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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, 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 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.

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Winged Victory of Samothrace
Credit: Adam Carr

The Winged Victory of Samothrace, thought to date from between 220 to 190 BC, is one of the great surviving masterpieces of sculpture from the Greek Hellenistic period. It now stands at the top of the Louvre's Daru staircase.

Selected article

Campbell's Soup Cans (sometimes referred to as 32 Campbell's Soup Cans) is the title of an Andy Warhol work of art that was produced in 1962. It consists of thirty-two canvases, each measuring 20 inches in height x 16 inches in width (50.8 x 40.6 cm) and each consisting of a painting of a Campbell's Soup can—one of each canned soup variety the company offered at the time. The individual paintings were produced with a semi-mechanised silkscreen process, using a non-painterly style. They helped usher in Pop art as a major art movement that relied on themes from popular culture.

For Warhol, a commercial illustrator who became a successful author, painter and film director, the work was his first one-man gallery exhibition as a fine artist. This gallery exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, CA marked the west coast debut of Pop art. The combination of the semi-mechanized process, the non-painterly style, and the commercial subject initially caused offense, as the work's blatantly mundane commercialism represented a direct affront to the technique and philosophy of Abstract expressionism.

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

John Kane, Self-portrait, c. 1845
Paul Kane (September 3, 1810 – February 20, 1871) was an Irish-Canadian painter, famous for his paintings of First Nations peoples in the Canadian West and other Native Americans in the Oregon Country.

A largely self-educated artist, Kane grew up in Toronto (then known as York) and trained himself by copying European masters on a study trip through Europe. He undertook two voyages through the wild Canadian northwest in 1845 and from 1846 to 1848. The first trip took him from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie and back. Having secured the support of the Hudson's Bay Company, he set out on a second, much longer voyage from Toronto across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Vancouver and Fort Victoria in the Columbia District, as the Canadians called the Oregon Country.

On both trips Kane sketched and painted Aboriginal peoples and documented their lives. Upon his return to Toronto, he produced more than one hundred oil paintings from these sketches. Kane's work, particularly his field sketches, are still a valuable resource for ethnologists. The oil paintings he completed in his studio are considered a part of the Canadian heritage, although he often embellished them considerably, departing from the accuracy of his field sketches in favour of more dramatic scenes.

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Visual arts

Architecture | Ceramic art | Comics | Crafts | Design | Drawing | Illustration | Film | Glass | Graphic design | Industrial design | Landscape architecture | Multimedia | Painting | Photography | Pottery | Printmaking | Public art | Sculpture | Typography | Mosaic

Artists | Art awards | Artist collectives | Art collectors | Art critics | Art curators | Art exhibitions | Art forgery | Art history | Art materials | Art schools | Artistic techniques | Conservation and restoration

Art by country | Art genres | Art movements | Women artists

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Visual arts(61 C, 53 P)
Art by city(14 C)
Art by country(159 C, 73 P)
Art by location(3 C)
Art by region(22 C, 7 P)
Art by subject(55 C, 2 P)
Art media(58 C, 100 P)
Works of art(39 C, 7 P)
Lists of visual art topics(8 C, 24 P)
Architecture(45 C, 182 P)
Art by animals(1 C, 8 P)
Art by religion(7 C, 1 P)
Artist colonies(4 C, 80 P)
Artist residencies(14 P)
Artists(37 C, 5 P)
Audiovisual art(2 C, 4 P)
Art awards(15 C, 78 P)
Black-and-white media(6 C, 6 P)
Book arts(9 C, 61 P)
Business of visual arts(2 C, 25 P)
Calligraphy(8 C, 43 P)
Art collections(8 C, 6 P)
Composition in visual art(1 C, 41 P)
Art conferences(8 P)
Art crime(8 C, 47 P)
Design(52 C, 216 P)
Digital art(11 C, 131 P)
Drawing(8 C, 52 P)
Art education(13 C, 48 P)
Engraving(3 C, 39 P)
Art exhibitions(17 C, 78 P)
Art fairs(1 C, 52 P)
Art genres(78 C, 203 P)
Handicrafts(19 C, 86 P)
Art history(38 C, 154 P)
Art libraries(6 P)
Art magazines(20 C, 114 P)
Art manifestos(15 P)
Art materials(23 C, 105 P)
Art movements(65 C, 250 P)
Art museums and galleries(30 C, 1 P)
Visual arts occupations(6 C, 29 P)
Art and design organizations(13 C, 29 P)
Painting(11 C, 85 P)
Panoramic art(2 C, 8 P)
Patrons of art(2 C, 4 P)
Photography(20 C, 35 P)
Sculpture(23 C, 48 P)
Art societies(1 C, 69 P)
Sociology of art(1 C, 1 P)
Artistic techniques(14 C, 163 P)
Art terminology(4 C, 23 P)
Visual arts theory(1 C, 26 P)
Art therapy(1 C, 21 P)
Visual art journals(1 C, 15 P)
Walking art(38 P)
Works about visual art(4 C, 4 P)
Art stubs(23 C, 377 P)

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