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If you ever found yourself wandering in a museum and just getting lost in the assortment of paintings, sculptures and antiquities, wondering how they were made, what was their creator feeling and just being awestruck…you will understand with absolute certainty why some bloggers take significant time to make art history blogs. Most of these bloggers offer very unique perspectives that you would have never thought of. So let’s dive in!
Bearded Roman is Micah Christensen, an art historian, a curator with a special focus on Western artists in the 18th and 19th centuries. His piece about Van Gogh in the Vatican is intriguing, even for an outsider, discussing what is a Van Gogh painting doing in the Vatican, especially this one. In this piece, he talks about a new Leonardo Da Vinci work that will be featured in The National Gallery in London, called Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World). He also gives amazing book recommendations to gift someone who is equally into art history. His post about Picasso’s exhibition Challenging the Past in London is a fresh take on the artist’s conflicting relationship in his works with traditional artists.
Mary Jo Gibson
This is not your typical art history blog. It provides entire stories with documents, birth certificates, and enthralling stories about people’s lives and towns. She examines old murders in fresh ways and has a unique perspective on art and history. The Secret Vatican Bathroom, Artemisia Gentileschi, a baroque painter, and The Stories Art Can Tell are a few that stand out to me. However, feel free to explore the many other features that this website has to offer. I can tell you that they are all one-of-a-kind and intriguing.
This blog tells the tales of the iconography of women and their legends throughout art history. The site pounders on conflicting truths like why justice is depicted as a woman in ancient Greece when women couldn’t even vote, or why most nations are symbolized by women when the leaders were all men. The blog is not refreshed anymore but has such an extensive directory of any kind of piece imaginable, that you can spend months just going through it. Our favorites from the blog are The Judgement of Paris, Birth of Venus, The Three Graces, and Leda.
Art History Ramblings
Art History Ramblings is quite refreshing with a human take on arts. Sometimes they seem like long word vomiting about each topic, but that lets the creator express their deepest thought on each piece and yields original points of view. His specialty is taking a larger, harder-to grasp art and taking it to pieces. Then he attaches some form of interpretation for each little piece. He did this with Michelangelo’s works, but you can read a surprising piece about Art History depicted in John Wick too, which is a two-part series on the blog. It’s also amazing how wide topics he covers from ancient artifacts to medieval and oriental artists, including several Japanese artifacts, but also he has many posts about Van Gogh, whom he seems to be very fond of.
Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor, curates this blog about Western art history. Some of the most interesting takes and posts include John Currin’s Thanksgiving, a contemporary piece with unique figures and art eras represented. The Birth of Venus is a classic work of art, but the blog offers a fresh perspective on it by delving into the painting’s celestial and erthly elements. The post titled The Trophy on Augustus of Prima Porta is quite intriguing, as it describes the unexpected discovery of previously unknown objects on the statue and their significance. If you immerse in blog, you will find so many gems like these.
Art History Blogger
This website not only covers art history, but also architecture, paintings, sculpture, and reviews of art lectures and courses. The top posts with such beautiful details are 10 Hidden Self Portraits, Portraits of Artists by Other Artists, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, and The Sculpture from the Cappella di San Severo, which had a whole second life when it went viral on social media. The author is a big fan of the ancient classics, especially the Greeks, and she offers classical perspectives and a deep understanding of the arts. She is a seasoned art historian with multiple degrees who has worked with museums for over a decade. Her expertise shines through in every analysis.
Art History 101
Art History 101 is not a beginner’s tale, as it delves into relatively unknown and even contemporary artists with precision. The site is as bubbly, colorful, simple, and pleasing to the eye as the content. It’s difficult to pick the best pieces because the blog is brimming with fantastic material. Although Andy Warhol has become a very overdone topic, it’s difficult to escape it when discussing the legacy of former eras on present artists. The piece about David Hockney’s colorful universe is fantastic. He’s not well-known among amateur art fans like me, but he’s worth a read. The site offers a pretty unique post on The Evolution of Street Art, which I admit I know nothing about but was a fascinating read all the less.
The term “costume historian” stems from a deep interest in the history of clothing, attire, textiles, lace, and needlework, notably between 1550 and 1750. Don’t be deceived by the topic’s levity; the site contains very weighty and detailed writings on unique perspectives. If you want to learn about the history of costumes, this is the place to be. Check out this article about Visards and Masks, which is a little-discussed topic. Quilting is still used today, often on Haute Couture garments, but few people are aware of its origins. The site features lovely images in addition to the articles themselves. Every bag enthusiast will be enthralled by this article on Purses in the Early Modern Period and will leave with a lot more knowledge.
Grumpy Art Historian
Grumpy Art Historian is one of my favourites. It’s not so much about art history as it is a review blog authored by Michael Savage, however the name could be an alias. I suppose we’ll never know. Sotheby’s auctions frequently inspire him. But, to start, here’s a piece on How Not to Clean Paintings, which is intriguing because we know practically little about art restoration. As a self-described grumpy art historian, the topic of what to do with Confederate monuments is a good fit for the site and a fascinating read, especially because the author claims they don’t belong in museums.
Real Clear Arts
RCA is a reflection of American culture represented in arts and humanities. Judith, the author is a well-established brilliant writer, an independent journalist who worked as a reporter for The New York Times, Business Week, and managing editor at CNBC. She has been featured in more magazines and sites than you can list now from the top of your head. Her take on Gauguin’s Spiritual Journey is one of my favorite pieces, although I have to say he is one of my fondest painters of all time but is somehow rarely covered among art historians. This piece relies less on Gauguin as a savage, who left civilization and abandoned his family, and more on the mesmerizing spiritual path that led him to outgrow himself through colors and indigenous themes.
During our busy schedules, hectic lives, never-ending to-do lists, and many faces we have to carry on us each day in today’s world, it brings some profound happiness and simplicity to our souls to immerse ourselves in a captivating statue, sculpture, or painting and reflect on the artists’ past endeavors. People have always been fascinated by the methods and ideas behind some artworks, but now, backed by science, psychology, and higher educational standards, professionals are developing progressively distinct perspectives on previously unmentioned areas of art history.