Ingrid D. Rowland is a Professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway. Her most recent book is From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town. (August 2016)


The Mystery of Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch: The Wayfarer, circa 1500–1510

Hieronymus Bosch: Visions of Genius

an exhibition at Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, February 13–May 8, 2016

Bosch: The Fifth Centenary Exhibition

an exhibition at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, May 31–September 11, 2016
His imagination ranged from a place beyond the spheres of Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell, but for many of his earliest admirers the most striking aspect of his art was what they described as its “truth to nature.”

Wonders in the Met’s New Box

Anton Raphael Mengs: Portrait of Mariana de Silva y Sarmiento, Duquesa de Huescar, 1775

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible

an exhibition at The Met Breuer, New York City, March 18–September 4, 2016

Nasreen Mohamedi: Waiting Is a Part of Intense Living

an exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, September 22, 2015–January 11, 2016; and The Met Breuer, New York City, March 18–June 5, 2016
Of all New York’s museums, only the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with its vast holdings and long reach, could have opened an exhibition of modern and contemporary art with Titian’s Flaying of Marsyas. Painted nearly half a millennium ago, in 1575, the imposing canvas has lost none of its upsetting …

The Frank Gehry Story

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, designed by architect Frank Gehry. At left are the Nervión River and La Salve Bridge, adorned with Daniel Buren’s artwork Red Arches (2007), commissioned for the museum’s tenth anniversary.

Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

by Paul Goldberger

Frank Gehry

an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, September 13, 2015–March 20, 2016
Like the people they serve, architects and their works are creatures of time, place, and climate. In the specific case of Frank Gehry, space, time, and climate all converged in Los Angeles, that seismic zone of sun, smog, and fantasy, a place where a building can be not only four walls, but also a ziggurat, a dinosaur, a doughnut, a stack of 45 rpm records, a hot dog, or a big brown hat.

Sublime, Exhilarating del Sarto

Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action

an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, June 23–September 13, 2015; and the Frick Collection, New York City, October 7, 2015–January 10, 2016
For generations, drawing—disegno—had been the activity that best defined Florentine art. Long before they were allowed to apply color, apprentice artists were expected to hone their skills at drawing everything around them, from nature to people to works of art and architecture. Michelangelo’s advice to one member of his workshop was typical: “Draw, Antonio, draw, Antonio, draw and don’t waste time.”


An Island in a Cold Sea

Migrants who have arrived by boat from North Africa at the port in Lampedusa, March 27, 2011

As Donald Trump denies entry to the already small number of pre-screened refugees the US had agreed to accept—among them Syrian and Iraqi families fleeing terrorism who have been carefully vetted and approved by the UN Refugee agency and by the US Department of Homeland Security—Europeans face a far more dire situation: the hundreds of thousands of desperate people from North Africa and the Middle East, who, without any UN help, are attempting to reach their shores. This is the focus of the haunting documentary Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea).

Breakfast in the Ruins

In September 2015, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles acquired the first photographs ever taken of Palmyra, the great trading oasis in the heart of the Syrian desert. With a history that extends back nearly four thousand years, Palmyra has risen and fallen many times. The worst destruction, certainly, was inflicted between June and September of 2015 by the militants of the Islamic State, who obliterated the ancient buildings amid accusations of paganism and idolatry.

From Aeschylus to the EU

Moni Ovadia's production of Aeschylus’s The Suppliants in Syracuse, Sicily, June, 2015

What is its greater contribution to humanity at large: Greek theater or double-entry bookkeeping? Aeschylus or Keynes? This summer, in the ancient Greek theater of Syracuse in Sicily, Aeschylus’s The Suppliants, one of the world’s most ancient plays, turned out to be one of the world’s most timely, in the hands of an Italian actor-director who was once an immigrant himself, Moni Ovadia.