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Portal:Visual arts

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THE VISUAL ARTS PORTAL

Introduction

The visual arts are art forms such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, and architecture. Many artistic disciplines (performing arts, conceptual art, textile arts) involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts are the applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.

Current usage of the term "visual arts" includes fine art as well as the applied, decorative arts and crafts, but this was not always the case. Before the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and elsewhere at the turn of the 20th century, the term 'artist' was often restricted to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the handicraft, craft, or applied art media. The distinction was emphasized by artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who valued vernacular art forms as much as high forms. Art schools made a distinction between the fine arts and the crafts, maintaining that a craftsperson could not be considered a practitioner of the arts.

Selected image

Plate VI: The Smoking Fire from Carceri d'Invenzione by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Credit: Fb78

Giovanni Battista Piranesi was famous for his etchings of imaginary "prisons" as illustrated here by Plate VI: The Smoking Fire from Carceri d'Invenzione.

Selected article


Dürer's Rhinoceros
Dürer's Rhinoceros is the name commonly given to a woodcut created by German painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer in 1515. The image was based on a written description and brief sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhinoceros that had arrived in Lisbon earlier that year. Dürer never saw the actual rhinoceros, which was the first living example seen in Europe since Roman times. In late 1515, the King of Portugal, Manuel I, sent the animal as a gift for Pope Leo X, but it died in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy in early 1516. A live rhinoceros was not seen again in Europe until a second specimen arrived from India at the court of Philip II in Spain in around 1579.

Despite its anatomical inaccuracies, Dürer's woodcut became very popular in Europe and was copied many times in the following three centuries. It was regarded as a true representation of a rhinoceros into the late 18th century. Eventually, it was supplanted by more realistic drawings and paintings, particularly those of Clara the rhinoceros, who toured Europe in the 1740s and 1750s. It has been said of Dürer's woodcut: "probably no animal picture has exerted such a profound influence on the arts".


Selected quote


When I've painted a woman's behind so that I want to touch it, then it's finished!
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Vollard, Ambroise (1925). Renoir: an initimate record. Translated by Van Dooren, Harold L.; Weaver, Randolph T. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 57. OCLC 631984646. 


Selected biography

Roman Vishniac, c. 1981
Roman Vishniac was a renowned Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. He was, however, an extremely diverse photographer, an accomplished biologist and a knowledgeable student and teacher of art history. Throughout his life, he made significant scientific contributions to the fields of photomicroscopy and time-lapse photography. He later became a teacher and collector of historic art and artifacts. Vishniac was very interested in history, especially that of his ancestors. In turn, he was strongly tied to his Jewish roots and was a Zionist later in life. Roman Vishniac won international acclaim for his photography: his pictures from the shtetlach and Jewish ghettos, celebrity portraits, and images of microscopic biology. He is known for his book A Vanished World, published in 1947, which was one of the first such pictorial documentations of Jewish culture in Eastern Europe from that period. He is known also for his extreme humanism and respect and awe for life, sentiments that can be seen in all aspects of his work.


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