Johan Christian Dahl – View of Dresden by Moonlight (1839)

“Why has looking at the moon become so beneficiary, so soothing and so sublime?”, asked German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer in 1840. “Because the moon remains purely an object for contemplation, not of the will. […] Furthermore, the moon is sublime, and moves us sublimely because it stays aloof from all our earthly activities, it sees…

Canaletto – Piazza San Marco (late 1720s)

By the 18th century, Italy had become a popular tourist destination for wealthy Europeans and Americans, a must see for those looking to expand their knowledge, culture and education. Because there was so much to be seen, foreigners would often end up spending years there, moving from city to city while following an established itinerary….

Jeffrey Smart – The Steps

Obsessed with perfection in his highly geometric paintings, Australian artist Jeffrey Smart was known for his still, urban landscapes. The Steps is a representative painting of Smart’s, with its emphasis on the geometry of the climbing staircase, the overcast sky and the lonely, contemplative woman dressed in yellow at the top. Notice how bright the…