Artists are among the more eccentric characters in history. Van Gogh cut a piece of his ear off, Michelangelo
spent countless hours on his back to perfect the Sistine Chapel, and Andy Warhol certainly had his own 15
minutes of fame with his depictions of ordinary soup cans.
While not all art genres solicit the intellectual curiosity of everyone (the semi-erotic obliques of Picasso
tend to draw a different audience than the British landscapes of Joseph Turner), studying art and artistic
periods provides great insight to the political, social and intellectual happenings of historical eras.
These resources offer more information on the individual people, works and periods in the art world.
This sleek site focuses on biographies of 20th century artists, conveniently sorted alphabetically and by
artistic movement-everything from Dada to Futurism.
Web Gallery of Art
For those looking for European artist information, the brush stops here. This is an excellent and exhaustive
reference guide to almost 700 years of European painting, focusing on the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque
periods. More than 8,000 paintings are available for viewing. The site also offers artist biographies and
introductory historical essays.
This biographical site, written mainly by students, offers information on artists, authors and historical
figures. The art section is somewhat limited (only addresses the more well-known painters), but the
information itself is solid.
This site from the National Gallery of Art shows tours of artists including Mary Cassatt and John Singleton Copley. There are also in-depth studies of several artists.
If the above site whets your interest in American art, this database offers biographies of 25,000 artists.
If there's no major art museum near you, spend some time at this virtual gallery. This rather extensive
collection of images and information is sorted by artist, country and movement.
How well do you know art history? Can you tell a Da Vinci from a Degas? A Cassat from a Kandinsky? After
brushing up on your art history with the above resources, come to this site to test your knowledge on different
artists and art movements.