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The Arts Portal

"Mona Lisa

""Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci

"The arts is a vast subdivision of "culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than ""art", which, as a description of a field, usually means only the "visual arts. The arts encompass the "visual arts, the "literary arts and the "performing arts – "music, "theatre, "dance and "film, among others. This list is by no means comprehensive, but only meant to introduce the concept of the arts. For all intents and purposes, the history of the arts begins with the "history of art. The arts might have origins in early human evolutionary prehistory.

Ancient Greek art saw the veneration of the animal form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct proportions. "Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with characteristic distinguishing features (e.g. "Jupiter's thunderbolt). In "Byzantine and "Gothic art of the "Middle Ages, the dominance of the church insisted on the expression of biblical and not material truths. Eastern art has generally worked in a style akin to Western medieval art, namely a concentration on surface patterning and local colour (meaning the plain colour of an object, such as basic red for a red robe, rather than the modulations of that colour brought about by light, shade and reflection). A characteristic of this style is that the local colour is often defined by an outline (a contemporary equivalent is the cartoon). This is evident in, for example, the art of "India, "Tibet and "Japan. Religious "Islamic art forbids iconography, and expresses religious ideas through geometry instead. The physical and rational certainties depicted by the 19th-century Enlightenment were shattered not only by new discoveries of relativity by "Einstein and of unseen psychology by "Freud, but also by unprecedented technological development. Paradoxically the expressions of new technologies were greatly influenced by the ancient tribal arts of Africa and Oceania, through the works of Paul Gauguin and the Post-Impressionists, Pablo Picasso and the Cubists, as well as the Futurists and others.

"More about The arts...

Featured article

""Las Meninas
"Las Meninas ("Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is a 1656 painting by "Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the "Spanish Golden Age, in the "Museo del Prado in "Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analysed works in "Western painting. Las Meninas shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King "Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a "snapshot. Some figures look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young "Infanta Margarita is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, "chaperone, bodyguard, and two dwarfs. Las Meninas has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in "Western art history. The "Baroque painter "Luca Giordano said that it represents the "theology of painting", while in the 19th century Sir "Thomas Lawrence called the work "the philosophy of art".

Featured picture

Credit: Photo: "Burton Holmes; Restoration: "Lise Broer

A 1925 photo of "Wongudan, an altar site in "Seoul built in 1897 as a location for the performance of the "rite of heaven. "King "Seongjong of the "Goryeo Dynasty was the first to perform the rite, designed to ensure a bountiful harvest, in the tenth century. The practice was discontinued by later Goryeo kings, revived briefly in the mid fifteenth century by "Sejo of the "Joseon Dynasty, then reinstated with the founding of the "Korean Empire in 1897. Much of the altar complex was destroyed during the "Japanese occupation, and the gate and fountain seen here were also subsequently removed, leaving only the three-storey Hwangungu "pagoda remaining.

Did you know...

""Chase Promenade

In this month

""Isadora Duncan


Featured biography

""John Douglas
"John Douglas (1830–1911) was an English "architect who designed about 500 buildings in "Cheshire, North Wales and northwest England, in particular in the estate of "Eaton Hall. Douglas' output included the creation, restoration and renovation of churches, church furnishings, houses and other buildings. His architectural styles were "eclectic and many of his works incorporate elements of the "English Gothic style. He was also influenced by architectural styles from the mainland of Europe and included elements of French, German and Netherlandish architecture into his works. He is remembered for his use of "half-timbering, tile-hanging, "pargeting, decorative brick in "diapering and the design of tall chimney stacks. Of particular importance is Douglas' use of "joinery and highly detailed wood carving. Throughout his career he attracted commissions from wealthy landowners and industrialists. Most of his works have survived. The city of "Chester contains a number of his structures, the most admired of which are his half-timbered black-and-white buildings and "Eastgate Clock. The highest concentration of his work is found in the Eaton Hall estate and the surrounding villages of "Eccleston, "Aldford and "Pulford.

Featured audio

"Antonio Soler was a "Spanish "composer, primarily for "organ. This is his 84th sonata, performed by Wikipedian "Ashtar Moïra.



Selected quote

""Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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