Masterpiece

John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is a powerful, inspiring story of human resilience in the face of unfathomable hardship.

The fruit of an artistic rivalry, ‘Transfiguration’ turned out to be Raphael’s greatest achievement.

Albert Camus’s ‘The Plague’ is a picture of life—and hope—in a time of pestilence and quarantine.

Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Conversation’ takes on the ethics of eavesdropping in a film that still resonates with the contemporary world.

N.C. Wyeth’s ‘Dark Harbor Fishermen’ is haunting in its unsentimental visualization of a workaday drama.

Giovanni di Paolo’s ‘Paradise’ is a jewel of the Sienese School filled with echoes of Dante.

Fifty years ago, Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson teamed up on an unlikely album that’s a stunning example of understatement and studio wizardry.

Carl Sandburg’s books on Abraham Lincoln, far from traditional biography, remain unmatched for their vivid combination of mood, incident and epochal sweep.

William Levi Dawson’s ‘Negro Folk Symphony’ is a celebration of the vernacular in a traditional, European form.

This representation of Avalokiteshvara, known as Gwaneum in Korea, is a way station between tension and repose, between petitioners and gods.

Sofonisba Anguissola’s ‘The Chess Game’ is cited by scholars as among the first Italian paintings of everyday family life.

Presenting a web of secular and religious images, the Wilton Diptych’s meanings are still disputed.

Euripides’ ‘Medea’ finally found its place in the repertory because of his superb talent for writing from a woman’s point of view.

Ribera, unafraid of color and traditional iconography, established a Neapolitan style, as can be seen in his ‘St. Jerome.’

Verrocchio’s ’’Lady With Flowers’ is a revolutionary work in its composition and captures both the sitter’s appearance and her inner life.

Two 16th-century books are irreplaceable resources for understanding the history of art and those who made it.

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