Portal:Visual arts

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THE VISUAL ARTS PORTAL

Introduction

The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as performing arts, conceptual art, and textile arts also involve aspects of 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 or 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' had for some centuries often been restricted to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the decorative arts, craft, or applied Visual arts 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. The increasing tendency to privilege painting, and to a lesser degree sculpture, above other arts has been a feature of Western art as well as East Asian art. In both regions painting has been seen as relying to the highest degree on the imagination of the artist, and the furthest removed from manual labour – in Chinese painting the most highly valued styles were those of "scholar-painting", at least in theory practiced by gentleman amateurs. The Western hierarchy of genres reflected similar attitudes. (Full article...)

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Nativity, c. mid-1450s. Oil on wood, 127.6 cm × 94.9 cm  (50.2 in × 37.4 in), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The Nativity is a devotional mid-1450s oil-on-wood panel painting by the Early Netherlandish painter Petrus Christus. It shows a nativity scene with grisaille archways and trompe-l'œil sculptured reliefs. Christus was influenced by the first generation of Netherlandish artists, especially Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, and the panel is characteristic of the simplicity and naturalism of art of that period. Placing archways as a framing device is a typical van der Weyden device, and here likely borrowed from that artist's Altar of Saint John and Miraflores Altarpiece. Yet Christus adapts these painterly motifs to a uniquely mid-15th century sensibility, and the unusually large panel – perhaps painted as a central altarpiece panel for a triptych – is nuanced and visually complex. It shows his usual harmonious composition and employment of one-point-perspective, especially evident in the geometric forms of the shed's roof, and his bold use of color. It is one of Christus's most important works. Max Friedländer definitely attributed the panel to Christus in 1930, concluding that "in scope and importance, [it] is superior to all other known creations of this master."

The overall atmosphere is one of simplicity, serenity and understated sophistication. It is reflective of the 14th-century Devotio Moderna movement, and contains complex Christian symbolism, subtly juxtaposing Old and New Testament iconography. The sculpted figures in the archway depict biblical scenes of sin and punishment, signaling the advent of Christ's sacrifice, with an over-reaching message of the "Fall and Redemption of humankind". Inside the archway, surrounded by four angels, is the Holy Family; beyond, a landscape extends into the far background. (Full article...)
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Fame Riding Pegasus
Fame Riding Pegasus
Credit: Jebulon
Fame Riding Pegasus by Antoine Coysevox, a sculpture in Carrara marble celebrating Louis XIV of France, was commissioned in 1699 for the decoration of the park of Marly. In 1719 it was transferred to the entrance to the Tuileries Garden, Paris, and since 1986 it has stood in the Louvre.

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Many are willing to suffer for their art. Few are willing to learn to draw.
Simon Munnery, Attention Scum!


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Pen portrait of Florence Fuller, 1897

Florence Ada Fuller (1867 – 17 July 1946) was a South African-born Australian artist. Originally from Port Elizabeth, Fuller migrated as a child to Melbourne with her family. There she trained with her uncle Robert Hawker Dowling and teacher Jane Sutherland and took classes at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School, becoming a professional artist in the late 1880s. In 1892 she left Australia, travelling first to South Africa, where she met and painted for Cecil Rhodes, and then on to Europe. She lived and studied there for the subsequent decade, except for a return to South Africa in 1899 to paint a portrait of Rhodes. Between 1895 and 1904 her works were exhibited at the Paris Salon and London's Royal Academy.

In 1904, Fuller returned to Australia, living in Perth. She became active in the Theosophical Society and painted some of her best-known work, including A Golden Hour, described by the National Gallery of Australia as a "masterpiece" when it acquired the work in 2013. Beginning in 1908, Fuller travelled extensively, living in India and England before ultimately settling in Sydney. There, she was the inaugural teacher of life drawing at the School of Fine and Applied Arts, established in 1920 by the New South Wales Society of Women Painters. She died in 1946. (Full article...)

Did you know...

Prometheus (1930)
Prometheus (1930)

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