How does an artist’s interpretation of historical events alter our understanding of them? Kings, queens, presidents, and generals from Alexander the Great to Theodore Roosevelt have commissioned paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs of major events, and artists have responded to important moments with works that forever shape historical memory.
The book deals with specific episodes, from the proclamation of the Code of Hammurabi to more recent events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It also deals with broader themes, such as the founding of states (Persia, Rome, the Chinese Empire, the United States) and war (Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Picasso’s Guernica). Here too are the great voyages of exploration, the industrial revolution, and much more. World history is vividly elucidated in these works of art.