Images: Gustave Courbet

Take a look through some of the best paintings of Gustave Courbet (1819-1877). Is the general claim true, that in his landscapes, portraits and self-portraits, that what we call modern art, began here? Click on each image to enlarge, or watch the video below.

Images: Caspar David Friedrich

Three weeks ago I’d barely heard of the painter Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840). Awhile ago I had noted down that I might want to look at his paintings, and now they’re burned into my mind forever. Here are some of my favorites: you can watch the video below, or click on each image to enlarge:

Claude Lorrain’s Nostalgia for What Never Was

I first came across Claude Lorrain’s fantasies of classical Greece and Rome on the cover of an old paperback of the Aeneid. These are my favorites, but there are many more of them here. Click on each image to enlarge:

The Painting that Lit a Million Conspiracy Theories

It’s too bad Nicholas Poussin’s Shepherds of Arcady/Et in Arcadia (Even in Arcadia, there am I) can’t get much attention except as a link to the Holy Blood-Holy Grail/Dan Brown stories. It’s magnificent enough on its own. You can also read more about it, including the conspiracy stuff, here. Click on the painting to enlarge:…