Questions tagged [art]

Questions related to history of art or artists.

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4
votes
1answer
130 views

Is this costume plate from Theatrum Orbis Terrarum correctly colored?

I have been spending some time lately going through some old atlases online, and noticed some discrepancies between some images coloration. We have noted on another question that the individual ...
9
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1answer
217 views

How/when did the halo shift from being a solid disk behind the head to being a floating ring above the head?

In almost all older religious paintings that I've seen, holy figures with halos have gold/glowing disks behind their heads, like this: or sometimes more pronounced, but still clearly behind the head: ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Why did European writers and artists continue to depict the Moors as being black skinned, even though they were mostly Berbers and Arabs

The Moors were foot soldiers of the Ummayad dynasties of Syria who crossed the straits of Gibraltar into the Iberian peninsula. Later in that period, two new dynasties emerged: the Almoravids and the ...
3
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0answers
93 views

Are there Ancient Egyptian artistic renderings of fire?

In the frescoes of the Tomb of Nebamun we have the beautiful Fowling Scene. It's rendering of water is very naturalistic, and I'm wondering if the Ancient Egyptians have naturalistic renderings of ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Are there the depictions of horsemen in Roman republic other than on the coins?

I wonder if there are depictions of horsemen who sit on the horses, with the horses that have two fore (front) hooves up in the air other than on the coins made in the time when Rome was a republic. ...
11
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2answers
873 views

What are the precursors of the Bayeux Tapestry?

Background from Wikipedia: Bayeux Tapestry is one of a kind, cr. 70 metres long, narrative embroidery depicting the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, and culminating in the Battle ...
2
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0answers
94 views

How was paint supplied while painting the Sistine Chapel? [closed]

Paint today is expensive (for quality supplies, anyway), and I expect that the paint used in the Sistine Chapel was quite good quality, due to its endurance. There was also a lot of paint used there. ...
-1
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2answers
398 views

Why do very old arts (paintings, sculptures) look pretty inaccurate and abstract? [closed]

I have been looking at arts (drawings, sculptures) from different archeological periods (40000BC up to now). A pattern that I have picked up consistently when looking at arts from these periods is ...
16
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3answers
613 views

How difficult would be to watch a porn movie in US/UK before the WW II?

The first movie, longer than a few seconds, the famous "Arrival of the train" was made in 1885. The first erotic movie, "Le Coucher de la Mariée" was made barely a year later (you can watch it here - ...
8
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2answers
394 views

What is the meaning of the hand gesture performed by King James II in the portrait by Peter Lely?

This portrait by Peter Lely is one of the most well-known images of James II of England (aka James VII of Scotland). It is used to illustrate his Wikipedia article. Is there some meaning behind the ...
0
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0answers
45 views

“Gang signs” in the Dutch Republic [duplicate]

While reading about William III of England I came across paintings of two of his tutors, Grand Pensionaries Johan de Witt and Gaspar Fagel, and noticed that both are holding their left hand in a ...
1
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0answers
114 views

Are paintings in history generally darker? Are they related to the pigment verdigris?

I've long had a feeling that the scenes in the paintings created at least 150 years ago are generally darker than those created more recently. I just read the article "Why Renaissance Paintings Aren’t ...
8
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1answer
628 views

Why do some painted portraits show the subject pointing?

I've just been to the Royal Castle in Warsaw, Poland and I noticed that many of the portraits show the subject pointing at something, often out of the frame, for example this one. Why is this?
12
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2answers
576 views

What is the origin of this pre-industrial naval depiction

I'm neither a history buff not an artist, so I apologise in advance for my poor descriptions. I have recently come into possession of a painting depicting some naval ships, perhaps 19th century, ...
1
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1answer
177 views

In the painting “Ariadne”, by Arthur Streeton, why are the sails of the ship white?

In the painting Ariadne, by Arthur Streeton, seen here: Ariadne is seen crying, with a ship with white sails in the distance. Presumably, this is depicting a heartbroken Ariadne watching Theseus ...
5
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1answer
502 views

What are the red and white sectors of The Tower of Babel (Rotterdam)?

If you look at the finished lower levels, they are homogenous colored, but two small sectors, separated by another two sectors. Those different colored sectors are colored red and white. Looking at ...
50
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1answer
14k views

Is this artwork (used in a video game) real?

In Phantasmagoria video game you can find an artwork (most probably a tapestry) that looks like real piece of art and not something made for the game. I've done some research, but I wasn't able to ...
16
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1answer
943 views

Please help find these paintings

I've read in a book written about 80 years ago descriptions of 3 paintings, the paintings were seen about 130 years ago. These are the descriptions (translated to English): Painting #1 Painting of ...
3
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2answers
298 views

What does this symbol in the title page illustration of the “Margarita Philosophica” mean?

The Margarita Philosophica appeared around the year 1500 CE, written by Gregor Reisch of Freiburg. The title page of the manuscript contains the fascinating image below, in which the seven primary ...
27
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2answers
5k views

Was Rosie the Riveter sourced from a Michelangelo painting?

The Russian Wikipedia page states that an art from Michelangelo is a source of inspiration for Rosie the Riveter arrwork. My own impression is this looks indeed like that, there are many similarities....
38
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1answer
11k views

Why does this London Underground poster from 1924 have a Star of David atop a Christmas tree?

There is currently an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago displaying posters promoting London Underground transit from the 1920's and 30's. This interesting piece comes from 1924. A full ...
9
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1answer
337 views

Why are there shields present on the sides of Henry VIII ships, did they serve any function or was it pure decoration?

reading about the Field of the cloth of gold, I came across some paintings commissioned by Henry VIII himself. This painting of Henry VIII embarking at Dover to meet with Francis I caught my eye as ...
5
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2answers
436 views

Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century?

Why there is no Islamic architecture with glass in windows before 18th century? Glass windows frequently appear in gothic architecture since 11th century but why Medieval Islamic architecture lack ...
2
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1answer
244 views

What effects did World War II have on Japanese animation industry?

I was recently looking up the effects of the world war on Japanese Animation Industry after I made the following observations It is quite common to see German names in Japanese Anime which could be ...
1
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1answer
150 views

What, if any, futurists that went to war actually denied the movement later?

When I studied art in high school my teacher mentioned that most futurists that went to war later denied the movement. I couldn't find anything relating to this in the interwebs, other than the fact ...
9
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1answer
214 views

What is the brown doll on Nicolás de Ovando's desk?

Nicolás de Ovando (1460-1511) was Spanish governor of the Indies (Hispaniola) before the age of the viceroyalties. In this anonymous portrait from Wikipedia, work materials are artfully arranged ...
7
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1answer
210 views

How accurate is Nietzsche's account of the birth of tragedy?

In his first book, The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music, Nietzsche claims that tragic drama, as a practice, emerged from an originally solely-musical chorus. First people sang story-songs, ...
3
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0answers
333 views

Does anyone recognize this signature

I have this beautiful painting and I am curious who the artist is? There is a signature on bottom rhs but I am having trouble reading it. thanks
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0answers
104 views

Had Andrade read the work of Vasconcelos?

José Vasconcelos published The Cosmic Race in 1925. In his view Mexico could construct a new, better race from the diverse origins of its people. Oswald de Andrade published his Anthropophagic ...
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0answers
164 views

Why did the Renaissance Italians paint (pagan) Greek myths? [duplicate]

The Italians were very religious Catholics but why did they paint/sculpt heroes from Greek mythology? Weren't the Greeks considered pagans? In the examples below, some artists like Michelangelo were ...
8
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1answer
1k views

What is this tool/thing in an Aztec painting?

In between the warrior on the right, and the serpents in the center, is a small object. I’ve circled it in blue. This is from page 57 of the Codex Borgia. Full scans can be seen here. What is it? ...
8
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1answer
512 views

Bears on Bicycles - What are early examples of photographs or paintings showing bicycles used with animals in circus acts?

Bicycles became popular during the early to mid-nineteenth-century. Around the same time, Isaac A. Van Amburgh was active as the first circus wild animal trainer. When did the practice of training ...
14
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2answers
12k views

Why are there no photorealistic paintings from the old days? [closed]

As proven by many recent examples, some people can develop their drawing skill to such a level as to produce drawings that are difficult to distinguish from photographs. Yet much of historical art is ...
9
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2answers
675 views

What is the chair depicted in Cesare Maccari's 1889 painting “Cicerone denuncia Catilina”?

There are a number of inaccuracies in Cesare Maccari's painting. Wikipedia notes that the arrangement of the chairs was of parallel rather than radial as depicted. Did Maccari accurately depict the ...
13
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1answer
725 views

What is known about the Ubaid lizard-people figurines?

I find the Ubaid lizard-people figurines visually captivating. But for obvious reasons it's difficult to search for information about them online without wading chest deep through pages of ancient ...
12
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3answers
1k views

What is the period/term used describe Giuseppe Arcimboldo's style of painting?

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was best known for creating portrait heads entirely up of objects. Here are some examples: He is described as a '16th century Mannerist' and the 'Grandfather of Surrealism'. ...
17
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2answers
594 views

What is the meaning of a glove on the tail of monsters in illuminated manuscripts?

I've seen several images from illuminated manuscripts depicting odd-looking creatures with gloves showing two raised fingers on their tails: What is the meaning if this device?
21
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1answer
1k views

What's the meaning of a knight fighting a snail in medieval book illustrations?

Someone sent me this really weird picture of a medieval illustration. It depicted a knight fighting a snail, and was basically a viral snarky commentary about how weird medieval ideas were. I tried ...
2
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1answer
177 views

How is this pattern from Pompeii also in Cappella Sansevero?

The labyrinth tiles in Capella Sansevero where built between the mid 1760s to c. 1771 (according to http://www.museosansevero.it/floor/?lang=en). They look like this: I saw the same pattern in Villa ...
2
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0answers
208 views

Did Cimabue also paint the Last Supper?

May I ask if the painter Cimabue also painted the Last Supper? I am trying to draw some comparison between the different paintings of The Last Supper in different eras... But Cimabue (1240-1302) has ...
0
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1answer
276 views

Can anyone help identify this painting? (Western, representative, c19-c21)

This is the cover of a Penguin classic - the Love Letters of Keats. But I can't find the painting identified anywhere. Does anyone know it?
8
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2answers
438 views

What is Darius III wearing on his head?

In the famous Alexander Mosaic found in Pompeii, Darius is wearing some form of head covering, it appears to just be cloth wrapped around his head. What is the hat called? I can't find any information ...
3
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2answers
214 views

Are there any Midas portraits from the ancient era?

This is not strictly a history question, but I hope you can help me: I'm looking for original ancient art depicting king Midas (Ideally a mosaic, but anything will work, as long as it is from the "...
48
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5answers
13k views

How do we know baroque art depicted obese ladies because of a different ideal of beauty?

I've often heard that the obesity of women in baroque art signs that such women were the ideal of beauty. How could we know that? And how could we know it wasn't just "cultural rationalization" of a ...
2
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1answer
186 views

Why is Anubis given a scarf in some representations?

Two links containing images of Anubis with scarf; https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anubis_Shrine https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anubis In some representations Anubis wears what seems to be a scarf. ...
32
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2answers
6k views

What is the date and original source of this medieval picture?

While researching the history of chimneys, I came across this medieval image on two different sites, neither of which gives any details. Source: Dark Ages Project. The same picture can also be found ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Did any Moors accompany Hernando de Soto in his exploration of Mississippi?

I was reading about Hernando de Soto and saw William Powell's painting (Relevant bit cropped and added below): The odd thing (Marked with a red arrow) is the man who looks Moorish and is dressed in ...
1
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1answer
432 views

Is my comparison on the significance of black and red pottery plausible?

I am writing a paper on 8th-3rd century Greece. I am trying the distinguish the differences between black and red figure pottery. Black figure pottery very commonly illustrated the mingling of ...
11
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2answers
1k views

In Europe, why were there few portraits showing a real likeness of the subject before the 15th century?

According to the Wikipedia page on portrait painting in the middle ages, it was not until after 1350 that portraits ‘became clear likenesses’. This seems to be confirmed, for England at least, by the ...
3
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1answer
120 views

What do the knight figures in the Kehlsteinhaus fireplace symbolize?

The Kehlsteinhaus, also known as the Eagle's Nest, is a villa for diplomatic receptions and a mountain retreat for Adolf Hitler built in 1938. There is a marble fireplace in the main room, which was ...