THE VISUAL ARTS PORTAL
Visual arts is a class of art forms focusing on the creation of works that are primarily visual in nature, such as painting, drawing, illustration, architecture, photography, graphic design, printmaking, and filmmaking. Works that involve moulding or modeling, such as sculpture, public art, and ceramics, are more narrowly referred to as plastic arts.
The visual arts are distinguished from the performing arts, language arts, culinary arts and other such classes of artwork, but those boundaries are not well defined. Many artistic endeavors combine aspects of visual arts with one or more non-visual art forms, such as music or spoken word.
The current use of the phrase "visual arts" includes fine arts as well as crafts, but this was not always the case. Prior to the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain and elsewhere at the turn of the 20th century, "visual artist" referred to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the handicraft, craft, or applied art disciplines.
The scope of study and appreciation of visual arts spans the globe, and reaches through time back to people drawing on stone walls. All societies have embellished their tools and toys with more visual interest than is functionally necessary.
Matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nested dolls or Babushka dolls, were seen as early as 1890. They are not a traditional Russian handicraft, although the concept of nested objects was familiar in Russia. The first set of dolls is said to have been made by a painter in the Abramtsevo estate inspired by a set of Japanese wooden dolls representing the Seven Gods of Fortune.
Hoysala architecture is the distinctive building style developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire in the region historically known as Karnata, today's Karnataka, India, between the 11th and the 14th centuries. Hoysala influence was at its peak in the 13th century, when it dominated the Southern Deccan Plateau region. Large and small temples built during this era remain as examples of the Hoysala architectural style, including the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura. Other examples of fine Hoysala craftmanship are the temples at Belavadi, Amrithapura, and Nuggehalli. Study of the Hoysala architectural style has revealed a negligible Indo-Aryan influence while the impact of Southern Indian style is more distinct.
The vigorous temple building activity of the Hoysala Empire was due to the social, cultural and political events of the period. The stylistic transfomation of the Karnata temple building tradition reflected religious trends popularized by the Vaishnava and Virashaiva philosophers as well as the growing military prowess of the Hoysala kings who desired to surpass their Western Chalukya overlords in artistic achievement.
||Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.
||-- Henri Matisse, unknown
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
was an Italian artist
active in Rome
. He is commonly placed in the Baroque
school, on which he had a formative influence.
Even in his own lifetime Caravaggio was enigmatic, fascinating, and dangerous. He burst upon the Rome art scene in 1600, and never afterwards lacked commissions or patrons, yet handled his success atrociously. In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled Rome with a price on his head. In Malta in 1608 he was involved in another brawl, and yet another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. By the next year, after a career of little more than a decade, he was dead.
Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was almost completely forgotten in the centuries after his death, and it was only in the last few decades of the 20th century that he has been rediscovered. Yet despite this his influence on the common style which eventually emerged from the ruins of Mannerism, the Baroque, was profound. Andre Berne-Joffroy, Paul Valery's secretary, said of him: "What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting."