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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 21, 2021

    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
    Why Do Brides Wear White?
    It’s a nice day for a white wedding.
    Demystified / Visual Arts
    Smiling Bride and Groom at Wedding Ceremony
    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.
    Central Asian arts
    Central Asian arts, literary, performing, and visual arts of a large portion of Asia embracing the Turkic republics (Uzbekistan,...
    Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
    Mongol shaman
    East Asian arts
    East Asian arts, the visual arts, performing arts, and music of China, Korea (North Korea and South Korea), and Japan. (The...
    Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
    Liangzhu ceremonial cong
    Art
    Art, a visual object or experience consciously created through an expression of skill or imagination. The term art encompasses...
    Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
    Leonardo da Vinci: Mona Lisa
    South Asian arts
    South Asian arts, the literary, performing, and visual arts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Despite a history...
    Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
    Mridanga; in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

    Visual Arts Quizzes

    The gardens at the Palace of Versailles in France were designed by Andre Le Notre.
    Baroque Art and Architecture: Fact or Fiction?
    What does "Baroque" mean, anyway? What happened during the Baroque period? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
    Bavarian Alps. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany.
    Castles: Fact or Fiction?
    Are you a castle connoisseur, or does your knowledge end at Disneyland? Test your castle cred with this quiz.
    Claude Monet's home in Giverny, France.
    This or That? Manet vs. Monet
    Their names only differ by one letter, but their works vary greatly. See if you can tell which of these things is true about...
    President Abraham Lincoln. Statue of Abraham Lincoln, designed by Daniel Chester French, in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.
    Who Made That?
    You’ve probably heard of most of the famous works of art in this quiz—but do you remember who made them?
    Illustrations of Clowns
    Clowning Around
    Clowns have a longer history than you might think. Whether you love them or are terrified of them, test your knowledge of...
    Hagia Sophia. Istanbul, Turkey. Constantinople. Church of the Holy Wisdom. Church of the Divine Wisdom. Mosque.
    Architecture: The Built World
    What is the name of the tower associated with mosques? Who buillt Hearst Castle? Test your knowledge of architecture and...
    Tourists visit "Cloud Gate", a sculpture by Anish Kapoor, in Millenium Park in Chicago, Illinois.
    Who Made That? (Part 2)
    Who made these iconic works of art? Test your knowledge of art and artists with this quiz.
    The Creation of Adam to the Flood, detail of the ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican, by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), painted 1508-12. Location: Sistine Chapel, Vatican Palace, Vatican State
    Which Came First: Art Edition
    Think you have your art chronology straight? See if you can guess which of these works, techniques, and styles came first.
    Venus and the Lute Player, ca. 1565-70, Oil on canvas, 65 x 82.5 in. (165.1 x 209.6 cm) by Titian and Workshop. From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA. Titian (Tiziano Vecellio or Vecelli) Italian Renaissance painter, Venetian school.
    Italian Renaissance Art
    Do you know who mastered the design and construction of the dome back in the 15th century? Take this quiz to find out.
    "Future Expectations" by James Van der Zee, c. 1925. James VanDerZee.
    Art of the Harlem Renaissance
    Literature was not the only art that flourished during the Harlem Renaissance. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of the...
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    Visual Arts
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    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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