Tyranny Tremble


A very potent image associating France's revolutionary war with an attack on tyrants. Contemporaries would have understood the target, "tyrants," to be the monarchs.

Detail of an engraving showing Saint Peter's cathedral ca. 1587

Vatican Library

But the best use of this site might be to accept it as an exhibit and encourage students to wander through it themselves, stopping where they choose, so that they discover the beauty and variety of the collection.
A nineteenth century Vietnamese banknote


Some of the sections under the “Literature” and “History” categories are largely written in Vietnamese and may, therefore, be inaccessible to students. However, the vast majority of the site is in English and well worth a careful read.
View of the Coffee Plantation Marienbosch in Surinam

View of the Coffee Plantation Marienbosch in Surinam


This painting is a view of the Marienbosch coffee plantation along the banks of the Commewijne River in the Dutch colony of Surinam (present-day Suriname). Alongside coffee, the plantation also produced cotton and cocoa. The artist, Willem de Klerk, never visited Surinam. Instead, he based this painting on a drawing made by Alexander Ludwich Brockmann. Brockmann was a painter in the Dutch... Read More »

A close up of the ships outside the port Santo Domingo during a pirate attack

Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America, 1520-1820

Students could speculate on who made the objects, who used them, and how they were used. This would give them a sense of the kind of interpretive work done by historians.
Screenshot of Visualizing Culture's content grid

Visualizing Cultures

Its careful and intentional promotion of image-centered learning helps provide a model of how to study history and cultures through prints, pictures, and paintings of the past.
Vulgarly Called the Wanton thumbnail image

Vulgarly Called the Wanton


This print is called Vulgarly called the Wanton and was created by the artist Utamaro in 1802. It portrays a woman engaged in frivolous or indulgent behavior, providing a sense of how people understood urban Japan during the Tokugawa period. Analyzing these rich images offers an important window into an increasingly complex urban world.

This source is a part of the... Read More »

We Must Hope That It Will Soon Be Over


A common complaint of pre-revolutionary rural petitions was the abuse of seigneurial dues owed by French peasants to lords supposedly in exchange for protection and supervision. This image demonstrates the view that peasants envisioned their lords not as protectors, but as exploiters who constantly turned the screws on them to extract ever more rent or other payments.

Detail of Durer's "Last Supper" from his Passion series showing Jesus holding one of his disciples

Wetmore Print Collection

While the responsibility of providing historical context for these images remains with the instructor, the images themselves will delight and puzzle students—and, if they are properly prepared, will provide good insight into the historical periods in question as well.

Wolf Vostell - 9 November 1989


A more abstract image of the night the wall fell appears in this painting by an artist whose work had also appeared on the western side of the wall itself. This painting represented a March 1990 show of Vostell's work in a gallery in East Berlin - formerly a bastion of "socialist realist" art hailing the communist regime.

[description as stated in the guide for Goodbye, Comrade: An... Read More »