Sebastian Smee


Art critic

Education: University of Sydney, BA, with first class honors, Fine Arts

Sebastian Smee is a Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic at The Washington Post and the author of "The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals and Breakthroughs in Modern Art." He worked at the Boston Globe from 2008 to 2016, teaches at Wellesley College, and has previously worked in London and Sydney for the Daily Telegraph (U.K.), the Guardian, the Spectator, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and the Monthly.
Latest from Sebastian Smee

What happened when Matisse’s model took up painting

Matisse's "The Three O’Clock Sitting” puts his model in the spotlight at the Met

December 1, 2021

Saint Francis had a vision. Or was it just a dream?

Jan van Eyck's “Saint Francis of Assisi" painting at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a miniature masterpiece of visionary thinking.

November 24, 2021

Baltimore loves Matisse. That’s one more reason to love Baltimore.

The Baltimore Museum of Art credits one of the city’s great daughters, Etta Cone, as it launches a major Henri Matisse love-in.

November 23, 2021

Think Degas was a misogynist? Take another look.

“The Tub,” at the Hill-Stead Museum in Connecticut, is one of the painter’s most daring attempts to revolutionize the tradition of the female nude.

November 17, 2021

This gorgeous portrait is haunted by intrigue and death

The courtesan Madame du Barry became the king’s favorite mistress but ended up with her head in a basket.

November 10, 2021

Glamour, gossip, sex, scandal: Man Ray’s portraits captured Paris between the wars

A major exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond focuses on the portraiture of the great surrealist.

November 9, 2021

A tribute to mosaics, moonlight and mystery

This late Jack Whitten masterpiece, in New York’s Museum of Modern Art, reflects the writings of French critic Édouard Glissant.

November 3, 2021

When a saint draws the Virgin, so much is in the details

Rogier van der Weyden’s depiction of Saint Luke drawing the Virgin is more than just a meditation on the art of painting.

October 27, 2021

Should museums mount exhibitions with a moral agenda? Absolutely. If they do it well.

Harvard Art Museums landscape photography show offers a model for following through on promises.

October 26, 2021

This simple painting revolutionized art

Annibale Carracci’s "Boy Drinking," at the Cleveland Museum of Art, helped to usher in genre paintings.

October 6, 2021