Rosa Bonheur: The Most Famous Artist You’ve Never Heard Of …

Édouard Dubufe (French, 1819-1883) Portrait de Marie-Rosalie dite Rosa Bonheur, 1857.

In the 19th-century, during her lifetime Rosa Bonheur was one of the most famous artists in all of Europe and North America. Required to obtain a cross-dressing permit in order to venture into the world of men — for the sake of her art — she took that world by storm! […]

Visualizing 4000 Years of Spanish History

The collection of the Hispanic Society of America reveals the history of Spain and its place in the world, from antiquity to modern times. Unrivaled outside Spain, the scope and quality of the collection is hard to believe, considering that it was largely amassed by a single inspired collector. […]

Art in Context: Not Living in the Moment

For people who lived (and died) in the 14th century — when the Great Plague (aka the Black Death, the Great Mortality) killed roughly half the world’s population — a truly horrible death was not hard to envision. It’s almost impossible for most of us, today, to understand the constant presence of death that was the reality of life for everyone until very recent times. […]

Art in Context: Peter Paul Rubens’ Altarpiece, The Descent From the Cross

It is a testament to Rubens’ extraordinary skill that he could convey such tenderness and devotion without any hint of sentimentality. The Descent from the Cross shows the artist moving away from his exuberant Baroque compositions to a more Classical approach. […]

Art in Context: Peter Paul Rubens’ Altarpiece, The Raising of the Cross

With this sensational painting, Rubens introduced the Baroque into Northern European art. In composition, iconography and size (15’ x 20’) it is resplendent with the artistic ideals of the Counter-Reformation. Imagine the effect this must have had when it was unveiled in 1610! […]