About Dianne L. Durante

I constantly seek out art that's inspiring, thought-provoking, skillfully executed, and/or beautiful so I can share it (in jargon-free language) with others who need and enjoy such art, but don't have time to search for it themselves. As an independent scholar, writer, and lecturer, I focus on art history and history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are three volumes on Alexander Hamilton, Central Park: The Early Years, Innovators in Sculpture (a survey of 5,000 years of art in 2 hours), and two videoguide apps by Guides Who Know. Click on the Books & Essays tab for a list of all books. For upcoming projects, see my Patreon page.

Cut-throat Politics in the Palm of Your Hand (Favorites at Washington’s National Gallery, 9)

One of the genres of that reappeared during the Renaissance was portraiture: hundreds of  meticulously executed paintings have survived. Sculptured portraits are far fewer, and sculptured portraits with added color are even less common. One of my favorite painted terracotta portraits is … Continue reading

Teenage Mutant Ninja Awesome (Favorites from Washington’s National Gallery, 8)

Years ago when I first started to work on Innovators in Painting (it was called the Crash Cruise Course then), I found it difficult to appreciate Raphael. He didn’t have Leonardo’s wide-ranging, sparkling intelligence and wit. He didn’t have the near-legendary stature … Continue reading

Adorable Nativities (Favorites from Washington’s National Gallery, 7)

After I’ve spent time looking at medieval art, this Italian Adoration of the Magi of the mid-15th century always makes me smile. Peacocks! Arches! Parades! Linear perspective! Lavish costumes and almost-naked men! There’s delight in literally every inch. I’ll need to stand and … Continue reading