Smarthistory offers more than one thousand videos and essays on art from around the world and across time. We are working with more than one hundred art historians and some of the world's most important museums to make the best art history resource anywhere. Use the "subject" pulldown menu (go to "Humanities") at the top of this window or click on the headings below to access our content:

Art history basics   

  • First things first (you are here)     
  • The materials and techniques artists use
  • Art 1010

Prehistoric art in Europe and West Asia

  •  Paleolithic art
  •  Neolithic art

Art of the ancient Mediterranean

  •  Ancient Near East
  •  Egyptian art and culture
  •  Aegean
  •  Greek
  •  Nabatean
  •  Etruscan
  •  Roman
  • Judaism in art

Art of Medieval Europe

  • A beginner's guide to medieval Europe
  • Books and the dissemination of knowledge in medieval Europe
  • Early Christian
  • Byzantine (late Roman Empire)
  • Latin (Western) Europe
  • Late Gothic art in Italy

Art of the Islamic world

  • A beginner's guide to art of the Islamic world
  • Early period
  • Medieval period
  • Late period

Renaissance and Reformation in Europe

  • Northern Renaissance: the fifteenth century
  • Early Renaissance in Italy: the fifteenth century
  • High Renaissance in Florence and Rome
  • The Renaissance in Venice
  • Reformation and Counter-Reformation
  • Northern Renaissance: the sixteenth century
  • Mannerism

Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical art in Europe

  • Baroque
  • Rococo
  • Neoclassicism
  • British art in the eighteenth century

Art of the Americas

  • North America (including Central America): early cultures
  • South America: early cultures
  • North America (including Central America): later cultures before European colonization
  • South America: later cultures before European colonization
  • Spanish colonies in the Americas
  • Native American art after 1600
  • British Colonies to the Early Republic
  • Art of the United States in the 19th century
  • Art of Mexico in the 19th century

Art in nineteenth century Europe

  • Introduction
  • Romanticism
  • Early photography
  • Victorian art and architecture
  • The birth of the avant-garde in France
  • Symbolism and Art Nouveau
  • America: Civil War to the Gilded Age

Expressionism to Pop Art

  • A beginner's guide to 20th century art
  • Early abstraction: Fauvism, Expressionism, and Cubism
  • World War I, Futurism and Dada
  • Art between the wars: the avant-garde and the rise of totalitarianism
  • Figuration and abstraction in post-war Britain
  • Abstract Expressionism and the New York School
  • Pop
  • ​Minimalism and Earthworks
  • Architecture

Toward a global culture

  • A beginner's guide to contemporary art
  • Identity, the body and the subversion of modernism
  • Conceptual and Performance art
  • Global modernisms in the 21st century

Art of Asia

  • A beginner's guide to Asian art and culture
  • China
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Korea
  • Japan

Art of Africa

  • African art, an introduction
  • Aksum
  • Ife
  • Benin
  • Sierra Leone
  • Kongo Peoples
  • Kuba
  • Mal

Art of Oceania

  • Polynesia
  • Melanesia
  • Micronesia

For teachers