In “Reader Questions”, I answer questions about art history sent to me by readers.


“2D Op Art makes you feel like it’s 3D. So how do you create 3D Op Art?” – The Art of Optical Illusions


“Are all artists and their works classified as part of a particular movement?”


“Do you know anything about silver gelatine photography?”


“How can I love artists like Gauguin when I know so much of his work was exploitative and racist?”


“I come from Bangladesh and find that Western art history doesn’t do much to help understand the artistic traditions where I’m from – how is this addressed in your study of Art History? Is it addressed at all?”


“I have a question — I hear a lot of people say that those old fashioned portraits are the equivalent of selfies today, mostly in retaliation to people calling selfie-culture vain, frivolous, etc. What do you think?”


“I loved your post about penises, but what about vaginas? We think hairless vaginas started with porn, but I’ve definitely seen paintings in museums with hairless vaginas. What’s the deal? When did it all start?”


“I remember hearing (learning?) years ago that some paintings depict people with physical indications of STDs. Perhaps syphilis? Is this true? Are other STDs depicted in art throughout history?”


“I’m wondering about cobalt and the story about blue colours being so expensive in the past”: A Very Short History of Colours.


“I’m wondering about lesbian art, i.e. art depicting lesbian lovers. What are some of the oldest examples of this? The reason I’m asking is because we know quite a lot about homosexuality between men in the old days, and I have even heard some people say that homosexuality between women is a ‘modern phenomenon’.”


“If you had to make a list of “Art that Surprises in Person” Or “Art you Have to Be With to Believe”, what would you put on there?”


“What do you think are the most exciting fields in art history which haven’t been properly explored?”


“What does an Art Historian actually do?”


“Why do all old statues have such small penises?”