The Easel

Bubonic plague in Europe changed art history. Why coronavirus could do the same

While Jerry Saltz (below) anguishes about galleries and artists, Knight wonders how the pandemic will impact art. Giotto blazed a path away from stilted Byzantine iconography. With the Black Death in 1347, his revolution stopped. Art retreated to the familiar. Survivors of the pestilence carried feelings of guilt and saw religion differently. Covid 19 may be a similar catalyst: “Fear, guilt and spiritual upheaval await.”