I run a company with my father that makes history education resources. One of our products is this super cool history atlas that lets you navigate to a place eg. Italy, and then see what has happened to it through the course of history.
It then let’s you zoom out to read an overview of European history eg. The Roman Empire was collapsing with the lead up to the dark ages. And it then it let’s you zoom out further to see and read what was happening in the world at the time eg while the Roman Empire was collapsing, the Gupta civilization in India was flourishing, as we’re the Nazca in South America.
You can find it here The TimeMap of World History.
A consequence of being immersed in history all day long is that I am learning about where things happened and how it all influences each other. So when I was in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh last weekend, I was looking at the art, then the date and was trying to piece things together.
It was fascinating for me to think about how the pre-enlightenment artists stuck to religious or classic themes from the Greeks because they were taught by tutors rather than books because there werent any printing presses then.
In the area dedicated to Scottish artists, I saw that many of them got more imaginative throughout the beginning of industrialisation as a way of escaping the drudgery or they were trying to bring some colour to the dreariness.
So next time you are in n art gallery and you want to give the art a contextual back drop, try using timemaps and understand it a little more. Or use it help you make wild assumptions that were probably way out but perhaps enjoy it more, like I did.