New episodes of USA Network’s White Collar — our favorite series that follows the exploits of a con man’s (Matt Bomer) adjunct assignment with an FBI Special Agent (Tim DeKay) — are right around the corner. To get in the mood for more forgeries and billion-dollar heists, we devised our own cheat sheet to help you fake it with the best of them. If you can’t tell your Post-Impressionist painters from classical Greek sculpture, you can master the art of deception with our guide to the classics. Fake your way through the world’s greatest museums, meet the first Renaissance men, and find out the difference between Monet and Manet after the jump.
An Extremely Brief Art History Timeline
Save your money and skip buying the latest edition of Janson’s History of Art. Start your education with our cheat sheet to help navigate through some of the major art history movements.
Ancient art: sky people
Medieval art: the Dark Ages, Pulp Fiction
Renaissance art: ugly babies
Baroque art: Patrick Bateman’s (and company’s) radicchio with free-range squid and monkfish ragout with violets at Deck Chairs on Columbus; or the monkfish with mango slices and red snapper sandwich on brioche with maple syrup and cotton he didn’t order at Vanities in Tribeca
Rococo art: Patrick Bateman’s blood-splattered business card
Realism: Gustave Courbet and L’Origine du monde
Symbolism: #dark #feelings
Fauvism: a cacophony of artificially colored pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers, blue diamonds, and purple horseshoes
Expressionism: madness, The Scream
Cubism: Pablo Picasso
Futurism: really rich Italian Satanists
Dada: the original Cabaret Voltaire
Surrealism: Hegel, Marx, Freud + communism, anarchy = André Breton, Salvador Dalí, and Salvador Dalí dorm posters
Abstract Expressionism: Jackson Pollock and a plethora of “no.” paintings.
Pop art: Andy Warhol
For our purposes, this sums up everything that came after: