Where does knowledge come from?
Some major moments in world history and the objects that express a particular place and time - from ordinary tools of daily life to extraordinary monuments of skill and design.
Please click on image for full resolution and description.
Delacroix began his allegorical interpretation of the Parisian epic in September 1830.
The allegory of Liberty is personified by a young woman of the people wearing the Phrygian cap, her curls escaping onto her neck. Vibrant, fiery, rebellious, and victorious, she evokes the Revolution of 1789, the sans-culotte, and popular sovereignty. In her raised right hand is the red, white, and blue flag, a symbol of struggle that unfurls toward the light like a flame.
Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in southern Mesopotamia (now Iraq) or south-western Iran, and were used as an administrative tool, as jewellery and as magical amulets until around 300 BC. Cylinder seals were linked to the invention of cuneiform writing on clay, and when this spread to other areas of the Near East, the use of cylinder seals spread too.
Pectoral and Necklace of Sithathoryunet with the Name of Senwosret II.
Jewelry worn by royal women during the Middle Kingdom was not simply for adornment or an indication of status but was also symbolic of concepts and myths surrounding Egyptian royalty. Jewelry imbued a royal woman with superhuman powers and thus enabled her to support the king in his role as guarantor of divine order on earth.
From the ninth to the seventh century B.C., the kings of Assyria ruled over a vast empire centered in northern Iraq. The great Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883–859 B.C.) undertook a vast building program at Nimrud, ancient Kalhu.
The Monteleone chariot belongs to a group of parade chariots, so called because they were used by significant individuals on special occasions. They have two wheels and were drawn by two horses standing about forty-nine inches (122 centimeters) apart at the point where the yoke rests on their necks. The car would have accommodated the driver and the distinguished passenger.
The statue of the Diadoumenos by Polykleitos was extremely popular during the Roman period. Its beauty and fame are mentioned three times in ancient literature and over twenty-five full-size model copies are known. This copy was owned by the Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani of Rome who, during the first third of the seventeenth century, formed one of the earliest European collections of ancient art.
Dated a.h. 1065 / a.d. 1654–55
Maker: Muhammad Zaman al-Munajjim al-Asturlabi (active 1643–89)
The astrolabe is a very ancient astronomical computer for solving problems relating to time and the position of the Sun and stars in the sky.
Culture: Northern European or Anglo-Scandinavian
Medium: Iron, silver, copper
Dimensions: H. 7 in. (17.8 cm); W. 4 1/6 in. (10.3 cm); Wt. 8 oz. (228 g)
Classification: Equestrian Equipment-Stirrups
by the bishop of Hiera Petra, on Crete. It seems he somehow also acquired his sword during his travels, as its trefoil pommel conforms to contemporary examples from China.
The effigy is supported by a modern base.
One of the earliest pistols, this firearm was designed and produced by Peter Peck, a maker of watches and guns. The two locks combined in one mechanism provided the barrels with separate ignition. Made for Emperor Charles V (reigned 1519–56), the pistol is decorated with his dynastic and personal emblems: the double-headed eagle and the pillars of Hercules with the Latin motto PLUS ULTRA (More beyond).
of Kongo sculptors and ritual specialists. This example belongs
to the most ambitious class of that tradition, attributed to the atelier of a master active along the coast of Congo and Angola at the end of the nineteenth century and identified with Mangaaka, the preeminent force of jurisprudence.