Painting Before 1300 AD (6): Medieval
Fresco of a lion from San Pedro de Arlanza, ca. 1220. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cloisters. Photo: MetMuseum.org http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/471061

Painting Before 1300 AD (6): Medieval

With the fall of the Roman Empire in the west in 476 AD, life  in Europe became (to use the pithy phrase of 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes), "nasty, brutish and…

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Painting Before 1300 AD (5): Greek

Greek painting is a play that enthralls you with its opening act. Then you discover that the last two acts are missing, and that you can only learn the ending…

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Painting Before 1300 AD (4): Minoan

The paintings of the Minoan civilization, which flourished ca. 2800-1400 BC, are found on Crete and several other sites in the Aegean Sea. They're the first surviving paintings to show…

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Painting before 1300 AD (2): Prehistoric

Almost 20 years ago, I wrote a couple dozen essays on the history of painting for BeyondBooks.com, a subscription service that provided online supplementary materials for high-school students. The site’s…

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Painting Before 1300 AD (1): Overview

In the 32,000 years (more or less) since the earliest known paintings were created, untold numbers of tribes, towns, villages and cities have come and gone. Few, however, have left…

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