Late Medieval German Sculpture: Materials and Techniques

    Before a figure left the sculptor’s workshop, the eyes and lips were often tinted.

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  • Late Medieval German Sculpture: Polychromy and Monochromy

    A master such as Tilman Riemenschneider transcended the limitation of monochromy, relying exclusively on his carving skills to achieve direct emotional appeal.

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  • The Later Ottomans and the Impact of Europe

    Mahmud II enforced a new dress code consisting of a fez, frock coat, and fitted trousers to replace traditional forms of clothing that differentiated the rank and religion of each person.

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  • Le Colis de Trianon-Versailles and Paris Openings

    These costumes reveal the supreme and unsurpassed craftsmanship of the couture métier in the five years leading up to World War II.

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  • The Legacy of Genghis Khan

    The Mongols were remarkably quick in transforming themselves from a purely nomadic tribal people into rulers of cities and states and in learning how to administer their vast empire.

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  • The Legacy of Jacques Louis David (1748–1825)

    David championed a style of rigorous contours, sculpted forms, and polished surfaces; history paintings were intended as moral exemplars.

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  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

    Leonardo’s curiosity and insatiable hunger for knowledge never left him. He was constantly observing, experimenting, and inventing, and drawing was, for him, a tool for recording his investigation of nature.

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  • Letterforms and Writing in Contemporary Art

    Like the avant-garde artists who preceded them, these contemporary artists show how wordplay can be used as a means to address larger artistic, social, and political concerns.

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  • Life of Jesus of Nazareth

    The life of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Christian Bible has been a principal subject for art since the late Roman empire.

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  • Life of the Buddha

    The legends that grew up around him hold that both his conception and birth were miraculous.

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  • List of Rulers of Ancient Egypt and Nubia

    A chronological list of the rulers and pharaohs of Ancient Egypt and Nubia based on kings lists kept by the ancient Egyptians: the Palermo Stone, the Abydos Kings List, and the Turin Canon.

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  • List of Rulers of Ancient Sudan

    A list of rulers of Ancient Sudan in chronological order that encompasses all of the monarchs in the Napatan and Meroitic dynasties.

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  • List of Rulers of Byzantium

    A chronological list of the rulers of Byzantium—Emperors Constantine, Justinian, and others—that encompasses the first golden age of the empire, the Early Byzantine period, as well as Middle and Late Byzantium, and the Latin Occupation.

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  • List of Rulers of China

    A chronological list of all known emperors of China, covering all dynasties: Xia, Shang, Qin, Han, Six Dynasties, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Liao, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing.

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  • List of Rulers of Europe

    A list of all ruling families of Europe encompassing Central Europe, England (Anglo-Saxons, Danes, Normans, Plantagenets, Lancastrians, Yorkists, Tudors, Hanoverians, Saxe-Coburgs, Windsors), France, the Holy Roman Empire, the papacy, Spain, Italy, the Low Countries, Russia, and Scandinavia.

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  • List of Rulers of Japan

    A chronological list of Japan’s rulership encompassing early history and subsequent periods: Kofun, Asuka, Nara, Heian, Kamakura, Nanbokucho, Muromachi, Momoyama, Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei.

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  • List of Rulers of Korea

    A chronological list of the rulers of Korea encompassing the Three Kingdoms period, the Unified Silla period, the Goryeo dynasty, and the Joseon dynasty.

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  • List of Rulers of Mesopotamia

    All of Mesopotamia’s ruling dynasties in chronological order encompassing Southern Mesopotamia (Akkad, Ur, Kassite, Babylonia), Northern Mesopotamia (Assyria, Mari), and United Mesopotamia (Achaemenid dynasty).

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  • List of Rulers of South Asia

    A chronological list of South Asia’s ruling dynasties that encompasses the Ghurid; the Delhi Sultanate; governors/sultans of Bengal; sultans of Kashmir, Gujarat, Jaunpur, Malwa, and Mandura; rulers of Khandesh, Shahi, Arghun, Mughal, Awadh, Hyderabad, Mysore, and Durrani.

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  • List of Rulers of the Ancient Greek World

    An abridged list of rulers for the ancient Greek world concentrating on the Hellenistic age (323–31 B.C.), after the time of Alexander the Great. In the preceding centuries, Greek city-states were governed by a variety of entities, including kings, oligarchies, tyrants, and, as in the case of Athens, a democracy.

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  • List of Rulers of the Islamic World

    A list of caliphs and wazirs in the Islamic world covering dynastic reigns (Rashidun, Umayyad, ‘Abbasid, Barmakid, Tulunid, Ikhshidid, Fatimid, Ayyubid, Mamluk, Seljuqs, etc.) across Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, the Caucasus, Asia Minor, Turkey, and the rest of Western Asia.

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  • List of Rulers of the Roman Empire

    A chronological list of the emperors of ancient Rome, covering the Julio-Claudian, Flavian, Antonine, and Severan dynasties; the Gallic, Palmyrene, and Eastern Roman empires; and the Constantine period.

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  • List of Rulers of the Sasanian Empire

    A list of rulers of the Sasanian Empire in chronological order from the third to the seventh centuries A.D.

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  • Lithography in the Nineteenth Century

    Thanks to ease of production and economical distribution, it did not take long for lithography to find a broad range of applications in art and commerce.

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  • Longevity in Chinese Art

    For example, the butterfly was primarily associated with joy and weddings, but because its name (hudie) is a pun for “age seventy to eighty,” it also symbolized longevity.

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  • Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933)

    Recalling the Old English word fabrile (hand-wrought), Tiffany named the blown glass from his furnaces Favrile, a trademark that signified glass of hand-made and unique quality.

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  • Louis-Rémy Robert (1810–1882)

    Inclined by training and temperament toward endeavors that brought together the fields of painting and chemistry, Robert was among the earliest French artists to take up paper photography, around 1850.

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  • Lovers in Italian Mythological Prints

    The conceit of love’s conquest was often given visual form by artists of the Renaissance and Baroque.

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  • The Lure of Montmartre, 1880–1900

    Known for its revolutionary politics and underground culture, its liberal reputation lured students, writers, musicians, and artists to the area in the early 1880s.

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  • The Lute

    It is not until the thirteenth century that the Western lute can be distinguished from the Arab ‘ud in iconography.

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  • Luxury Arts of Rome

    In addition to spending fortunes on sumptuous villas, lavish entertainment, fashionable clothes, and entourages of slaves and hangers-on, men and women in high Roman society furnished themselves with a range of expensive personal items.

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  • Lydenburg Heads (ca. 500)

    For a variety of reasons it has been speculated that the heads were used in initiation rites, perhaps even worn.

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  • Lydia and Phrygia

    Both kingdoms eventually and simultaneously succumbed to the successors of the Medes, the Persians, whose king Cyrus captured Sardis in 546 B.C.

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  • Made in Italy: Italian Fashion from 1950 to Now

    The Italian prêt-à-porter industry developed by mid-century from a necessity for high-end mass marketing, and thrived on late-century global overconsumption.

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  • The Magic of Signs and Patterns in North African Art

    By combining signs with magical numbers or stylizing traditional symbols, contemporary artists tap the unconscious to create abstract work that references the past and present.

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  • Maiolica in the Renaissance

    Maiolica, the refined, white-glazed pottery of the Italian Renaissance, was adapted to all objects that were traditionally ceramic, such as dishes, bowls, serving vessels, and jugs of all shapes and sizes. It was also used as a medium for sculpture and sculptural reliefs, as well as floor and ceiling tiles.

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  • Mal’ta (ca. 20,000 B.C.)

    The site of Mal’ta, for which the culture is named, is composed of a series of subterranean houses made of large animal bones and reindeer antler.

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  • Mangarevan Sculpture

    Wooden images on Mangareva were originally fairly abundant, representing a variety of gods and deified ancestors.

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  • The Manila Galleon Trade (1565–1815)

    The so-called Manila Galleon (“Nao de China” or “Nao de Acapulco”) brought porcelain, silk, ivory, spices, and myriad other exotic goods from China to Mexico in exchange for New World silver.

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  • Mannerism: Bronzino (1503–1572) and his Contemporaries

    While the formal vocabulary of Mannerism takes much from the later works of Michelangelo and Raphael, its adherents generally favored compositional tension and instability.

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  • The Mantiq al-Tayr of 1487

    This illustrated manuscript of Farid al-Din ‘Attar’s mystical poem Mantiq al-Tayr (Language of the Birds) is one of the most important illustrated manuscripts from Timurid Persia (1370–1507) and a highlight of the Islamic collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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  • Manuscript Illumination in Italy, 1400–1600

    The production of humanist manuscripts in Florence centered around the busy workshops of booksellers, who entrusted the decoration of their volumes to outside painters and professional illuminators.

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  • Manuscript Illumination in Northern Europe

    Despite the escalating popularity of printed books in the sixteenth century, many of Europe’s rulers and aristocrats continued to commission books of hours for private devotion.

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  • Mapungubwe (ca. 1050–1270)

    Mapungubwe is the earliest known site in southern Africa where the leaders were spatially separated from their followers, reflecting the evolution of a class-based society.

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  • Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968)

    [Marcel Duchamp’s] most striking, iconoclastic gesture, the readymade, is arguably the century’s most influential development on artists’ creative process.

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  • Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844–1926)

    Under [the Impressionists’] influence, Cassatt revised her technique, composition, and use of color and light, manifesting her admiration for the works of the French avant garde, especially Degas and Manet.

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  • The Master of Monte Oliveto (active about 1305–35)

    On close examination, viewers will instantly recognize how evocative and emotional [the Master of Monte Oliveto’s] pictures can be even when they have been copied from earlier prototypes.

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  • The Materials and Techniques of American Quilts and Coverlets

    Quilts and coverlets were created from both homemade and commercially produced cloth.

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  • The Materials and Techniques of English Embroidery of the Late Tudor and Stuart Eras

    Embroidered works of this period are distinguished by their great expressiveness, which resulted in part from an inventive use of luxury goods.

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  • Mauryan Empire (ca. 323–185 B.C.)

    The expansion of two kingdoms in the northeast laid the groundwork for the emergence of India’s first empire, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty (ca. 321–185 B.C.).

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  • Medicine in Classical Antiquity

    Medicine in classical antiquity was a collection of beliefs, knowledge, and experience.

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  • Medicine in the Middle Ages

    By the twelfth century, there were medical schools throughout Europe. The most famous was the school of Salerno in southern Italy, reputedly founded by a Christian, an Arab, and a Jew.

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  • Medieval Aquamanilia

    At elaborate banquet feasts, aquamanilia were functional vessels as well as sumptuous table decorations.

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  • Medieval European Sculpture for Buildings

    With its rhythmic disposition of columns and piers, the confined space of the monastic cloister offered an ideal opportunity for an extended program of sculptural decoration.

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  • Medusa in Ancient Greek Art

    Medusa is a deadly and cryptic other, but she is also ubiquitous, with an undeniable energy that inspired artists to repeat her semblance and story in diverse ways across literature, lore, and art through ancient Greece, Rome, and beyond.

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  • Mendicant Orders in the Medieval World

    Their personal maxim was: sibi soli vivere sed et aliis proficere (“not to live for themselves only but to serve others”).

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  • Mesopotamian Deities

    Feared and admired rather than loved, the great gods were revered and praised as masters.

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  • The Metropolitan Museum’s Excavations at Nishapur

    Hundreds of objects were discovered during the course of the excavations Each year, the Museum’s share was shipped back to New York, where the objects were restored and placed on display.

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  • Michiel Sweerts and Biblical Subjects in Dutch Art

    Like Rembrandt, Sweerts interpreted biblical subjects in the light of his own experience.

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  • Micronesia

    Despite the fact that the islands are scattered across 8 million square kilometers of ocean, a distinctive Micronesian style does exist.

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  • The Middle Babylonian / Kassite Period (ca. 1595–1155 B.C.) in Mesopotamia

    The ongoing construction of [Kassite] (elite) identity was a thoughtful response to the historical traditions of Mesopotamia on the one hand, and contemporary internationalizing trends on the other.

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  • Military Music in American and European Traditions

    In Euro-American culture, drums ordered the daily lives of the average soldiers, providing cadences for marching and signals for battle, as well as marking routine activities such as meal and bed time.

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  • Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)

    Valuing the presence of personality in a work over mere technical skill, the Ming scholar-painter aimed for mastery of performance rather than laborious craftsmanship.

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  • Minoan Crete

    Around 1900 B.C., during the Middle Minoan period, Minoan civilization on Crete reached its apogee with the establishment of centers, called palaces, that concentrated political and economic power, as well as artistic activity, and may have served as centers for the redistribution of agricultural commodities.

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  • Mission Héliographique, 1851

    The Missions Héliographiques were intended to aid the Paris-based commission in determining the nature and urgency of the preservation and restoration of work required at historic sites throughout France.

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  • Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto: Japanese Fashion in the Twentieth Century

    Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto have all contributed to the rise of Japanese fashion by communicating its aesthetic to the global market.

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  • Moche Decorated Ceramics

    Whereas many [Moche decorated ceramics] were ultimately placed in burials or made especially for the dead, most were produced to be used by the living in everyday life.

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  • Modern and Contemporary Art in Iran

    The 1949 opening of the Apadana gallery in Tehran signaled a commitment to the creation of a form of modern art grounded in Iran.

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  • Modern Art in India

    Within the burgeoning art scene, artists introduced themselves as modern and secular practitioners.

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  • Modern Art in West and East Pakistan

    New on the world stage, Pakistani artists aimed to present themselves as modern according to international standards.

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  • Modern Art in West Asia: From Colonial to Post-colonial Period

    After independence, artists in Iraq, Jordan, and Syria experimented with a variety of techniques and styles irrespective of the current international trends.

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  • Modern Materials: Plastics

    Although developed in the mid-nineteenth century for commercial purposes, it is the twentieth-century artist who has adopted plastics as an art material.

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  • Modern Storytellers: Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold

    All three grew up or trained or lived at various points in their lives in Harlem, and participated in the community in important ways.

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  • Momoyama Period (1573–1615)

    With the decline of Ashikaga power in the 1560s, the feudal barons, or daimyos, began their struggle for control of Japan. The ensuing four decades of constant warfare are known as the Momoyama (Peach Hill) period.

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  • The Mon-Dvaravati Tradition of Early North-Central Thailand

    By the seventh and eighth centuries, a characteristic Mon-Dvaravati Buddha type had emerged that, once established, would have a major impact on sculptural production across central Thailand.

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  • Monasticism in Western Medieval Europe

    Drawn to universities and large cities, Franciscan and Dominican friars lived and preached among the people, supporting themselves by working and begging for food.

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  • The Mongolian Tent in the Ilkhanid Period

    A Mongol royal tent was the epitome of luxury and allowed the ruler to reconcile semi-nomadic and sedentary lifestyles.

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  • Monte Albán

    Although never as large or powerful as the city of Teotihuacan, Monte Albán apparently had peaceful relations with its central Mexico neighbor.

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  • Monte Albán: Sacred Architecture

    [Building L] served as a powerful reminder of Monte Albán’s authority to residents of the valley and to visitors from the farthest reaches of Mesoamerica.

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  • Monte Albán: Stone Sculpture

    Many rulers are named in the hieroglyphic inscriptions that appear on the carvings; the inscriptions too detail the very competitive nature of Oaxaca society at the time.

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  • Monumental Architecture and Stelae of the Aksumite Empire

    Today, the former imperial capital at Aksum contains some of the best-preserved examples of Aksumite-style architecture, including stelae from the third and fourth centuries, and obelisks, royal tombs, and palaces dating from the sixth and seventh centuries.

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  • The Monumental Stelae of Aksum (Third–Fourth Centuries)

    These stelae are significant not only for their great stature but also their extraordinary design, as they have been carved to represent buildings of up to thirteen stories in height.

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  • Mosaic Glass from Islamic Lands

    Mosaic glass first appeared in Egypt about 1400 B.C. and has been produced intermittently for 3,500 years up to the present day.

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  • Mountain and Water: Korean Landscape Painting, 1400–1800

    Landscape painting represents both a portrayal of nature itself and a codified illustration of the human view of nature and the world.

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  • Muromachi Period (1392–1573)

    Despite the social and political upheaval, the Muromachi period was economically and artistically innovative. This epoch saw the first steps in the establishment of modern commercial, transportation, and urban developments.

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  • Music and Art of China

    Some of the most ancient instruments have been retained, transformed, or revived throughout the ages and many are in common use even today, testifying to a living legacy of a durable art.

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  • Music in Ancient Greece

    Music was essential to the pattern and texture of Greek life, as it was an important feature of religious festivals, marriage and funeral rites, and banquet gatherings.

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  • Music in the Ancient Andes

    The Incas and their predecessors used music to communicate with the ancestors, heal the sick, and bury the dead. Music followed them in war and pilgrimages, perhaps providing them with supernatural power.

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  • Music in the Renaissance

    The rich interchange of ideas in Europe, as well as political, economic, and religious events in the period 1400–1600 led to major changes in styles of composing, methods of disseminating music, new musical genres, and the development of musical instruments.

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  • Musical Instruments of Oceania

    Made and used throughout the Pacific, musical instruments play integral roles in contexts ranging from religious rites to secular entertainment.

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  • Musical Instruments of the Indian Subcontinent

    Both Hindustani and Karnatak music use the system of ragas—sets of pitches and small motives for melody construction—and tala for rhythm.

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  • Musical Terms for the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

    action, basso continuo, clavichord, canzona, fantasia, fipple, harpsichord, luthier, motet, octave, organ, polyphony, sordellina, viol, viola, violoncello

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  • Mycenaean Civilization

    During the Mycenaean period, the Greek mainland enjoyed an era of prosperity centered in such strongholds as Mycenae, Tiryns, Thebes, and Athens.

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  • Mystery Cults in the Greek and Roman World

    A pendant to the official cults of the Greeks and Romans, mystery cults served more personal, individualistic attitudes toward death and the afterlife.

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  • Nabataean Kingdom and Petra

    The city of Petra is as famous now as it was in antiquity for its remarkable rock-cut tombs and temples.

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  • The Nabis and Decorative Painting

    The Nabis rejected the Renaissance ideal of easel painting as a window onto a fictional world. Disavowing illusions of depth, they abandoned both linear perspective and modeling.

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  • Nadar (1820–1910)

    Ringmaster, publicist, and performer in a highly theatrical life, the legendary Nadar wore many hats—those of journalist, bohemian, left-wing agitator, playwright, caricaturist, and aeronaut.

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  • The Nahal Mishmar Treasure

    Hidden in a natural crevice and wrapped in a straw mat, the hoard contained 442 different objects.

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  • Nan Madol

    The highly stratified social system at Nan Madol is the earliest known example of such centralized political power in the western Pacific.

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  • Nature in Chinese Culture

    The natural world has long been conceived in Chinese thought as a self-generating, complex arrangement of elements that are continuously changing and interacting.

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  • The Nature of Islamic Art

    As it is not only a religion but a way of life, Islam fostered the development of a distinctive culture with its own unique artistic language that is reflected in art and architecture throughout the Muslim world.

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  • The Neoclassical Temple

    The Greek temple with its mathematically proportioned columns and pediments became reborn as mansion, church, bank, museum, or other commercial institution.

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  • Neoclassicism

    The Neoclassical style arose from first-hand observation and reproduction of antique works.

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  • Neolithic Period in China

    Of all aspects of the Neolithic cultures in eastern China, the use of jade made the most lasting contribution to Chinese civilization.

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  • Nepalese Painting

    Newari artists were renowned throughout Asia for the high quality of their workmanship. In certain periods, their style had tremendous influence on the art of Tibet and China.

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  • Nepalese Sculpture

    Nepalese artists later developed a distinctive physiognomy for their deities, with long, languid eyes and wider faces than those in eastern Indian models.

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  • Netsuke: From Fashion Fobs to Coveted Collectibles

    Inrô and netsuke, often made of expensive, rare materials and bearing the signature and seal of the carver, were designed not only for their functional ability to carry things, but also as markers of wealth.

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  • New Caledonia

    Kanak art has traditionally focused on propagating the status and importance of high-ranking chiefs.

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  • The New Documentary Tradition in Photography

    In the late 1950s and early ’60s American photographers reinvented the documentary tradition once again. This time the subjective tradition that had emerged in the 1940s and early ’50s became a kaleidoscope through which photographers looked at the world.

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  • New Ireland

    The art of New Ireland traditionally centered on mortuary ceremonies and feasts to honor the dead.

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  • The New Vision of Photography

    Photography’s long-acknowledged power to mirror the face of the world was by no means abandoned, but in the 1920s and ’30s a host of unconventional forms and techniques suddenly flourished.

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  • A New Visual Language Transmitted Across Asia

    A number of motifs that were part of the existing artistic repertoire were adopted as imperial symbols of power and dominance.

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  • The New York Dutch Room

    The woodwork demonstrates the reliance on traditional Netherlandish building practices in late colonial New York.

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  • Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665)

    Poussin brought a new intellectual rigor to the classical impulse in art, as well as a unique, somewhat reticent poetry.

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  • Nimrud

    The rediscovery of Nimrud and its sculptures was one of the great archaeological events of the nineteenth century, and since that time the site has been recognized as one of the most important in Iraq.

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  • Nineteenth-Century American Drawings

    The last quarter of the century witnessed the true vindication of watercolor, not merely in popularity but in its nature—as a fluid and transparent medium.

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  • Nineteenth-Century American Folk Art

    The artists worked principally in the Northeast, away from urban centers; most spent their careers moving from place to place courting local audiences.

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  • Nineteenth-Century American Jewelry

    Like domestic silver, jewelry is both utilitarian and a distinct marker of social status.

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  • Nineteenth-Century American Silver

    Silver had long been associated with ceremony and achievement, but during the nineteenth century the preponderance of presentation vessels became even greater.

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  • Nineteenth-Century Classical Music

    In music, Romanticism, along with new opportunities for earning a livelihood as a musician or composer, produced two seemingly opposite venues as the primary places for musical activity—the large theater and the parlor.

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  • Nineteenth-Century Court Arts in India

    [Royal courts] were important loci for the continuation of indigenous artistic traditions as well as conduits for European influences in both art and architecture.

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  • Nineteenth-Century English Silver

    Along with the traditional hand-wrought objets d’art that had always been made as special commissions for elite clientele, production broadened to include ordinary dinner services, tea sets, and domestic implements such as light fixtures and writing tools.

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  • Nineteenth-Century European Textile Production

    The use of architectural forms and motifs previously found only in furniture was characteristic of textiles designed in the various revival styles of the nineteenth century.

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  • Nineteenth-Century French Realism

    Rejecting the idealized classicism of academic art and the exotic themes of Romanticism, Realism was based on direct observation of the modern world.

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  • Nineteenth-Century Iran: Art and the Advent of Modernity

    The Qajar shahs relied heavily on the visual arts to confirm and solidify their new position.

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  • Nineteenth-Century Iran: Continuity and Revivalism

    The art of Iran in the nineteenth century must be understood as comprising two divergent yet intertwined trends, a push for modernity and a continuation of indigenous traditions.

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  • Nineteenth-Century Silhouette and Support

    The innovations in corset construction allowed for more pressure to be placed on the waistline than had been possible in the eighteenth century.

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  • Noh Costume

    In performance, Noh’s austere bare stage and the severe elegance of its powerful masks combine with the multiple layers of shimmering costume to give the actor an oversized sculptural presence as he moves with the music and chanting of the chorus.

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  • Nok Terracottas (500 B.C.–200 A.D.)

    Finely worked to a resilient consistency from local clays and gravel, the millennia-long endurance of [Nok sculpture] is a testament to the technical ability of their makers.

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  • Northern Italian Renaissance Painting

    Giorgione and Titian in Venice and Correggio in Parma were brilliant practitioners of what [Vasari] called the maniera moderna, or modern manner of painting.

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  • Northern Mannerism in the Early Sixteenth Century

    Inspired by the demand for a recognizable product, or “manner,” Antwerp painters developed a repertoire of stock figural motifs, compositions, and themes.

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  • Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127)

    The early Northern Song dynasty witnessed the flowering of one of the supreme artistic expressions of Chinese civilization: monumental landscape painting.

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  • Northwest Coast Indians Musical Instruments

    Proprietary songs and dances are punctuated by extra-musical effects provided by whistles, rattles, and specific vocal utterances.

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  • The Nude in Baroque and Later Art

    When academic ideals faced challenges in the later nineteenth century, the delicate status of the nude was quickly exposed and subverted.

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  • The Nude in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

    The rediscovery of Greco-Roman culture in the Renaissance restored the nude to the heart of creative endeavor.

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  • The Nude in Western Art and its Beginnings in Antiquity

    Figures with no clothes are peculiarly common in the art of the Western world.

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  • Nudity and Classical Themes in Byzantine Art

    In some contexts, [nudity] engendered a sense of shame for the fallen state of humanity, further tinged by negative associations with pagan idolatry.

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  • Nuptial Furnishings in the Italian Renaissance

    Marriages engendered the creation of new furnishings and decoration that expressed the dynastic and political aspirations of the families that purchased or commissioned them.

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  • Olmec Art

    Olmec artists were revolutionary for their time, establishing the first major widespread styles in Mesoamerica, laying the foundation for later innovation from the central Mexican metropolis of Teotihuacan south to the Maya area.

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  • The Opera

    Music and drama are the fundamental ingredients, as are the arts of staging and costume design; opera is therefore a visual as well as an audible art.

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  • Orientalism in Nineteenth-Century Art

    The Orient—including present-day Turkey, Greece, the Middle East, and North Africa—exerted its allure on the Western artist’s imagination centuries prior to the turn of the nineteenth century.

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  • Orientalism: Visions of the East in Western Dress

    Eastern ideas of textile, design, construction, and utility have been realized again and again as a positive contribution to the culture of the West.

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  • Origins and Empire: The Benin, Owo, and Ijebu Kingdoms

    Owo, Ijebu, and Benin, a trio of kingdoms located within present-day southern Nigeria, shared aspects of courtly culture including titles, ceremonial paraphernalia, and art forms.

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  • The Origins of Writing

    By the middle of the third millennium B.C., cuneiform primarily written on clay tablets was used for a vast array of economic, religious, political, literary, and scholarly documents.

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  • Ottonian Art

    The Ottonian revival coincided with a period of growth and reform in the church, and monasteries produced much of the finest Ottonian art, including magnificent illuminated manuscripts, churches and monastic buildings, and sumptuous luxury objects intended for church interiors and treasuries.

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  • Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)

    [Pablo Picasso’s] prolific output includes over 20,000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, theater sets and costumes that convey myriad intellectual, political, social, and amorous messages. His creative styles transcend realism and abstraction, Cubism, Neoclassicism, Surrealism, and Expressionism.

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  • Pachmari Hills (ca. 9000–3000 B.C.)

    While the majority of paintings in the Pachmari Hills are from historic periods, the earliest Mesolithic depictions provide visually rich and compelling images of the natural environment and some aspects of Mesolithic life.

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  • Painted Funerary Monuments from Hellenistic Alexandria

    Greek painters of the Classical and early Hellenistic periods developed revolutionary methods of representation that are fundamental to the Western pictorial tradition, such as three-dimensional perspective, the use of light and shade to render form, and trompe l’oeil realism.

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  • Painting Formats in East Asian Art

    In all cases, it has never been the tradition in East Asia to display works of art for long periods of time. They are shown for short occasions and then put away in storage.

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  • Painting in Italian Choir Books, 1300–1500

    Unlike books of hours, which were intended for individual devotion and usually small enough to be held in the hand, choir books were created for shared, communal worship and consequently necessitated a larger format.

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  • Painting in Oil in the Low Countries and Its Spread to Southern Europe

    The versatility of oil paint made it an essential factor in realizing the new artistic vision of early Netherlandish painting, which combined extraordinary realism with brilliant color.

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  • Painting the Life of Christ in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

    The life of Christ also offered artists the opportunity to experiment with less conventional subjects without losing the institutional prestige and moral weight of Christian themes.

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  • Paintings of Love and Marriage in the Italian Renaissance

    Numerous contemporary authors wrote about the efficacy of such images in stimulating married couples hoping for children, as well as about the belief that visual beauty before a couple’s eyes could influence the appearance of their offspring.

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  • Palmyra

    Palmyra was strategically located on two of the most important trade routes in the ancient world.

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  • Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (1528–1588)

    Paolo Veronese’s paintings are grandiose and magnificent visions of the spectacle of sixteenth-century Venetian life. His art is inextricably linked to the idea of opulence and splendor in Renaissance Venice.

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  • The Papacy and the Vatican Palace

    Elements alluded to Rome’s glorious past and suggested both the continuity of the papacy and the church’s triumph over paganism, the architectural inventions of which it appropriated.

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  • The Papacy during the Renaissance

    Popes strove to make Rome the capital of Christendom while projecting it, through art, architecture, and literature, as the center of a Golden Age of unity, order, and peace.

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  • Papyrus in Ancient Egypt

    A member of the sedge family, the papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) was an integral feature of the ancient Nilotic landscape, essential to the ancient Egyptians in both the practical and symbolic realms.

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  • Papyrus-Making in Egypt

    With minor variations, the papyrus roll was produced essentially the same way throughout its approximately 4,000-year history.

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  • The Parthian Empire (247 B.C.–224 A.D.)

    Parthian art resists a straightforward definition, as it employs styles and motifs from both Hellenistic and earlier Near Eastern traditions that result in innovations in various media.

     

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  • Pastoral Charms in the French Renaissance

    Extolling the ideal pleasures of arcadian life is the point of the pastoral, which is above all an escape from reality.

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  • Patronage at the Early Valois Courts (1328–1461)

    In artistic terms, the period represents the last flowering of Gothic art in France.

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  • Patronage at the Later Valois Courts (1461–1589)

    The later Valois kings, who unified France and strengthened its power after the Hundred Years’ War, frequently engaged in diplomacy and warfare in Italy; exposure to Italian art gradually formed their taste.

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  • Patronage of Jean de Berry (1340–1416)

    Jean de Berry is the great exemplar of late medieval patronage, and one of the greatest patrons of art of all time.

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  • Paul Cézanne (1839–1906)

    Cézanne ignores the laws of classical perspective, allowing each object to be independent within the space of a picture while the relationship of one object to another takes precedence over traditional single-point perspective.

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  • Paul Gauguin (1848–1903)

    Gauguin cultivated and inhabited a dual image of himself as, on the one hand, a wolfish wild man and on the other, a sensitive martyr for art.

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  • Paul Klee (1879–1940)

    The limpid light of North Africa awakened [Paul Klee’s] sense of color. During his stay, Klee gradually detached color from physical description and used it independently, which gave him the final needed push toward abstraction.

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  • Paul Poiret (1879–1944)

    In Paris, [Paul Poiret] was simply Le Magnifique, a suitable soubriquet for a couturier who employed the language of orientalism to develop the romantic and theatrical possibilities of clothing.

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  • Paul Revere, Jr. (1734–1818)

    A silversmith, merchant, entrepreneur, family man, and patriotic citizen, Revere led a full and successful life.

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  • Paul Strand (1890–1976)

    Treating the human condition in the modern urban context, Strand’s photographs are a subversive alternative to the studio portrait of glamour and power.

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  • Period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386–589)

    The end of the Northern and Southern Dynasties also saw the beginning of a large influx of foreign immigrants, most of whom were traders or Buddhist missionaries from Central Asia.

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  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641): Paintings

    As a painter of religious pictures, mythological scenes, classical and modern history, and portraits, Rubens had a broader impact than Van Dyck. But as a portraitist, Van Dyck was far more influential, especially in England.

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  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) and Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641): Works on Paper

    Rubens and van Dyck are among the finest draftsmen of all times. The works they left behind probably count, respectively, some 700 and 200 sheets.

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  • Petrus Christus (active by 1444, died 1475/76)

    His meticulous technique is related to that of manuscript illumination; he was most assured working on a diminutive scale, but became increasingly adept at volumetric description in larger works.

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  • The Phoenicians (1500–300 B.C.)

    The Phoenicians represented a confederation of maritime traders rather than a defined country.

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  • Photographers in Egypt

    As journalists, engineers, architects, archaeologists, would-be geographers, or ethnographers, these photographers were principally interested in facts.

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  • Photography and Everyday Life in America, 1945–60

    [America in the 1940s and ’50s] saw the apotheosis of photojournalism and few photographers were unaffected by its rise, whether they joined the bandwagon or reacted against it.

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  • Photography and Surrealism

    The use of such procedures as double exposure, combination printing, montage, and solarization dramatically evoked the union of dream and reality. Other photographers used techniques such as rotation or distortion to render their images uncanny.

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  • Photography and the Civil War, 1861–65

    The terrible contest proceeded erratically; just as the soldiers learned to fight this war in the field, so the photographers improvised their reports.

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  • Photography at the Bauhaus

    Just as traditional media and materials were being subjected to intense reappraisal at the Bauhaus, Moholy-Nagy advocated unlimited experimentation with the photographic process.

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  • Photography in Düsseldorf

    What the Bechers sought from their subjects was the ways in which a single type of structure varied wildly in its external appearance due to its specific historical, geographical context.

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  • Photography in Europe, 1945–60

    The [picture] magazines’ ability to bring the viewer to the brink of the action and to fill society’s insatiable desire to understand the scope of world events fed an ever-growing industry of visual information.

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  • Photography in the Expanded Field: Painting, Performance, and the Neo-Avant-Garde

    Around 1960, more and more photography began to seep across the well-maintained borders separating the mediums of art.

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  • Photojournalism and the Picture Press in Germany

    As the number of new illustrated magazines increased, competition among publications grew keener and editors began to experiment with more dynamic designs and page layouts.

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  • Phrygia, Gordion, and King Midas in the Late Eighth Century B.C.

    Most of what is known about Phrygian archaeology and its language derives from excavations at the capital city Gordion, located about sixty miles southwest of the modern Turkish capital of Ankara.

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  • The Piano: The Pianofortes of Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731)

    The first true piano was invented almost entirely by one man—Bartolomeo Cristofori of Padua.

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  • The Piano: Viennese Instruments

    The new musical styles of the time, which we now call “classical music,” were well suited for the Viennese action piano, and composers were beginning to write a great deal of music for the instrument.

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  • Pictorialism in America

    As an army of weekend “snapshooters” invaded the photographic realm, a small but persistent group of photographers staked their medium’s claim to membership among the fine arts.

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  • The Pictures Generation

    The famous last line of [Roland] Barthes’ essay, that “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author,” was a call to arms for the loosely knit group of artists working in photography, film, video, and performance that would become known as the “Pictures” generation.

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  • Pierre Bonnard (1867–1947): The Late Interiors

    Bonnard explicitly admitted that he could only paint the familiar. The rituals of daily life—taking tea, feeding the cat, tending to the dinner table—were his subjects.

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  • Pierre Didot The Elder (1761–1853)

    To bolster the grandiose claims of his publications, Didot hired the preeminent painter of the era, Jacques Louis David, to edit the illustrations.

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  • Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525–1569)

    He was an astoundingly inventive painter and draftsman, and, due to the continuity of the family trade and the industry that developed in prints after his works, Bruegel’s impact was widespread and long lasting.

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  • Pilgrimage in Medieval Europe

    Persons from all walks of life made religious journeys, with far-reaching consequences for society and culture as a whole.

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  • The Pipa

    The word pipa describes the plectrum’s plucking strokes: pi, “to play forward,” pa, “to play backward.”

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  • Poetic Allusions in the Rajput and Pahari Painting of India

    The arts of music, dance, and poetry, especially as they related to courtly life, began to take center stage, as military exploits had little place during this time of peace.

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  • Poets in Italian Mythological Prints

    Frequently represented in ancient art, Pan and Silenus were favorite subjects of Italian prints.

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  • Poets, Lovers, and Heroes in Italian Mythological Prints

    Mantegna and Raphael were among those who employed prints to circulate novel designs derived from their study of ancient art and literature, spreading enthusiasm for mythological subject matter throughout Europe.

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  • Political African Women of the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries

    The turbulent years following West and Central Africa’s initial contact with Europe were marked by the emergence of women revered for their formidable political skills and social vision.

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  • Polychrome Sculpture in Spanish America

    In some regions, the paint was scratched through in a pattern to show the metallic surface below.

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  • Polychromy of Roman Marble Sculpture

    Some marble sculptures were completely painted and gilded, effectively obscuring the marble surface; others had more limited, selective polychromy used to emphasize details such as the hair, eyes, and lips and accompanying attributes.

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  • Popular Religion: Magical Uses of Imagery in Byzantine Art

    A belief in amulets and the magical properties of stones was not relegated to the realm of the uneducated and superstitious.

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  • Portrait Painting in England, 1600–1800

    Portraits and caricatures accounted for a significant percentage of the prints made for sale or as book illustrations. Ceramics, silhouettes, coins, medals, and waxes bore likenesses.

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  • Portraits of African Leadership

    Often the very act of commissioning a portrait was an indication of the ruler’s power and dynastic legitimacy.

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  • Portraits of African Leadership: Living Rulers

    While images of dynastic ancestry were an important chiefly art form, so were images of living rulers.

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  • Portraits of African Leadership: Memorials

    Memorial depictions of rulers were sometimes employed to maintain dynastic continuity at times of potential political instability such as funerals and coronations.

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  • Portraits of African Leadership: Royal Ancestors

    A leader’s association with a dynastic line of rulers was an important affirmation of legitimacy and allegiance.

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  • Portraiture in Renaissance and Baroque Europe

    A portrait does not merely record someone’s features, however, but says something about who he or she is, offering a vivid sense of a real person’s presence.

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  • The Portuguese in Africa, 1415–1600

    [The Portuguese] encountered urban centers in West Africa comparable to those back in Europe, governed by elaborate dynasties, organized around apprenticeship-based artistic guilds, and with agricultural systems capable of feeding their large populaces.

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  • Post-Impressionism

    Through their radically independent styles and dedication to pursuing unique means of artistic expression, the Post-Impressionists dramatically influenced generations of artists.

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  • Post-Revolutionary America: 1800–1840

    … although Americans had begun to identify themselves as a nation, they were divided by sectional interests that deepened with rapid industrialization and the question of slavery.

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  • Postmodernism: Recent Developments in Art in India

    A few artists and art critics in India have begun to conceptualize their unique position in international contemporary art.

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  • Postmodernism: Recent Developments in Art in Pakistan and Bangladesh

    Through their sometimes political artwork, Bangladeshi and Pakistani artists contribute unique perspectives to the complex debates surrounding their countries.

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  • The Postwar Print Renaissance in America

    Johns and Rauschenberg helped to remove the stigma once associated with printmaking.

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  • Poverty Point (2000–1000 B.C.)

    Objects excavated at Poverty Point and related sites were often made of materials that originated in distant places—implying viable trade networks.

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  • The Praenestine Cistae

    Artistically, cistae are complex objects in which different techniques and styles coexist: engraved decoration and cast attachments seem to be the result of different technical expertise and traditions.

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  • Prague during the Rule of Rudolph II (1583–1612)

    Prague became, under Rudolf’s guidance, one of the leading centers of the arts and sciences on the continent.

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  • Prague, 1347–1437

    Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV gilded Prague’s royal towers “so that they might powerfully shine and gleam at a far distance in fair weather.”

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  • Pre-Angkor Traditions: The Mekong Delta and Peninsular Thailand

    The body of Pre-Angkorian sculpture known from numerous sites in southern Cambodia and Vietnam as well as peninsular Thailand shows an overall stylistic coherence.

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  • The Pre-Raphaelites

    The Brotherhood at its inception strove to transmit a message of artistic renewal and moral reform by imbuing their art with seriousness, sincerity, and truth to nature.

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  • Precious Metals from Tell Basta

    The hoards [from Tell Basta] contain a mixture of vessel forms covering a period of time with decorative motifs widely found in many cultures along the Mediterranean coast.

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  • Precisionism

    [The Precisionists] consistently reduced their compositions to simple shapes and underlying geometrical structures, with clear outlines, minimal detail, and smooth handling of surfaces.

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  • Prehistoric Cypriot Art and Culture

    During the Late Bronze Age, Cyprus was also an important center for the manufacture of works of art that show an amalgam of local and foreign influences. Stylistic features and iconographic elements borrowed from Egypt, the Near East, and the Aegean are often mixed together in Cypriot works.

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  • Prehistoric Stone Sculpture from New Guinea

    The earliest known works of Oceanic sculpture are a series of ancient stone figures unearthed in various locations on the island of New Guinea, primarily in the mountainous highlands of the interior.

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  • Presidents of the United States of America

    A complete list of all United States presidents in chronological order, with birth and death dates and links to related content.

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  • The Print in the Nineteenth Century

    The invention of lithography around 1800 made it possible to produce an extraordinarily large edition of prints from a single drawing executed on a block of limestone.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: Aquatint

    The medium’s lively pictorial effects suited it perfectly to the growing market for popular prints such as caricatures and fashion plates.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: Drypoint

    In the nineteenth century, when, in a revolt against the mass production characteristic of the age, artists often preferred to produce a small number of handmade images rather than hundreds of identical ones, drypoint again found favor, often in combination with other techniques.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: Engraving

    At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Dürer carried the technique to a degree of richness and detail that has never been surpassed.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: Etching

    While the printing requires considerable craft, the incising of the coated plate with the etching needle can be done by anyone who knows how to draw, encouraging many painters to try their hand.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: History and Techniques

    Prior to the fifteenth century, images were not one-of-a-kind but rare, generally found locked away in palaces, to which few had access, or affixed to the wall of a church.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: Mezzotint

    Since a mezzotint can be made more rapidly, and less expensively, than a line engraving (although it yields fewer impressions), it became a favorite means for the quick dissemination of timely images.

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  • The Printed Image in the West: Woodcut

    Given the difficulties of scraping out the wood between the lines to be printed, and the danger that lines that were too thin would break under pressure, early woodcuts consisted mainly of thick outlines with minimal shading.

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  • Printmaking in Mexico, 1900–1950

    Prints documented the plight of the oppressed and commemorated the struggles and achievements of social reform.

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  • Private Devotion in Medieval Christianity

    By the eleventh century, the appearance of icons changed, incorporating more narrative elements and expressing poignant emotions (63.68.1-.13).

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  • The Private Tombs North of the Senwosret III Pyramid Complex, Dahshur

    The officials of Senwosret III erected their tombs in a close group that was separated from the royal pyramid complex by a narrow desert strip.

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  • Profane Love and Erotic Art in the Italian Renaissance

    Some of the most rhetorically elevated, learned, and refined works of Renaissance art and literature were produced by painters and poets who turned their energies with equal facility to lewd, salacious, and erotic subject matter.

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  • The Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III in the Cemeteries of Dahshur

    The five pyramids are separated by vast areas of desert that contain private mastaba tombs and burials, stone quarries, pyramid construction ramps, causeways, workers’ settlements, and other installations.

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  • Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.)

    Qin Shihuangdi is credited with building the Great Wall of China and reviled for a state-sponsored burning of Confucian works and other classics in 213 B.C.

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  • The Qin

    Endowed with cosmological and metaphysical significance and empowered to communicate the deepest feelings, the qin is the most prestigious of China’s instruments.

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  • The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911): Loyalists and Individualists

    Many Ming officials and loyal subjects withdrew from public service after the fall of the Ming dynasty and lived in enforced retirement, pursuing personal and artistic self-cultivation.

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  • The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911): Painting

    The court became a leading patron in the arts as China enjoyed an extended period of political stability and economic prosperity.

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  • The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911): The Courtiers, Officials, and Professional Artists

    Chinese court painters soon mastered the rudiments of Western linear perspective and chiaroscuro modeling, creating a new, hybrid form of painting that combined Western-style realism with traditional brushwork.

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  • The Qing Dynasty (1644–1911): The Traditionalists

    China’s scholarly elite was deeply influenced by the theories and art of the late Ming artist, collector, and theorist Dong Qichang.

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  • Queens and Princesses in the Pyramid Complex of Senwosret III, Dahshur

    All of the pyramids belonging to royal women had small chapels dedicated to the cult of the deceased.

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  • The Rag-dung

    Tibetan-style long trumpets were among the many instruments made in China and sent as gifts to impress officials of bordering nations like Tibet.

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  • Real Alto

    Real Alto, an archaeological site located in southwest Ecuador’s Chanduy Valley, represents one of the oldest organized villages in South America.

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  • Recognizing the Gods

    Sculptors did not model their images on living beings: whether the subject was a god or a mortal, the artist strove to convey a stylized ideal.

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  • The Rediscovery of Assyria

    Although the world of Assyria continues to be revealed through spectacular finds, none can match the dramatic, romantic discoveries of the earlier generation.

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  • The Rediscovery of Classical Antiquity

    In Renaissance Italy, the desire to know and to match the excellence of the ancients often engendered passionate endeavor.

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  • The Reformation

    The movement Luther initiated spread and grew in popularity—especially in Northern Europe, though reaction to the protests against the church varied from country to country.

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  • Relics and Reliquaries in Medieval Christianity

    All relics bestowed honor and privileges upon the possessor, and monasteries and cathedrals sought to hold the most prestigious. Some relics were even stolen from one church, only to find a new home in another.

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  • Religion and Culture in North America, 1600–1700

    The first emigrants to New England brought books with them and continued to import printed materials directly from London.

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  • The Religious Arts under the Ilkhanids

    The Mongols of the steppes believed in shamans—spiritual guides who could intercede between humans and the powerful spirits of good and evil.

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  • The Religious Relationship between Byzantium and the West

    While attempts at official union between the churches were not wholly successful, compromise and exchange were widespread in the arts.

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  • Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669): Paintings

    However, a crucial aspect of Rembrandt’s development was his intense study of people, objects, and their surroundings “from life.”

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  • Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669): Prints

    Rembrandt was fascinated with subjects from the Old and New Testaments and, enjoyed revealing the realistic human emotion and narrative detail inspired by these stories.

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  • Renaissance Drawings: Material and Function

    During the late fourteenth century, artists began to use paper more and more to explore their ideas for the design of paintings and sculptures, rather than simply to copy or record finished works of art.

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  • Renaissance Keyboards

    Keyboard instruments were ideal for playing the polyphonic, or “many-voiced,” music of the Renaissance, because more than one key or melody could be played at the same time.

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  • Renaissance Organs

    The organ is a complex wind instrument that employs one or more keyboards to operate valves that admit air into a series of individual pipes, which make the sound.

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  • Renaissance Velvet Textiles

    The precise meaning of some of the motifs that held special significance during the Renaissance has been lost over time.

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  • Renaissance Violins

    The earliest violins incorporated features of existing bowed instruments: the rebec, the Renaissance fiddle, and the lira da braccio.

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  • Retrospective Styles in Greek and Roman Sculpture

    From at least the fifth century B.C. on, Greek artists deliberately represented certain works of art in the style of previous generations in order to differentiate them from other works in contemporary style.

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  • Rinpa Painting Style

    Favored themes, which often contained evocative references to nature and the seasons, were drawn from Japanese literature.

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  • The Rise of Macedonia and the Conquests of Alexander the Great

    At the age of twenty, already a charismatic and decisive leader, Alexander [the Great] quickly harnessed the Macedonian forces that his father’s reforms had made into the premier military power in the region.

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  • The Rise of Modernity in South Asia

    A group of artists known as the Bengal School believed they could develop a modern art that was uniquely Indian and not European through the use of Hindu themes and the recovery of older art forms.

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  • The Rise of Paper Photography in 1850s France

    No longer experimental or unreliable but not yet industrialized, photography in the 1850s was still very much a handcrafted medium with technical treatises that provided the foundation of knowledge on which individual photographers could build their experience.

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  • The Rise of Paper Photography in Italy, 1839–55

    The early history of photography in Italy was characterized by its international flavor, a mixing of local and foreign practitioners, predilections, and points of view that fostered a flourishing experimentation and exchange.

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  • The Rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela

    The Lalibela churches take their form, placement, and orientation from both geological features and structures within the complex.

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  • Roger Fenton (1819–1869)

    Fenton had played a pivotal role in demonstrating that photography could rival drawing and painting not only as a means of conveying information, but also as a medium of visual delight and powerful expression.

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  • The Roman Banquet

    Roman literary sources describe elite private banquets as a kind of feast for the senses, during which the host strove to impress his guests with extravagant fare, luxurious tableware, and diverse forms of entertainment, all of which were enjoyed in a lavishly adorned setting.

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  • Roman Cameo Glass

    Roman cameo glass was difficult to produce; the creation of a multilayered matrix presented considerable technical challenges, and the carving of the finished glass required a great deal of skill.

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  • Roman Copies of Greek Statues

    Although many Roman sculptures are purely Roman in their conception, others are carefully measured, exact copies of Greek statues, or variants of Greek prototypes adapted to the taste of the Roman patron.

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  • Roman Egypt

    The conquest of Egypt and its incorporation into the Roman empire inaugurated a new fascination with its ancient culture.

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  • The Roman Empire (27 B.C.–393 A.D.)

    With its borders secure and a stable central government, the Roman empire enjoyed a period of prosperity, technological advance, great achievements in the arts, and flourishing trade and commerce.

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  • Roman Games: Playing with Animals

    Since the acquisition of exotic creatures was very expensive, they would often be sent to menageries or zoological gardens around Rome to be tamed and trained for public entertainment before they reached the games, where death was inevitable.

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  • Roman Glass

    Glass was present in nearly every aspect of daily life—from a lady’s morning toilette to a merchant’s afternoon business dealings to the evening cena, or dinner.

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  • Roman Gold-Band Glass

    The prosperous upper classes of Augustan Rome appreciated [gold-band] glass for its stylistic value and apparent opulence

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  • Roman Housing

    Domestic display is a good example of the conspicuous consumption of the Roman elite, proving that they had wealth and therefore power and authority.

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  • Roman Inscriptions

    The variety of media used for [Roman] inscriptions (stone, metal, pottery, mosaic, fresco, glass, wood, and papyrus) is matched by the diverse ways in which the inscriptions themselves were used.

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  • Roman Luxury Glass

    The Roman glass industry drew heavily on the skills and techniques that were used in other contemporary crafts such as metalworking, gem cutting, and pottery production.

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  • Roman Mold-Blown Glass

    The invention of glassblowing led to an enormous increase in the range of shapes and designs that glassworkers could produce, and the mold-blowing process soon developed as an offshoot of free-blowing.

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  • Roman Mosaic and Network Glass

    Despite the labor-intensive nature of the process, cast mosaic bowls were extremely popular and foreshadowed the appeal that blown glass was to have in Roman society.

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  • Roman Painting

    Although ancient literary references inform us of Roman paintings on wood, ivory, and other materials, works that have survived are in the durable medium of fresco that was used to adorn the interiors of private homes in Roman cities and in the countryside.

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  • Roman Portrait Sculpture: Republican through Constantinian

    Roman portraiture is unique in comparison to that of other ancient cultures because of the quantity of surviving examples, as well as the complex and ever-evolving stylistic treatment of human features and character.

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  • Roman Portrait Sculpture: The Stylistic Cycle

    Beginning with Augustus, the emperors of the imperial period made full use of [sculpture’s] potential as a tool for communicating specific ideologies to the Roman populace.

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  • The Roman Republic

    During the last three centuries of the Republic, Rome became a metropolis and the capital city of a vast expanse of territory acquired piecemeal through conquest and diplomacy.

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  • Roman Sarcophagi

    Sarcophagi had been used for centuries by the Etruscans and the Greeks; when the Romans eventually adopted inhumation as their primary funerary practice, both of these cultures had an impact on the development of Roman sarcophagi.

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  • Roman Stuccowork

    Typically consisting of crushed or burned lime or gypsum mixed with sand and water, stucco was easily molded or modeled into relief decoration for walls, ceilings, and floors in both interior and exterior spaces.

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  • Romanesque Art

    Stone churches of hitherto unknown proportions were erected to accommodate ever-larger numbers of priests and monks, and the growing crowds of pilgrims who came to worship the relics of the saints.

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  • Romanticism

    In Romantic art, nature—with its uncontrollable power, unpredictability, and potential for cataclysmic extremes—offered an alternative to the ordered world of Enlightenment thought.

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  • Saint Petersburg

    The young czar, feeling oppressed by the medieval traditions and ecclesiastical patriarchy of seventeenth-century Moscow, wanted to Westernize Russia in a hurry, defying the sluggish pace of history.

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  • Saints and Other Sacred Byzantine Figures

    The main focus of Byzantine devotion was the Virgin Mary, but certain other sacred figures were prominent in Byzantine spiritual life as well.

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  • The Salon and The Royal Academy in the Nineteenth Century

    From the late eighteenth century, such institutions had a virtual monopoly on public taste and official patronage.

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  • Samurai