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We don’t know who created this vivid, otherworldly portrait, but its subject is Guan Yu, descending from heaven. Guan was a Han dynasty warrior who died in 219 CE, and posthumously elevated to the status of Emperor. Guan became a venerated symbol of courage and faithfullness, honored by the Manchu rulers in shrines throughout China.Qing DynastyRulersClouds
Alexander Pope was a satirist, whose biting verse skewered the romantic ideals of 18th century English the high-society. In 1712, he published a mock-epic poem entitled "The Rape of the Lock" in which a lock of a woman's hair is stolen by an admirer, and the incident is embellished into a drama parodying Homer's Iliad.Art NouveauHorrorGrotesque
Every class has its clown. Joseph Ducreux worked alongside the great Neoclassical painters Vigée Le Brun and Jacques-Louis David, but his work sparks with humor and weird energy. This self-portrait from 1793 is still phresh enough to generate a meme: ‘Gentlemen, who hath released the hounds?’NeoclassicismSelf-portraits