Questions tagged [art]

Questions related to history of art or artists.

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16
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do we find a large number of nude male characters in ancient Greek paintings and sculptures?

Why do we find a large number of nude male characters in ancient Greek paintings and sculptures? What was the social status of nudity in ancient Greece?
12
votes
3answers
999 views

Why didn't early modern Christians object to pagan symbolism in art?

I've been to a couple European museums recently, and a question that has been nagging at me is how a society composed of devout Christians could have been so okay with the introduction of pagan gods ...
17
votes
2answers
580 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?
8
votes
1answer
593 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?
32
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
306 views

When was the concept of “art criticism” first seen?

Today being an art critic is a full time occupation for some individuals. When/where does the concept of "art criticism" first come into being? Clarify I am NOT looking for a random person sharing ...
8
votes
2answers
365 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
728 views

How accurate are ancient history busts?

This question links to a blog article of dubious quality about the life of Nero. One sentence however got me thinking (emphasis mine): Though many historical accounts of Nero describe him as weak ...