Art History

September 8, 2020

Germany Acquires 400-Year-Old “Friendship Book” Filled With Signatures of Kings and Emperors

German library Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (HAB) recently acquired the Große Stammbuch of Philipp Hainhoferjust—a 400-year-old “friendship book” containing the signatures of emperors, kings, and princes—for about $3.3 million. Scholars thought the one-of-a-kind manuscript was lost until it reappeared in public in 2006. “Friendship books” of its kind are similar to present-day yearbooks. In fact, Große Stammbuch takes its name from the Latin Album Amicorum, which is a direct predecessor to the modern autograph book.

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September 1, 2020

Why Michelangelo’s ‘David’ Is an Icon of the Italian Renaissance

Michelangelo's defiant David statue has captivated the world for centuries. Considered one of art history's major masterpieces, the marble sculpture showcases both the artist's skill and the fine art focus that defines the Renaissance. Since its debut in the early 16th century, artists and art connoisseurs alike have admired the piece. Esteemed artist, writer, and historian Giorgio Vasari noted that “no other artwork is equal to it in any respect, with such just proportion, beauty and excellence did Michelangelo finish it.

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August 26, 2020

Cubism: How Picasso and Others Broke From Tradition to Transform Modern Art

Since its emergence over 100 years ago, Cubism has been regarded as one of modern art‘s most famous and fascinating art movements. Cubism is closely associated with iconic artists like Pablo Picasso, whose avant-garde approach to everyday subject matter turned art history on its head. Featuring fractured forms and topsy-turvy compositions, Cubism abandoned the figurative portrayals found in genres of art and moved toward total abstraction.

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August 15, 2020

Claudio Bravo: A Prolific Portrait Artist Who Painted the Humble Beauty of Paper Packages

With a career spanning six decades, the late Chilean artist Claudio Bravo (1936 – 2011) is considered one of the greatest realist painters of his time. He created around 500 artworks during his life that included paintings, drawings, and sculptures. And with a wide array of influences from art history—including the Renaissance, Baroque period, and Salvador Dalí—his distinct style allowed him to stand out among his contemporaries.

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