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To celebrate Artstor’s collaboration with the RISD Museum, our friends at the museum graciously created a lightning-tour of their encyclopedic collection in the Digital Library through twenty notable objects. Part one focuses on decorative and utilitarian artifacts, and part two on artworks.

 

Unknown artist (Greek); Aphrodite; 2nd century. Image © Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

Unknown artist (Greek); Aphrodite; 2nd century. Image © Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

Aphrodite

This bronze figure of Aphrodite, now green from oxidation, once would have been a warm brown. To heighten a sense of naturalism, the eyes and hair ribbon were inlaid with silver and the lips with copper. In the 4th century BCE, the first nude image of Aphrodite was sculpted, breaking a long tradition of depicting Greek goddesses clothed. It was fitting, however, that the goddess of love and beauty was the first to be portrayed in this new way. The motif became so popular that hundreds of such images of Aphrodite survive from ancient Greece and Rome, where they adorned homes, gardens, and sanctuaries. Exceedingly rare today, bronze examples like this one must have been prized possessions of wealthy patrons.

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To celebrate Artstor’s collaboration with the RISD Museum, our friends at the museum graciously created a lightning-tour of their encyclopedic collection in the Digital Library through twenty notable objects. Part one focuses on decorative and utilitarian artifacts, and part two on artworks.

Egyptian; Paint box, 1302-1070 BCE. Image © Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

Egyptian; Paint box, 1302-1070 BCE. Image © Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence

Paint Box

Only a handful of paint boxes survive from ancient Egypt, and this one is particularly unique in being made of ceramic and bearing a sliding lid with a grip whimsically decorated with a genet, an animal related to the mongoose.

The stylized papyrus thickets represent the genet’s habitat of tall grasses and shrubs. Featuring a hollow well for water and brush storage, the box contains seven pigment cakes of yellow ochre, Egyptian blue (a synthetic pigment composed of silica, copper, and calcium), calcium carbonate (white), hematite (dark red), hematite mixed with calcium carbonate (lighter red), and two charcoal blacks. Painters used these same pigments to decorate statuary and the walls of temples and tombs.

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Artstor and the RISD Museum are now sharing more than 3,600 images from the Museum’s permanent collection in the Digital Library.

The RISD Museum is an internationally renowned art museum distinguished by its relationship to one of the world’s leading colleges of art and design. Founded alongside the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1877, the Museum houses seven curatorial departments and approximately 100,000 objects dating from 3700 BCE to the present day, and featuring major figures in the history of visual art and culture. Highlights include one of the nation’s finest collections of costume and textiles, with more than 26,000 objects created since 1500 BCE; the world’s largest collection of Gorham silver, housed in the first museum wing devoted to American decorative arts; a 12th-century seated Buddha, one of the largest Japanese statues in the United States; and significant collections of ancient Egyptian objects, Impressionist paintings, contemporary British art, 20th- and 21st-century design, and more.

For more details, visit the RISD Museum page in Artstor.

You may also be interested in A tour of the RISD Museum in 20 objects

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The Morgan Library & MuseumArtstor and The Morgan Library & Museum are collaborating to make available 200 images from the museum’s permanent collection in the Digital Library.

A complex of buildings in the heart of New York City, The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913), one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States.

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Composite Pendant, 18th century / 19th century, Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Photo: Richard Walker

Composite Pendant, 18th century / 19th century, Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Photo: Richard Walker

Artstor has released approximately 300 new images of Islamic and South Asian art from the Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art in the Digital Library.

This brings the collection total to nearly 800 images of Indian jewelry and enamels; Syrian, Indian, Spanish, and Persian furniture, doors, and ceilings; Persian and Turkish tile panels and portable ceramics; and Central Asian, Persian, Turkish, and Indian textiles.

Duke developed a lifelong interest in Islamic art during her travels, particularly in decorative arts of the 17th through 19th centuries, especially those of the Ottoman, Mughal, Safavid, and Qajar dynasties, and she also commissioned art from contemporary Muslim artists. Over the course of nearly 60 years, Duke amassed (more…)

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Zhao Kiao Yang (b. 1997), Kung fu of China, 2004

Zhao Kiao Yang (b. 1997), Kung fu of China, 2004. © The International Museum of Children’s Art, Oslo, Norway

Artstor and The International Museum of Children’s Art have released approximately 200 images of works of art from the museum’s collection in the Artstor Digital Library.

The International Museum of Children’s Art (Det Internasjonale Barnekunstmuseet) in Oslo, Norway is the world’s first museum dedicated to art created by children, and today contains artworks by children and young adults from more than 180 countries. The collection is not only of interest to art appreciators, but will intrigue researchers across disciplines, from psychology to education. (more…)

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nortonsimonlogoArtstor and the Norton Simon Museum are collaborating to share approximately 1,100 images of artworks from their permanent collection in the Digital Library.

The Norton Simon Museum is known around the world as one of the most remarkable private art collections ever assembled. Over a thirty-year period, industrialist Norton Simon (1907–1993) amassed an astonishing collection of European art from the Renaissance to the 20th century and a stellar collection of South and Southeast Asian art spanning 2,000 years. Among the most celebrated works he collected are Branchini Madonna, 1427, by Giovanni di Paolo; Madonna and Child with Book, c. 1502-03, by Raphael; Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose, 1633, by Francisco de Zurbarán; Portrait of a Boy, c. 1655-60, by Rembrandt van Rijn; Mulberry Tree, 1889, by Vincent van Gogh; Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1878-81, by Edgar Degas; and Woman with a Book, 1932, by Pablo Picasso. Highlights from the Asian collection include the bronze sculptures Buddha Shakyamuni, c. 550, India: Bihar, Gupta period, and Shiva as Lordof Dance, c. 1000, India: Tamil Nadu; and the gilt bronze Indra, 13th century, Nepal. (more…)

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