Explore CMA's Top 5 Artworks on Wikipedia

Take a closer look at the most viewed CMA Open Access artworks on Wikipedia.

Collection Online (2022-06-22) by The Cleveland Museum of ArtThe Cleveland Museum of Art

Since CMA launched its Open Access initiative in 2019, the Museum dynamically shares its Open Access collection with public repositories like Wikipedia to expand its reach and promote accessibility.

Open Access artworks on Wikipedia can get more views when featured on popular pages, which CMA is able to track via live virtual dashboards. Which Wikipedia articles do you think these top 5 most viewed artworks might be found in?

Caryatid Mirror (c. 1540–1296 BCE)The Cleveland Museum of Art

5. Caryatid Mirror (c. 1540-1296 BC)

This superb mirror from Egypt has an oval disk and a handle in the form of a nubile young girl, entirely naked except for her elaborately braided tripartite wig, broad collar, and a girdle of wallet beads.

On her head and supporting the disk is a papyrus umbel with flaring tips. Mirrors with handles in the form of naked young girls were the height of fashion in mid-Dynasty 18; numerous examples exist.

This mirror is perhaps the finest of its kind. The cruciform base is unusual, if not unique.

The iconography is understandable in relation to the goddess Hathor, the embodiment of love and beauty. A multifaceted goddess, she was equated with Aphrodite by the Greeks.

The retinue of Hathor consisted precisely of such beauties, called nefrut in Egyptian, and the mirror itself, that reflection of beauty, appears to have had Hathorian connections from early times.

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834 (1835) by Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, 1775–1851)The Cleveland Museum of Art

4. The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons (1835)

Fire consumed London’s famous Houses of Parliament on the night of October 16, 1834, and people gathered along the banks of the river Thames to gaze in awe at the horrifying spectacle.

Initially, a low tide made it difficult to pump water to land and hampered steamers towing firefighting equipment along the river. The blaze burned uncontrollably for hours.

J. M. W. Turner records the struggle as the boats in the lower-right corner head toward the flames.

Although Turner based the painting on an actual event, he magnified the height of the flames, using the disaster as the starting point to express man’s helplessness when confronted with the destructive powers of nature.

Brilliant swathes of color and variable atmospheric effects border on abstraction.

Covered Tureen (Terrine du roi) (1756–57) by Sèvres Porcelain Factory (French, est. 1756) and Charles Nicolas Dodin (French, 1734-1803)The Cleveland Museum of Art

3. Covered Tureen (Terrine du roi) (1756–57)

Soft-paste porcelain with enamel and gilt decoration attributed to Charles Nicolas Dodin (French, 1734-1803).

Miracle of the Dragon (1600s)The Cleveland Museum of Art

2. Miracle of the Dragon (1600s)

Created in China during the Ming dynasty, we see that in the upper right corner of the scroll, the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, is seated in meditation for such a long time that birds have begun assembling twigs for a nest atop his head.

In the scroll’s lower part are Buddhist disciples grouped around a dragon.

Dragons have been part of Buddhist culture since antiquity; in Chinese Buddhism the dragon is often interpreted as a symbol of enlightenment.

Stele with Sakyamuni and Bodhisattvas (537)The Cleveland Museum of Art

1. Stele with Sakyamuni and Bodhisattvas (537)

According to the inscription, this stele was commissioned in 537 by Yuan'ning, prince of the Gaoping branch of the imperial Wei family in Hebei province of China, in memory of his deceased consort, in the hope that it would bring her to the Western paradise.

It was carved by one of the finest craftsmen in the Eastern Wei capital of Ye in Hebei. The Buddha's robe shows a careful arrangement of patterned drapery (large U-shaped and scallop-shaped folds at the hem), combining linear rhythms with an ordered symmetry.

Soaring flames edge the mandorla (almond-shaped halo), echoing the linear eloquence of Chinese painting.

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