AP Art History: Content Area III, IV
Rome, Italy. Late Antique Europe. c. 422-432 C.E. Brick and stone, wood
The emphasis in this architecture is on the spiritual effect and not the physical. Helps to understand the essential characteristics of the early Christian basilica.
Rome, Italy. Late Antique Europe. c. 200-400 C.E. Excavated tufa and fresco
The wall paintings are considered the first Christian artwork.
from the Vienna Genesis
Early Byzantine Europe. Early sixth century C.E. Illuminated manuscript
Ravenna, Italy. Early Byzantine Europe. c. 526-547 C.E. Brick, marble, and stone veneer; mosaic
Beautiful images of the interior spaces of San Vitale, thes images capture the effect of the interior of the church.
Consantinople (Istanbu). Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus. 532-537 C.E. Brick and ceramic elements with stone and mosaic veneer.
The interior of Hagia Sophia was paneled with costly colored marbles and ornamental stone inlays. Decorative marble columns were taken from ancient buildings and reused to support the interior arcades. Initially, the upper part of the building was minimally decorated in gold with a huge cross in a medallion at the summit of the dome
Early medieval Europe. Mid-sixth century C.E. Silver gilt worked in filigree, with inlays of garnets and other stones.
It is normal for similar groups to have similar artistic styles, and for more diverse groups to have less in common. Fibulae is proof of the diverse and distinct cultures living within larger empires and kingdoms, a social situation that was common during the middle ages.
Early Byzantine Europe. Six or early seventh century C.E. Encastic on wood.
The composition displays a spatial ambiguity that places the scene in a world that operates differently from our world. The ambiguity allows the scene to partake of the viewer’s world but also separates the scene from the normal world.
Early medieval (Hiberno Saxon) Europe. c. 700 C.E. Illuminated manuscript (ink, pigment, and gold)
The variety and splendor of the Lindisfarne Gospels are such that even in reproduction, its images astound. Artistic expression and inspired execution make this codex a high point of early medieval art.
Córdoba, Spain. Umayyad. c. 785-786 C.E. Stone masonry
The Great Mosque of Cordoba is a prime example of the Muslim world’s ability to brilliantly develop architectural styles based on pre-existing regional traditions. It is built with recycled ancient Roman columns from which sprout a striking combination of two-tiered, symmetrical arches, formed of stone and red brick.
Umayyad. c. 968 C.E. Ivory
The Pyxis of al-Mughira, now in the Louvre, is among the best surviving examples of the royal ivory carving tradition in Al-Andalus (Islamic Spain). It was probably fashioned in the Madinat al-Zahra workshops and its intricate and exceptional carving set it apart from many other examples; it also contains an inscription and figurative work which are important for understanding the traditions of ivory carving and Islamic art in Al-Andalus.
Conques, France. Romanesque Europe. Church: c. 1050-1130 C.E.; Reliuary of Saint Foy: ninth century C.E.; with later additions. Stone (architecture); stone and paint (tympanum); gold, silver, gemstone, and enamel over wood (reliquary)
One can see some of the most fabulous golden religious objects in France, including the very famous gold and jewel-encrusted reliquary statue of St. Foy. The Church of Saint Foy at Conques provides an excellent example of Romanesque art and architecture
Romanesque Europe. c. 1066-1080 C.E. Embroidery on linen
The Bayeux Tapestry has been much used as a source for illustrations of daily life in early medieval Europe. It depicts a total of 1515 different objects, animals and persons . Dress, arms, ships, towers, cities, halls, churches, horse trappings, regal insignia, ploughs, harrows, tableware, possible armorial changes, banners, hunting horns, axes, adzes, barrels, carts, wagons, reliquaries, biers, spits and spades are among the many items depicted
Chartres, France. Gothic Europe. Orignal construction. c. 1145-1115 C.E.; reconstructed c. 1194-1220 C.E. Limestone, stained glass
The Chartres Cathedral is probably the finest example of French Gothic architecture and said by some to be the most beautiful cathedral in France. The Chartres Cathedral is a milestone in the development of Western architecture because it employs all the structural elements of the new Gothic architecture: the pointed arch; the rib-and-panel vault; and, most significantly, the flying buttress.
Gothic Europe. c. 1225-1245 C.E. Illuminated manuscript
This 13th century illumination, both dazzling and edifying, represents the cutting edge of lavishness in a society that embraced conspicuous consumption. As a pedagogical tool, perhaps it played no small part in helping Louis IX achieve the status of sainthood, awarded by Pope Bonifiace VIII 27 years after the king’s death.
Late medieval Europe (Germany). c. 1300-1325 C.E. Painted wood
The statue’s bold emotionalism in Mary and Jesus’s face. If we focus on Mary’s face, there is a mix of emotions in her gaze. The artist humanizes Mary by giving her strong emotions. Mary’s face looks appalled and anguished because of her son’s death, and there is also a sense of shock, and awe that anyone would kill her son- the Son of God. The artist had exaggerated Mary’s sorrow in attempts to make it seem she was asking the viewer.
Padus, Italy. Unknown architect; Giotto di Bonde (artist). Chapel: c. 1303 C.E.; Fresco: c. 1305. Brick (architecture) and fresco
Giotto painted his artwork on the walls and ceiling of the Chapel using the fresco method in which water based colors are painted onto wet plaster. Painting onto wet plaster allows the paint to be infused into the plaster creating a very durable artwork. However, since the painter must stop when the plaster dries it requires the artist to work quickly and flawlessly
Late medieval Spain. c. 1320 C.E. Illuminated manuscript (pigment and gold leaf on vellum)
The book was for use of a wealthy Jewish family. The holy text is written on vellum – a kind of fine calfskin parchment – in Hebrew script, reading from right to left. Its stunning miniatures illustrate stories from the biblical books of ‘Genesis’ and ‘Exodus’ and scenes of Jewish ritual.
Granada, Spain. Nasrid Dynasty. 1354-1391 C.E. Whitewashed adobe stucco, wood, tile, paint, and gilding
The Alhambra’s architecture shares many characteristics, but is singular in the way it complicates the relationship between interior and exterior. Its buildings feature shaded patios and covered walkways that pass from well-lit interior spaces onto shaded courtyards and sun-filled gardens all enlivened by the reflection of water and intricately carved stucco decoration.
Workshop of Robert Campin. 1427-1432 C.E. Oil on wood
It consists of three hinged panels (triptych format): the left panel depicts the donor and his wife; the central and most important panel shows the Annunciation itself, and its two main characters, Mary and Archangel Gabriel; the right panel portrays Joseph in his workshop. The triptych is unsigned and undated, and only since the early 20th century has Robert Campin been identified as its creator, albeit with help from his assistants, one of whom may have been his greatest pupil Roger van der Weyden (1400-64).
Basilicia di Santa Croce. Florence, Italy. Filippo Brunelleschi (architect) c. 1429-1461 C.E. Masonry
Pazzi chapel as a perfect space with harmonious proportions. He could achieve this result by including in his project-plan the knowledge gained during his stay in Rome when he focused primarily on measuring ancient buildings, for instance the Pantheon. The central dome is decorated with round sculptures and the coat of arms of Pazzi Family
Jan van Eyck. c. 1434 C.E. Oil on wood
Van Eyck used oil-based paint as the medium for his artwork. This type of paint is manufactured by adding pigment to linseed or walnut oil. Oil based paint dries slowly allowing the painter more time to make revisions and to add detail, and it has a luminous quality that allows the artist. Van Eyck was not the inventor of oil-based paint, but he is recognized as being one of the first to perfect its use
Donatello. c. 1440-1460 C.E. Bronze
Nearly everything about the statue – from the material from which it was sculpted to the subject’s \”clothing\” – was mold-breaking in some way. Scholars and artists have studied David for centuries in an attempt to both learn more about the man behind it and to more fully discern its meaning.
Florence, Italy. Leon Battista Alberti (architect). c. 1450 C.E. Stone, masonry
It uses architectural features for decorative purposes rather than structural support; like the engaged columns on the Colosseum, the pilasters on the façade of the Rucellai do nothing to actually hold the building up .Also, on both of these buildings, the order of the columns changes, going from least to most decorative as they acend from the lowest to highest tier.
Fra Filippo Lippi. c. 1465 C.E. Tempera on wood
Mary’s hands are clasped in prayer, and both she and the Christ child appear lost in thought, but otherwise the figures have become so human that we almost feel as though we are looking at a portrait. The angels look especially playful, and the one in the foreground seems like he might giggle as he looks out at us.
Sandro Brotticelli. c. 1484-1486 C.E. Tempera on canvas
Botticelli broke new ground with his works, including the Birth of Venus. He was the first to create large scale mythology scenes, some based on historical accounts. In the era that Birth of Venus was painted, minds were open to new ideas and religion no longer needed to be the main subject of artistic work. If such mythological pieces had been painted 100 years earlier, they would not have been accepted by the church because they were so different to traditional depictions.
Leonardo da Vinci. c. 1494-1498 C.E. Oil and Tempera
The Last Supper is remarkable because the disciples are all displaying very human, identifiable emotions. The Last Supper had certainly been painted before. Leonardo’s version, though, was the first to depict real people acting like real people.
Albrecht Dürer. 1504 C.E. Engraving
Dürer became increasingly drawn to the idea that the perfect human form corresponded to a system of proportion and measurements. Dürer’s placid animals signify that in this moment of perfection in the garden, the human figures are still in a state of equilibrium.
Vatican City, Italy. Michelangelo. Ceiling frescoes: c. 1508-1512 C.E.; altar frescoes: c. 1536-1541 C.E. Fresco
The paintings depict nine stories from the Christian Bible’s Book of Genesis, including the most famous image, the Creation of Adam (right). Taken together, the paintings are considered one of the world’s greatest art masterpieces. Their realistic and extremely detailed depictions of some of Judaism’s and Christianity’s most famous moments are a wonder to all who see them.
Raphael. 1509-1511 C.E. Fresco
Its pictorial concept, formal beauty and thematic unity were universally appreciated, by the Papal authorities and other artists, as well as patrons and art collectors. It ranks alongside Leonardo’s Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, and Michelangelo’s Vatican frescoes, as the embodiment of Renaissance ideals of the early cinquecento.
Matthias Grünewald. c. 1512-1516 C.E. Oil on wood
Emphasizing the suffering and anguish of Christ and his mother’s angst. With intense colors and dramatic lighting throughout, Grunewald included a Lamentation in the predella and Saints Sebastian and Anthony on the fixed wings.
Jacopo da Pontormo. 1525-1528 C.E. Oil on wood
They inhabit a flattened space, comprising a sculptural congregation of brightly demarcated colors. The vortex of the composition droops down towards the limp body of Jesus off center in the left. Those lowering Christ appear to demand our help in sustaining both the weight of his body (and the burden of sin Christ took on) and their grief.
Lucas Cranach the Elder. c. 1530 C.E. Woodcut and letterpress
The practice of imbuing narratives, images or figures with symbolic meaning to convey moral principles and philosophical idea
Titan. c. 1538 C.E. Oil on canvas
Thanks to the wise use of color and its contrasts, as well as the subtle meanings and allusions, Titian achieves the goal of representing the perfect Renaissance woman who, just like Venus, becomes the symbol of love, beauty and fertility.
Viceroyalty of New Spain. c. 1541-1542 C.E. Ink and color on paper
The artist emphasizes the military power of the Aztecs by showing two soldiers in hierarchic scale: they physically tower over the two men they defeat. The Codex contains a wealth of information about the Aztecs and their empire
Rome, Italy. Giacomo da Vignola, plan (architect); Giamcomo della Porta, facade (architect); Giovanni Battista Gaulli, ceiling fresco (artist). Church: 16th century C.E.; facade: 1568-1584 C.E.; fresco and stucco figures: 1679-1679 C.E. Brick, marble, fresco, and stucco
The interior accentuates the two great functions of a Jesuit church: its large central nave with the laterally placed pulpit serves as a great auditorium for preaching, and the highly visible and prominent altar serves as a theatrical stage for the celebration of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. the fresco blends seamlessly into the architecture of the ceiling. It almost looks like there really is an opening in the ceiling.
Pieters Bruegel the Elder. 1565 C.E. Oil on woods
This Bruegel oil painting – which is, incidentally the world’s most popular classical Christmas card design – evokes the harsh conditions and temperatures of winter. The composition is ideal as the first in a frieze of pictures covering the full year, and the painting is filled with detail.
Edrine, Turkey. Sinan (architect), 1568-1575 C.E. Brick and stone
It is one of the most important buildings in the history of world architecture both for its design and its monumentality. It is considered to be the masterwork of the great Ottoman architect Sinan.
Caravaggio. c. 1597-1601 C.E. Oil on canvas
Caravaggio depicts the very moment when Matthew first realizes he is being called. This was Caravaggio’s first important job and the completed work would win him the highest of praise as well as the harshest of criticism for its shockingly innovative style.
from the Marie de’ Medici Cycle
Peter Paul Rubens. 1621-1625 C.E. Oil on canvas
The cycle idealizes and allegorizes Marie’s life in light of the peace and prosperity she brought to the kingdom, not through military victories but through wisdom, devotion to her husband and her adopted country, and strategic marriage alliances—her own as well as the ones she brokered for her children. This, at least, is the message she wished to convey and she worked closely with her advisors and Rubens to ensure her story was told as she saw fit.
Rembrandt van Rijn. 1636 C.E. Etching
Rembrandt stand out among his contemporaries is that he often created multiple states of a single image. This etching, for example, exists in three states. By reworking his plates he was able to experiment with ways to improve and extend the expressive power of his images.
Rome, Italy. Francesco Borromini (architect) 1638-1646 C.E. Stone and stucco
He was much criticized as an architect who ignored the rules of the Ancients in favour of whimsy. However it is his clear knowledge of those rules, and the facility and ingenuity with which he manipulated them, which has ensured his reputation as one of the great geniuses in the history of architecture.
Cornaro Chapel, Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria Rome, Italy. Gian Lorenzo Bernini. c. 1647-1652 C.E. Marble (sculpture); stucco and gilt bronze (chapel)
Bernini used the erotic character of the experience as a springboard to a new and higher type of spiritual awakening. It is one of the most important examples of the Counter-Reformation style of Baroque sculpture, designed to convey spiritual aspects of the Catholic faith.
Master of Calamarca (La Paz School). c. 17th century C.E. Oil on canvas
As the Angels was one of the topics most characteristic of the painting from the Viceregal in America, this kind of art and characters are found in different villages of Peru, Argentina and even in other departments of Bolivia. Calamarca is one of the most complete collections, including Angels holding arquebuses, swords, holding keys or spikes of wheat or a bundle of fire in his hand.
Diego Velázquez. c. 1656 C.E. Oil on canvas
The painting represents a scene from daily life in the palace of Felipe IV. The points of light illuminate the characters and establish an order in the composition. The light that illuminates the room from the right hand side of the painting focuses the viewer´s look on the main group, and the open door at the back, with the person positioned against the light, is the vanishing point.
Johnnes Vermer. c. 1664 C.E. Oil on canvas
the small, delicate balance is the central feature and focus of the picture, which is all about the weighing of transitory material concerns against spiritual ones. It is a more explicitly allegorical work than usual, but some elements remain obscure. The work exemplifies Vermeer’s style of Dutch Realist genre painting with its blend of painterly technique, moral narrative and, above all, intimacy
Versailles, France. Loius Le Vau and Jules Hardouin-Mansart (architects). Begun 1669 C.E. Masonry, stone, wood, iron, and gold leaf (architecture); marble and bronze (sculpture); gardens
The gigantic scale of Versailles exemplifies the architectural theme of ‘creation by division’ – a series of simple repetitions rhythmically marked off by the repetition of the large windows – which expresses the fundamental values of Baroque art and in which the focal point of the interior, as well as of the entire building, is the king’s bed. Among its celebrated architectural designs is the Hall of Mirrors, which is one of the most famous rooms in the world. The palace and its decoration stimulated a mini-renaissance of interior design, as well as decorative art, during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Circle of the González Family. c. 1697-1701 C.E. Tempera and resin on wood, shell inlay
Throughout both sides, the artists embedded thin layers of mother-of-pearl, but not in any pattern, nor within the images’ contour lines. Their purpose was to reflect light from the candles that would have shone in the screen’s surroundings
Miguel González. c. 1698 C.E. Based on original Virgin of Gaudalupe. Basilica of Guadalupe, Mexico City. 16th century C.E. Oil on canvas on wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl
Our Lady of Guadalupe holds a special place in the religious life of Mexico and is one of the most popular religious devotions. Her image has played an important role as a national symbol of Mexico.
Rachel Ruysch. 1711 C.E. Oil on wood
This luscious sample of life on Earth represents at least two passions of its time: categorization and still-life, which emphasize the pleasure of the senses and their qualities
Attributed to Juan Rodríguez Juárez. c. 1715 C.E. Oil on canvas
The painting displays a Spanish father and Indigenous mother with their son, and it belongs to a larger series of works that seek to document the inter-ethnic mixing occurring in New Spain among Europeans, indigenous peoples, Africans, and the existing mixed-race population. This genre of painting, known as caste paintings, attempts to capture reality, yet they are largely fictions.
William Hogarth. c. 1743 C.E. Oil on canvas
First Western artist who worked in series, that is, a group of paintings with a common thread, a common theme. Now many contemporary artists work in series to explore different styles and approaches to their art, but this was not usual in the 18th century.
Miguel Cabrera. c. 1750 C.E. Oil on canvas.
Considered the first feminist of the Americas, sor Juana lived as a nun of the Jeronymite order (named for St. Jerome) in seventeenth-century Mexico. Renown of Sister Juana as one of the most important early poets of the Americas. The inscription identifies the image as a faithful copy after a portrait that she herself made and painted with her own hand.
Joseph Wright of Derby. c. 1763-1765 C.E. Oil on canvas
That responsibility falls on the paintings strong internal light source, the lamp that takes the role of the sun. Wright inserted strong light sources in otherwise dark compositions to create dramatic effect. Most of these earlier works were Christian subjects, and the light sources were often simple candles. Wright flips the script with his scientific subject matter. The gas lamp which acts as the sun pulls double duty in the painting. It illuminates the scene, allowing the viewer to clearly see the figures within, and it symbolizes the active enlightenment in which those figures are participating.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard. 1767 C.E. Oil on canvas
The Swing, rich with symbolism, not only manages to capture a moment of complete spontaneity and joie de vivre, but also alludes to the illicit affair that may have already been going on, or is about to begin.
Virginia, U.S. Thomas Jefferson (architect). 1768-1809 C.E. Brick, glass, stone, and wood
By helping to introduce classical architecture to the United States, Jefferson intended to reinforce the ideals behind the classical past: democracy, education, rationality, civic responsibility. Jefferson reinforced the symbolic nature of architecture.
Jacques-Louis David. 1784 C.E. Oil on canvas
Designed to rally republicans (those who believed in the ideals of a republic, and not a monarchy, for France) by telling them that their cause will require the dedication and sacrifice of the Horatii.
Jean-Antoine Hudson. 1788-1792 C.E. Marble
The statue, with all of its elements, skillfully combines ancient and modern styles to illustrate both military and civilian virtues. When Houdon completed the statue, he inscribed the base simply with \”George Washington\” and his own name and a date.
Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. 1790 C.E. Oil on canvas
The painting expresses an alert intelligence, vibrancy, and freedom from care. This, dispite the fact that Vigée-LeBrun had been forced to flee France in disguise and under cover of darkness during the early stages of the Revolution
Francisco de Goya. 1810-1823 C.E. (publised 1863) Etching, drypoint, burin, and burnishing
The artist was sent to the general’s hometown of Saragossa to record the glories of its citizens in the face of French atrocities. The sketches that Goya began in 1808 and continued to create throughout and after the Spanish War of Independence and other emphatic caprices. Focused on the widespread suffering experienced in wartime and the brutality inflicted by both sides during periods of armed conflict.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. 1814 C.E. Oil on canvas
Ingres’ sensual fascination with the Orient was no secret. He displayed his attraction for this foreign eroticism in many of his works but his most famous paintings on this theme are La Grande Odalisque.
Eugène Delacroix. 1830 C.E. Oil on canvas
Delacroix wanted to paint July 28: Liberty Leading the People to take his own special action in the revolution and his color technique combined his intense brushstrokes to create an unforgettable canvas.
Thomas Cole. 1836 C.E. Oil on canvas
The artist juxtaposes untamed wilderness and pastoral settlement to emphasize the possibilities of the national landscape, pointing to the future prospect of the American nation. Cole’s unmistakable construction and composition of the scene, charged with moral significance, is reinforced by his depiction of himself in the middle distance, perched on a foreland painting the Oxbow.
Louis-Jacques Mandé Daguerre. 1837 C.E. Daguerreotype. 1837 C.E. Daguerreotype
He developed the daguerreotype process, produced pictures remarkable for the perfection of their details and for the richness and harmony of their general effect.
Joseph Mallord William Turner. 1840 C.E. Oil on canvas
Slave Ship is a perfect example of a romantic landscape painting. His style is expressed more through dramatic emotion, sometimes taking advantage of the imagination. Instead of carefully observing and portraying nature, William Turner took a landscape of a stormy sea and turned it into a scene with roaring and tumultuous waves that seem to destroy everything in its path. Turner’s aims were to take unique aspects of nature and find a way to appeal strongly to people’s emotions.
London, England. Charles Barry and Augustus W. N. Pugin (architects). 1840-1870 C.E. Limestone masonry and glass
Its stunning Gothic architecture to the 19th-century architect Sir Charles Barry. The Palace contains a fascinating mixture of both ancient and modern buildings, and houses an iconic collection of furnishings, archives and works of art.
Gustave Courbet. 1849 C.E. (destroyed in 1945). Oil canvas
He attempts to be even-handed, attending to faces and rock equally. In these ways, The Stonebreakers seems to lack the basics of art (things like a composition that selects and organizes, aerial perspective and finish) and as a result, it feels more \”real.\”
1862 C.E. Lithograph
Nadar, one of the most prominent photographers in Paris at the time, was known for capturing the first aerial photographs from the basket of a hot air balloon.
Édouard Manet. 1863 C.E. Oil on canvas
Olympia and the controversy surrounding what is perhaps the most famous nude of the nineteenth-century. Olympia had more to do with the realism of the subject matter than the fact that the model was nude.
Claude Monet. 1877 C.E. Oil on canvas
The effects of color and light rather than a concern for describing machines in detail. Certain zones, true pieces of pure painting, achieve an almost abstract vision. An ideal setting for someone who sought the changing effects of light, movement, clouds of steam and a radically modern motif.
Eadweard Muybridge. 1878 C.E. Albumen print
Muybridge spent the rest of his career improving his technique, making a huge variety of motion studies, lecturing, and publishing. As a result of his motion studies, he is regarded as one of the fathers of the motion picture. Muybridge’s motion studies showed the way to a new art form.
José María Velasco. 1882 C.E. Oil on canvas
The Valley of Mexico from the Hillside of Santa Isabel represents an important period in the development of Mexico’s national identity and an important chapter in the history of Mexican art. Velasco’s landscapes became symbols of the nation as they represented Mexico in several World Fairs.
Auguste Rodin. 1884-1895 C.E. Bronze
He accomplished this by not only positioning each figure in a different stance with the men’s heads facing separate directions, but he lowered them down to street level so a viewer could easily walk around the sculpture and see each man and each facial expression and feel as if they were a part of the group, personally experiencing the tragic event.
Vincent van Gogh. 1889. Oil on canvas
It is this rich mixture of invention, remembrance, and observation combined with Van Gogh’s use of simplified forms, thick impasto, and boldly contrasting colors that has made the work so compelling to subsequent generations of viewers as well as to other artists. Inspiring and encouraging others is precisely what Van Gogh sought to achieve with his night scenes. The painting became a foundational image for Expressionism as well as perhaps the most famous painting in Van Gogh’s oeuvre.
Mary Cassatt. 1890-1891 C.E, Drypoint and aquatint
The straight lines of the mirror and wall and the chair’s vertical stripes contrast with the graceful curves of the woman’s body. The rose and peach color scheme enhances her sinuous beauty by highlighting her delicate skin tone. Cassatt also emphasizes the nape of the woman’s neck, perhaps in reference to a traditional Japanese sign of beauty.
Edvard Munch. 1893 C.E. Tempera and pastels on cardboard
Edvard Munch portrayed pure, raw emotion in this artwork was a radical shift from the art tradition of his own time, and he is therefore credited with beginning the expressionist movement that spread through Germany and on to other parts of the world. Most of Edvard Munch’s work relates to themes of sickness, isolation, fear and death.
Paul Gauguin. 1897-1898 C.E. Oil on canvas
A huge, brilliantly colored but enigmatic work painted on rough, heavy sackcloth. It contains numerous human, animal, and symbolic figures arranged across an island landscape. The sea and Tahiti’s volcanic mountains are visible in the background. It is Paul Gauguin’s largest painting, and he understood it to be his finest work.
Chicago, Illinios, U.S. Louis Sullivan (architect). 1899-1903 C.E. Iron, steel, glass, and terra cotta
With its elaborate decorative program and attention paid to the functional requirements of retail architecture, Sullivan’s design was a remarkably successful display for the department store’s products, even if it diverged from the wholly vertical effect of his earlier skyscrapers.
Paul Cézanne. 1902-1904 C.E. Oil on canvas
Displays less precise brushstrokes allowing the shape of the mountain to emerge from the canvas like an apparition. It’s the painter’s intention to show nature as it is, without omitting to convey an emotion.
Pablo Picasso. 1907 C.E. Oil on canvas
Marks a radical break from traditional composition and perspective in painting. These strategies would be significant in Picasso’s subsequent development of Cubism, charted in this gallery with a selection of the increasingly fragmented compositions he created in this period.
Alfred Stieglitz. 1907 C.E. Photogravure
The Steerage is considered Stieglitz’s signature work, and was proclaimed by the artist and illustrated in histories of the medium as his first \”modernist\” photograph.
Gustav Klimt. 1907-1908 C.E. Oil and gold leaf on canvas
This one employs intense ornament on the embracing couple’s gilded clothing, so thoroughly intertwined that the two bodies seem to be one
Constantin Brancusi. 1907-1908 C.E. Limestone
Marked a major departure from the emotive realism of Rodin’s famous handling of the same subject. This 1916 version is the most geometric of Brancusi’s series, reflecting the influence of Cubism in its sharply defined corners. Its composition, texture, and material highlight Brancusi’s fascination with both the forms and spirituality of African, Assyrian, and Egyptian art. That attraction also led Brancusi to craft The Kiss using direct carving, a technique that had become popular in France at the time due to an interest in \”primitive\” methods. These sculptures signify his shift toward simplified forms, as well as his interest in contrasting textures – both key aspects of his later work.
Georges Braque. 1911 C.E. Oil on canvas
In this canvas, everything was fractured. The guitar player and the dock was just so many pieces of broken form, almost broken glass. By breaking these objects into smaller elements, Braque was able to overcome the unified singularity of an object and instead transform it into an object of vision.
Henri Mattisse. 1912 C.E. Oil on canvas
This painting is an illustration of some of the major themes in Matisse’s painting: his use of complimentary colors, his quest for an idyllic paradise, his appeal for contemplative relaxation for the viewer and his complex construction of pictorial space.
Vassily Kandinsky. 1912 C.E. Oil on canvas
His style had become more abstract and nearly schematic in its spontaneity. This painting’s sweeping curves and forms, which dissolve significantly but remain vaguely recognizable, seem to reveal cataclysmic events on the left and symbols of hope and the paradise of spiritual salvation on the right.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. 1915 C.E. Oil on canvas
Documents the artist’s fear that the war would destroy his creative powers and in a broader sense symbolizes the reactions of the artists of his generation who suffered the kind of physical and mental damage Kirchner envisaged in this painting.
Käthe Kollwitz. 1919-1920 C.E. Woodcut
Created in 1920 in response to the assassination of Communist leader Karl Liebknecht during an uprising of 1919. This work is unique among her prints, and though it memorializes the man, it does so without advocating for his ideology.
Poissy-sur-Seine, France. Le Corbusier (architect). 1929 C.E. Steel and reinforced concrete
This was a radically new view of the domestic sphere, one that is evident in his design for the Villa Savoye. The architect has created a space that is dynamic. This design concept was based on the notion of the car as the ultimate machine and the idea that the approach up to and through the house carried ceremonial significance.
Piet Mondrain. 1930 C.E. Oil on canvas
Represents a mature stage of Mondrian’s abstraction. It seems to be a flat work, but there are differences in the texture of different elements. While the black stripes are the flattest of the paintings, in the areas with color are clear the brushstrokes, all in the same direction. The white spaces are, on the contrary, painted in layers, using brushstrokes that are put in different directions. And all of these produce a depth that, to the naked eye, cannot be appreciated.
1932 C.E. Photomontage.
There is a sharp contrast between the black and white photographs and the red elements, such as the electric tower, the number 5, and the triangle in the foreground. Our eyes are attracted to these oppositions and by the contrast between the indistinct masses and the individual portrait of Lenin, as an implicit reference to the Soviet political system.
Meret Oppenheim. 1936 C.E. Fur-covered cup, saucer, spoon
In doing so, she said she wanted to transform items typically associated with feminine decorum into sensuous tableware. It also provoked the viewer into imagining what it would be like to drink out of a fur-lined cup.
Pennsylvannia, U.S. Frank Lloyd Wright (architect) 1936-1939 C.E. Reinforced concrete, sandstone, steel, and glass
It’s a house that doesn’t even appear to stand on solid ground, but instead stretches out over a 30′ waterfall. It captured everyone’s imagination when it was on the cover of Time magazine in 1938.
Frida Kahlo. 1939 C.E. Oil on canvas
She typically painted self-portraits using vibrant colours in a style that was influenced by cultures of Mexico as well as influences from European Surrealism. Her self-portraits were often an expression of her life and her pain.
Jacob Lawrence. 1940-1941 C.E. Casein tempera on hardboard
Broad in scope and dramatic in exposition, this depiction of African-Americans moving North to find jobs, better housing, and freedom from oppression was a subject he associated with his parents, who had themselves migrated from South Carolina to Virginia, and finally, to New York.
Wifredo Lam. 1943 C.E. Gouache on paper mounted on canvas
The work, \”intended to communicate a psychic state,\” Lam said, depicts a group of figures with crescent-shaped faces that recall African or Pacific Islander masks, against a background of vertical, striated poles suggesting Cuban sugarcane fields. Together these elements obliquely address the history of slavery in colonial Cuba.
Diego Rivera. 1947-1948 C.E. Fresco
The artist reminds the viewer that the struggles and glory of four centuries of Mexican history are due to the participation of Mexicans from all strata of society.
Marcel Duchamp. 1950 C.E. (original 1917). Readymade glazed sanitary china with black paint
It was unexpectedly a rather beautiful object in its own right and a blindingly brilliant logical move, check-mating all conventional ideas about art. But it was also a highly successful practical joke.
William de Kooning. 1950-1952 C.E. Oil on canvas
Woman, I reflects the age-old cultural ambivalence between reverence for and fear of the power of the feminine.
New York City, U.S. Ludwig Miles van er Rohe and Philip Johnson (architects). 1954-1958 C.E. Steel frame with glass curtain wall and bronze
This building epitomizes the importation of modernist ideals from Europe to the United States. In its monumental simplicity, expressed structural frame and rational use of repeated building elements, the building embodies Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s oft-repeated aphorisms that \”structure is spiritual\” and \”less is more.\” He believed that the more a building was pared to its essential structural and functional elements, and the less superfluous imagery is used, the more a building expresses its structure and form.
Andy Warhol. 1962 C.E. Oil, acrylic, and silkscreen enamel on canvas
Marilyn Diptych he has produced effects of blurring and fading strongly suggestive of the star’s demise. The contrast of this panel, printed in black, with the brilliant colors of the other, also implies a contrast between life and death. The repetition of the image has the effect both of reinforcing its impact and of negating it, creating the effect of an all-over abstract pattern.
Yayoi Kusama. Original Installation and performance 1966. Mirror balls
Her work as emerging from her mental illness: she says has had hallucinations since she was a child. She also says that her ability to produce artistic works is a therapy for her. has often revisited mirrored forms in her work, exploring notions of infinity, illusion, and repetition in discrete sculptures and room-size installations.
Helen Frankenthaler. 1963 C.E. Acrylic on canvas
He colors on the canvas don’t have to represent something in particular, but can have a more ambiguous, emblematic quality for the viewer. The basic act of responding to color, the way one would respond to a sunset, or to light from a stained-glass window, simplicity and pure emotion through clarity of color and form.
Claes Oldenburg. 1969-1974 C.E. Cor-Ten steel, steel, aluminum, and cast resin; painted with polyurethane enamel
Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks claimed a visible space for the anti-war movement while also poking fun at the solemnity of the plaza. The sculpture served as a stage and backdrop for several subsequent student protests.
Great Salt Lake, Utah. U.S. Robert Smithson. 1970 C.E. Earthwork: mud, precipitated salt crystals, rocks, and water coil
The wind alters the intensity of the water’s changing colors, as does the quality of the light and the density of the overhead cloud-cover. As you start to walk the spiral, you enter a kaleidoscope of moaning wind, relentless light, and mercurial water colors.
Delaware, U.S. Robert Venturi, John Rauch, and Denise Scott Brown (architects). 1978-1983 C.E. Wood frame and stucco
While the Vanna Venturi house is widely considered to be the first postmodern building, Robert Venturi insists he wasn’t trying to create a new movement. With his Vanna Venturi house widely considered to be the first postmodern building design Robert Venturi showed us that sometimes, rules are meant to be broken.