Silhouette de château illuminé par un orage, by Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo: Surrealist Artist

Victor Hugo created visual art that was intuitive, experimental, and inspired by Spiritualism. In other words, nothing like his novel Les Misérables.
The Black Shawl, 1917, by Henri Matisse

The Colonialist Gaze of Matisse’s Odalisques

Henri Matisse's odalisques, or reclining nude females, were inspired by trips to exotic French colonies. But what was the story outside the frame?
Land of the Lotus Eaters, a painting by Robert S. Duncanson

Marking the Grave of the First African American Landscape Artist

Robert S. Duncanson was among the first African American artists to gain international fame. And yet his grave has stayed unmarked for 146 years.
Painting by Jozef Czapski

Painter, Proust Scholar, P.O.W.

Józef Czapski was a painter, writer, and Proust scholar -- as well as one of the few Polish military officers not executed by the Soviet Union in 1940.
mummy brown painting

When Artists Painted with Real Mummies

The popular paint pigment called “mummy brown” used to be made from—yep—ground-up Egyptian mummies.
Summer Afternoon Asher Brown Durand

Summertime Poems and Paintings

Summery poems by Mary Oliver, Matthew Zapruder, and other poets, along with seasonal paintings by Claude Monet and other artists.
georgia o'keeffe

When Dole Sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii

In 1939, Dole Pineapple Company sent Georgia O’Keeffe to Hawaii for three months in order to produce works that could be used in their advertisements.

The American Art Style that Idolized the Machine

Precisionism, a modernist art style that emerged in the early 20th century, glorified the machine age, all but erasing the presence of people.
Beyonce Jay Z

What About the Art in “Apesh*t”?

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's new music video was filmed entirely at the Louvre museum. What messages hide in the histories of the featured artworks?
David Hockney

Why David Hockney Makes Both Paintings and Photographs

In a 1991 interview with singer Graham Nash, David Hockney explained how he applied his drawing skills to photography via the computer.