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      Visual Arts

      These are the arts that meet the eye and evoke an emotion through an expression of skill and imagination. They include the most ancient forms, such as painting and drawing, and the arts that were born thanks to the development of technology, like sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation art, the latter a combination of multiple creative expressions. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different eras in art history have had their own principles to define beauty, from the richly ornamented taste of the Baroque to the simple, utilitarian style of the Prairie School.
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      Featured content, January 26, 2021

      Why Is the Mona Lisa So Famous?
      The reason for the Mona Lisa’s popularity is one of the painting’s many conundrums. Find out what all the fuss is...
      Demystified / Visual Arts
      Mona Lisa, oil on wood panel by Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1503-06; in the Louvre, Paris, France. 77 x 53 cm.
      The Most Stolen Work of Art
      Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece has been stolen by Napoleon and Hitler, among others.
      #WTFact / Visual Arts
      Click on image for enlargements of panel sections. The Ghent Altarpiece (open view) by Jan and Hubert van Eyck, 1432, polyptych with 12 panels, oil on panel; in the Cathedral of Saint-Bavon, Ghent, Belg.
      Street Photography: How a Single Camera Brought About a Genre
      The invention of the Leica camera allowed photographers to move through the streets and capture moments that come and go...
      Companion / Visual Arts
      vintage Leica photo camera at KPI Museum, July 24, 2015, in Kiev, Ukraine
      Art Abuse: 11 Vandalized Works of Art
      These are not improvements.
      List / Visual Arts
      Vandalized Art list. Combo of EB owned illustration (top) and parent Asset 182294. 4 of 11 The Rokeby Venus by Diego Velazquez was hit with a meat cleaver by Mary Richardson
      Japanese art
      Japanese art, the painting, calligraphy, architecture, pottery, sculpture, bronzes, jade carving, and other fine or decorative...
      Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
      The Breaking Wave off Kanagawa, woodblock colour print by Hokusai, from the series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, 1826–33.
      Eduardo Kac
      Eduardo Kac, Brazilian American artist who was best known for his works featuring genetically altered organisms in ways that...
      Biography
      Anatolian art and architecture
      Anatolian art and architecture, the art and architecture of ancient Anatolian civilizations. Anatolia is the name that is...
      Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
      copper finial
      Printmaking
      Printmaking, an art form consisting of the production of images, usually on paper but occasionally on fabric, parchment,...
      Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
      Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: Jane Avril

      Visual Arts Quizzes

      Claude Monet. Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, Sunlight Effect, 1903. Oil on canvas, 25 7/8 x 39 3/4 in. (65.7 x 101 cm), Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1163. River Thames
      Artists & Painters: Fact or Fiction?
      Do you think you know Fabergé, Monet, and Jackson Pollock? Discover how much you really know about their lives, inspirations,...
      Color pastels, colored chalk, colorful chalk. Hompepage blog 2009, arts and entertainment, history and society
      Ultimate Art Quiz
      From symbolism to sculpture, this quiz will put you in touch with your artistic side.
      Close-up of a palette held by a man. Mixing paint, painting, color mixing.
      Artists, Painters, & Architects
      Who picked up a paintbrush, chisel, or piece of clay to create the world’s most famous works of art? Draw on your knowledge...
      USA, California, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge
      Art & Architecture: Fact or Fiction?
      What purpose do gargoyles serve? What is gesso used for? Sort fact from fiction in art and architecture.
      Alberto Santos-Dumont. Postcard of Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont's (1873-1932) airship or dirigible and Eiffel Tower. The Santos Dumont Air-Ship rounding the Eiffel Tower; on Octoboer 19th 1901. airplane
      Paris at Random
      What ballet caused an opening night riot in Paris? Which Parisian singer popularized the chanson? Test your knowledge about...
      Paul Bunyan:  The Tale of a Lumberjack
      Mythology, Legend, and Folklore
      According to American folklore, who dug out the Grand Canyon? From Egyptian gods to Norse heroes, dig out the facts in this...
      mythology. Greek. Athena.
      Greek Mythology and Legend: Fact or Fiction?
      In the legends concerning the Trojan War, were the Greek gods neutral? Sort through the facts of winged and wooden horses...
      Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in the motion picture "Swing Time" (1936); directed by George Stevens. (movie, film, musical)
      Dance
      From the graceful movements of ballet to the flapping frenzy of the Charleston, tap your feet—and scratch your head—in this...
      "The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Andrea Mantegna in the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1450.
      This or That? Painter vs. Architect
      Think you know your artists? Try to remember if these famous names were painters or architects.
      Costume sketch for two Beotian ('Two Bacchantes') women, from the Ballets Russes production of Tcherepnin's "Narcissus", 1911 by Leon Bakst. Mythological poem with music by N. Cherepnin, 1911. Watercolour, gouache, pencil, gold, silver on paper.
      Ballet: Fact or Fiction?
      What is a pirouette? Where does ballet terminology come from? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
      Image Gallery
      Visual Arts
      Never Miss a Day in History
      Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers delivered right to your inbox.

      Visual Arts Subcategories

      Ryue Nishizawa (left) and Kazuyo Sejima with their Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, London, 2009. Architecture
      Architecture is a sphere of art and design in which functionality and aesthetics can combine to produce visually stunning structures that manage to both catch the eye and serve a functional purpose. The expansive variety of architectural styles that have been employed throughout the ages underscores the fact that not every building need look the same, a principle that is readily apparent when comparing Gothic cathedrals with igloos or pagodas with cliff dwellings. Noted architects such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, I.M. Pei, Zaha Hadid, and Jeanne Gang are acclaimed not only for the striking aesthetics of their designs but also for the way in which their work reflected cultural themes and values. Although architecture is commonly associated first and foremost with the design and construction of buildings, landscape architects may work with gardens, parks, and other planned outdoor areas, aiding in the development and decorative planning of such spaces.
      Articles
      subcategory placeholder Arts Awards
      Awards such as the Praemium Imperiale and the Pritzker Prize honor artists for a job well done.
      Articles
      Teatro Olimpico, designed by Andrea Palladio and completed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, 1585, Vicenza, Italy. Decorative Art
      People appreciate the usefulness of things like glassware and furniture, but they appreciate such objects even more when they’re aesthetically pleasing, too. That’s where decorative art comes in. Explore the world of basketry, metalwork, pottery, interior design, tapestry, and more.
      Articles
      shoe Fashion Design
      Looking to make a statement without even saying a word? Fashion designers know that clothing and accessories can speak volumes about the wearer, affecting both how the wearer is perceived by others and how the wearer perceives of him- or herself. The fashion industry has become a multibillion-dollar global enterprise devoted to the business of making and selling clothes; it thrives by being diverse and flexible enough to gratify any consumer's desire to embrace or even to reject fashionability, however that term might be defined.
      Articles
      William Blake Graphic Art
      Calligraphy, graffiti, engraving, caricature: graphic art's domain stretches as far as the eye can see. Take a look at some of the other types of graphic art, and learn more about the artists working within this category of fine arts.
      Articles
      Turrell, James Installation & Performance Art
      Learn about the artists who create installation art, which can incorporate a variety of different materials and artistic forms, such as sculptures, videos, and music, all with the purpose of transforming a given space. Performance artists may also make use of videos and music—as well as such varied elements as acting, poetry, dance, and painting—to create a live presentation for an audience; here, the "audience" could simply consist of onlookers on the street or patrons browsing the halls of a museum, among countless other possibilities.
      Articles
      Vincent van Gogh: A Wheatfield, with Cypresses Painting
      Need help distinguishing your Picassos from your Monets? Learn about history’s celebrated painters and the different styles, techniques, mediums, and forms that have been used to create such unique visual images as Salvador Dalí’s melting clock and the ever-shifting eyes of Leonardo da Vinci’s enigmatic Mona Lisa.
      Articles
      Dada exhibit Photography
      Photography’s history began long before we were snapping pictures on camera phones. Learn about the masters of the craft and explore the development of photographic technology as it progressed through daguerreotypes and tintypes on the way to modern day’s increasingly sophisticated digital cameras.
      Articles
      subcategory placeholder Sculpture
      Looking to find a use for that extra clay, stone, plaster, or metal that you have lying around? Consider sculpture, in which artists employ these materials and others to create three-dimensional art. Perhaps you’ll join the ranks of noted sculptors such as Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin, and Donatello.
      Articles
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