Why is something a masterpiece? Art History 101 . . . Without the Exams is about revisiting famous works of art that we may have studied in an art history class or seen in a textbook or on a television show. Each discussion delves into one great masterpiece and asks the questions that help us understand how it has shaped history. What is the piece about? How did the original owner look at this piece? Where was it originally placed? Why is it in this museum now? How did it get famous? From the sixth-century mosaics of Ravenna and the painted bulls of Altamira, Spain, dated 12,500 BCE, to an incense burner from twelfth-century Seljuk Iran, frescoes from a Late Byzantine funerary chapel, and masterworks by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Monet, and Sargent, this book shows readers how to look closely. It welcomes us to the joy of art history—but without the papers, notes, and exams.