A New History of Art
Natürlichekunst, or Natural Art, Themes in Art

Natürlichekunst, or Natural Art

A few weeks ago I saw my first gongshí in person. Two hours into a rangy wander through the least popular rooms in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and my brain was collapsing. I’d gotten stuck in one those second floor balconies above the greek marbles, consumed by endless rows of uninspired cycladic pottery and votives to pedestrian gods. Read More


Alexandre Cabanel

Creativity vs the Académie

From its subject matter and color scheme to the visibility of each brushstroke, Alexandre Cabanel's artwork was defined by the total authority of the Académie — but even under extreme constraint, creativity finds ways to express itself. Read More

Alexandre Cabanel, The Artists
Random Draw

Iceland, or Jer Falcon

John James Audubon, 1838

“On the 6th August, 1833, while my young friends, Thomas Lincoln and Joseph Cooledge, accompanied by my son John, were rambling by the rushing waters of a brook banked by stupendous rocks, eight or ten miles from the port of Bras d’Or, on the coast of Labrador, they were startled by a loud and piercing shriek, which issued from the precipices above them. On looking up, my son observed a large Hawk plunging over and about him. Read More

Iceland, or Jer Falcon, John James Audubon

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