Home

Read the Classics

The Lives of the Artists

The Lives of the Artists

The first encyclopedia of artists

1550
The New Art — The New Life

The New Art — The New Life

Great minds don't always think alike

1993
Of the Just Shaping of Letters

Of the Just Shaping of Letters

Typography that stands the test of time

1525
Crystal Flowers: Poems and a Libretto

Crystal Flowers: Poems and a Libretto

Sad poems from a strange artist

1949
The Compound of Alchemy

The Compound of Alchemy

Divide your elixirs and make the Projection

1591
The Painter of Modern Life

The Painter of Modern Life

Present-day beauty: the ephemeral, the fugitive, the contingent

1863
The Key of Solomon, Book 1

The Key of Solomon, Book 1

Spells for finding hidden treasure, binding love and summoning angels

1400
The Magus, Book 1

The Magus, Book 1

The rarest of the 19th century grimoires

1801
The Ramayana

The Ramayana

Rama's journey to rescue his wife from the demon king (she's in another castle)

100 BCE
The Laws of Manu

The Laws of Manu

Want to become a Brahman? Memorize 1000 laws.

200 BCE
On the Nature of Things

On the Nature of Things

Physics, the mind, soul, the movements of the universe, and sex, obviously

50 BCE
Ten Books on Architecture

Ten Books on Architecture

How to build roads, buildings and aqueducts with Roman precision

15 BCE
Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

The transformations of man and gods from before formation of the world

1 CE
Aeneid

Aeneid

The adventures of Aeneis the Trojan, and what happens when the gods hate you

19 CE
The Mahābhārata

The Mahābhārata

It takes 1.8 million words to describe the meaning of life

400 BCE
Aristotle's Poetics

Aristotle's Poetics

Drama, tragedy, comedy and satire. Aristotle's masterclass on poetry and theater — too bad half of it's missing...

335 BCE
The Republic

The Republic

Irony, humor, metaphysics and the meaning of life. The original philosophical masterwork.

360 BCE
The Odyssey

The Odyssey

800 BCE
The Iliad

The Iliad

800 BCE
The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

2100 BCE
The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy

1320
The Gulistan of Sa'di

The Gulistan of Sa'di

Exploring the poetry of ideas

1258
The Epic of Kings

The Epic of Kings

The honorable Kings of Persia are an example to us all

1010
The Analysis of Beauty

The Analysis of Beauty

The infinite complexities of the theory of beauty, distilled into six perfect principles. You read it here first, folks.

1753

The Writings Of Marcel Duchamp

1989

The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff

2013

Diary and Letters of Kaethe Kollwitz

1989

Growing Pains — The Autobiography of Emily Carr

Charming and pointed vignettes from the life of a great Canadian painter

1946

No Pleasant Memories

The unpublished memoirs of Romaine Brooks

1930
Scivias

Scivias

Prophetic visions, or the hallucinations of ergot poisoning? You decide.

1152
The Prose Edda

The Prose Edda

The violence and drama of the Norse sagas, recounted by an Icelandic poet

1200
The Germ, Vol.1

The Germ, Vol.1

Horrible love poems and the pontification of teenagers.

1850
Memoirs of Madame Vigee-Lebrun

Memoirs of Madame Vigee-Lebrun

1835
The Germ, Vol.2

The Germ, Vol.2

More terrible poems by the Pre-Raphaelite boyband/brotherhood.

The history of Rome from by Titus Livius Patavinus

Livy's History of Rome

Titus Livius Patavinus32 BCE

By the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth

Apology

Plato399 BCE

The history of the conquest of the Gauls (aka Celts) written by Julius Caesar.

The Conquest of the Gauls

Julius Ceasar50 BCE

The First Law of the Land: if any one ensnare another, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death

Law Code of Hammurabi

Hammurabi1754 BCE

Action and inaction will both destroy you in the end

The Dialogue of Pessimism

1000 BCE

We ask of our rulers no special favors, no special privileges, no special legislation. We ask justice.

Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States

1876

I condemn without hesitation the position of the Knave of Diamonds, which has replaced creative activity with theorizing.

Cubism — a Diatribe

Natalia Goncharova1912

Abandon love, abandon aestheticism, abandon the baggage of wisdom, for in the new culture, your wisdom is ridiculous and insignificant. I have untied the knots of wisdom and liberated the consciousness of color!

From Cubism and Futurism to Suprematism

Kazimir Malevich1915

I shake off the dust of the West, and I consider all those people ridiculous and backward who still imitate Western models in the hope of becoming pure painters and who fear literariness more than death.

The Rise of Russian Art

Natalia Goncharova1913

In the midst of Umma Entemena overthrew Urlumma and killed him. He left behind 60 soldiers of his force dead on the bank of the canal.

The war for the Tigris and Euphrates canal

2500 BCE

The day was for supplication, the night was for prayer. The moonlight ... early morning, its master.

The Building of Ningirsu's Temple - Cylinder B

2125 BCE

I am Nin-jirsu. No country can bear my fierce stare, nobody escapes my outstretched arms.

The Building of Ningirsu's Temple - Cylinder A

2125 BCE

Old poor poverty, fried rice with pickled sesame seeds

Fish Head

Lê Thị Lựu1967

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal

The Declaration of Independence

Thomas Jefferson1776

Now, consider carefully which you would rather do, so that later you will not regret your decision

Art school or the kitchen? Modersohn-Becker's letters to her parents

Paula Modersohn-Becker1893

The purpose of applying art: to add beauty to the results of the work of man and to add pleasure to the work itself

The Arts and Crafts of Today

William Morris1889

It is right and necessary that all men should have work to do which shall he worth doing

Art and Socialism

William Morris1884

Even if someone paints a 'green sun', I will not say it is wrong.

A Green Sun

Kōtarō Takamura1910

a fool is a man with no intellect, and a man without learning cannot have intellect

An Encouragement for Learning

Fukuzawa Yukichi1872

Therefore one day it will come to pass, that the mouth of those vipers will be stopped and the triple crown will be brought to nought

The Rosicrucian Manifestos

1616

Must toiling Man for ever meet disgrace, and eat his hard earn’d bread with heated face, and all his acts in dull Oblivion lay

On Labour, Creativity and Patriotism

Joseph Mallord William Turner1809

Have I given the message?—O Allah, be my witness.

Muhammad's Farewell Sermon

Muhammad632 CE

Every one shall have his portion from the side to which he belongs.

The Medina Charter

Muhammad622 CE

Expression, for me, does not reside in passions glowing in a human face or manifested by violent movement. The entire arrangement of my picture is expressive.

Notes of a Painter

Henri Matisse1908

Just a word, and the word a movement.

1st Dada Manifesto

Hugo Ball1916

Elementarism is the purest, and...the most direct means of expression of the human spirit

Elementarism (Fragment of a Manifesto)

Theo van Doesburg1927

A treatise on the effect of infinite reproducibility on art, and a caution against fascist propaganda. Both more relevant than ever.

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

1936

A record of the rebuilding of the first Gothic cathedral, St. Denis

The Book of Suger, Abbot of St. Denis

Abbot Suger1140

Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into flight The Stars before him from the Field of Night,

The Rubaiyat

Omar Khayyam1120

The sentiments of men often differ with regard to beauty and deformity of all kinds

Of the Standard of Taste

David Hume1742

Help us bring art
history back to life

Support Trivium on Patreon