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Portal:Arts

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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 artsmusic, 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.

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Runestone U 201
The Greece Runestones comprise about 30 runestones containing information related to voyages made by Norsemen to "Greece", which referred to the Byzantine Empire. They were made during the Viking Age and until c. 1100. The stones were engraved in the Old Norse language with Scandinavian runes. All of the stones were found in modern-day Sweden, and the majority reside in Uppland (18 runestones) and Södermanland (7 runestones). Most of the stones were carved in memory of members of the Varangian Guard who never returned home, but a few stones mention men who returned with wealth. The only group of runestones that refer to expeditions abroad that are comparable in number are those that mention expeditions to England, the England Runestones. The stones vary in size from the small whetstone from Timans, to the boulder in Ed which is 18 m (59 ft) in circumference. Most of them are adorned with various runestone styles that were in use during the 11th century, and especially styles that were part of the Ringerike style (eight or nine stones) and the Urnes style (eight stones). The runestones have been continuously identified by scholars beginning with Johannes Bureus in the late 16th century, with many stones discovered during a national search for historic monuments in the late 17th century.

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Ramayana
Credit: Artist: Sahibdin

A scene from the Ramayana, an ancient Sanskrit epic. Depicted here are several stages of the War of Lanka, with the monkey army of the protagonist Rama (top left, blue figure) fighting the demon army of the king of Lanka, Ravana, to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita. The three-headed figure of the demon general Trisiras occurs in several places – most dramatically at the bottom left, where he is shown beheaded by Hanuman.

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Henry Moore in workshop by Allan Warren
Henry Moore was a British artist and sculptor. Born into a poor mining family in the Yorkshire town of Castleford, he became well-known for his large-scale abstract cast bronze and carved marble sculptures; substantially supported by the British art establishment, Moore helped to introduce a particular form of modernism into Britain. His ability to satisfy large-scale commissions made him exceptionally wealthy towards the end of his life. However, he lived frugally and most of his wealth went to endow the Henry Moore Foundation, which continues to support education and promotion of the arts. His signature form is a pierced reclining figure, first influenced by a Toltec-Maya sculpture known as "Chac Mool", which he had seen as a plaster cast in Paris in 1925. Early versions are pierced conventionally as a bent arm reconnects with the body. Later, more abstract versions, are pierced directly through the body in order to explore the concave and convex shapes. These more extreme piercings developed in parallel with Barbara Hepworth's sculptures. Hepworth first pierced a torso after misreading a review of one of Henry Moore's early shows.

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Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí, People (September 27, 1976)
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