ObeliskThemes in Art


If there’s something missing from contemporary life, aside from confidence in our leaders and a large portion of the world’s glaciers, it’s fashionable headwear. In 1954, in the United States, the now ubiquitous baseball cap was popularized by players of the eponymous sport, and today, the cotton cap with the adjustable brim has become an unavoidable head-borne virus worldwide. So, let us invite you into an archive of headwear spanning 3500 years. You’ll see broad brims and flouncy bonnets, peasant cowls and Germany’s Neolithic golden cones. We humbly offer this library as inspiration to you dear reader, and hope it sparks the desire to usher in a new era of wild, diverse and extravagant headwear.

Reed Enger, "Hats, Get your head in the game," in Obelisk Art History, Published September 18, 2015; last modified February 04, 2020, http://arthistoryproject.com/subjects/hats/.

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Antonin Proust

Édouard Manet, 1880


Edvard Munch, 1894

Arnolfini Portrait

Jan Van Eyck, 1434

Avanton Gold Cone

1000 BCE-900 BCE

Berlin Gold Hat

1000 BCE-800 BCE

Child in Sombrero

Tina Modotti, c. 1927

Elles (portfolio cover)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1896

Femme debout à la capeline

Marie Laurencin, 1913

Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, 1594


Augusta Savage, 1929

Girl in White

Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

Girl with a Flute

Johannes Vermeer, 1665

Girl with the Red Hat

Johannes Vermeer, 1665-1666

Girl with Yellow Hat

Norman Lewis, 1936

Golden Hat of Schifferstadt

1400 BCE-1300 BCE

Head of Man with Bows

1479 BCE

Jeanne Pontillon Wearing a Hat

Berthe Morisot, 1893

Jolly Toper

Judith Leyster, 1629

La Plume Jaune

Jean Metzinger, 1912

Lydia Crocheting in the Garden at Marly

Mary Cassatt, 1880-1880

On the Terrace at Sèvres with Fantin-Latour

Marie Bracquemond, 1880

Portrait of a Lady

Rogier van der Weyden, 1460

Portrait of a Lady with Binoculars

Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz, 1884

Portrait of Armand Roulin

Vincent Van Gogh, 1888

Portrait of Cézanne

Camille Pissarro, 1874

Portrait of Comtesse de Cérès

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1784

Portrait of Comtesse de la Châtre

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1789

Portrait of Felix Pissarro

Camille Pissarro, 1881

Portrait of Freda Feldman in Basuto Hat

Irma Stern, 1943

Portrait of Marie Gabrielle de Gramont, Duchesse de Caderousse

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1784

Portrait of Maximilian I

Albrecht Dürer, 1519

Portrait of Pierre Loti

Henri Rousseau, 1891

Portrait Of Rose Sélavy

Man Ray, 1921

Portrait of Sir John Herschel

Julia Margaret Cameron, 1867

Portrait of the Artist

Mary Cassatt, 1878

Portrait of the Artist's Father

Albrecht Dürer, 1490

Portrait of Zacherie Zacharian

Edgar Degas, 1886

Poster for Le Divan Japonais

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892-1893

Poster for the performance of Artistide Bruant

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892

Red Man

Bill Traylor, c. 1940

Self Portrait with Fedora

Edgar Degas, 1857-1858


Rembrandt van Rijn, 1660


Cristóbal Rojas Poleo, 1887

Self-portrait in a Straw Hat

Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1782

Self-Portrait with Straw Boater

Gino Severini, 1912

Self-Portrait, 1923

Romaine Brooks, 1923

Sir Nelson. Solid!

Barkley L. Hendricks, 1970

The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs

Georges de La Tour, 1630-1634

The Collector of Prints

Edgar Degas, 1866

The Common Place

René Magritte, 1964
More Themes in Art


The canvas mirror


Spend some time in a quiet place

Abstract Art

Unshackled from the figure

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