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, filmmaking, and Internet art also known as net.art. 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.
Buddhist art originated on the Indian subcontinent following the historical life of Gautama Buddha, 6th to 5th century BCE, and thereafter evolved by contact with other cultures as it spread throughout Asia and the world.
Early Buddhist art, followed the Indian aniconic tradition which avoids direct representation of the human figure. Around the 1st century CE an iconic period emerged lasting to this day which represents the Buddha in human form.
Buddhist art followed believers as the dharma spread, adapted, and evolved in each new host country. It developed to the north through Central Asia and into Eastern Asia to form the Northern branch of Buddhist art, and to the east as far as Southeast Asia to form the Southern branch of Buddhist art. In India, Buddhist art flourished and even influenced the development of Hindu art, until Buddhism nearly disappeared in India around the 10th century due in part to the vigorous expansion of Islam alongside Hinduism.
||Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.
||-- Edgar Degas, 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."