The arts is a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which, as a description of a field, usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass the visual arts, the literary arts and the performing arts – music, theatre, dance and film, among others. This list is by no means comprehensive, but only meant to introduce the concept of the arts. For all intents and purposes, the history of the arts begins with the history of art. The arts might have origins in early human evolutionary prehistory.
Ancient Greek art saw the veneration of the animal form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct proportions. Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with characteristic distinguishing features (e.g. Jupiter's thunderbolt). In Byzantine and Gothic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church insisted on the expression of biblical and not material truths. Eastern art has generally worked in a style akin to Western medieval art, namely a concentration on surface patterning and local colour (meaning the plain colour of an object, such as basic red for a red robe, rather than the modulations of that colour brought about by light, shade and reflection). A characteristic of this style is that the local colour is often defined by an outline (a contemporary equivalent is the cartoon). This is evident in, for example, the art of India, Tibet and Japan. Religious Islamic art forbids iconography, and expresses religious ideas through geometry instead. The physical and rational certainties depicted by the 19th-century Enlightenment were shattered not only by new discoveries of relativity by Einstein and of unseen psychology by Freud, but also by unprecedented technological development. Paradoxically the expressions of new technologies were greatly influenced by the ancient tribal arts of Africa and Oceania, through the works of Paul Gauguin and the Post-Impressionists, Pablo Picasso and the Cubists, as well as the Futurists and others.
is the name commonly given to a woodcut
carved by Albrecht Dürer
in 1515. The image was based on a written description and brief sketch by an unknown artist of an Indian rhinoceros
that had arrived in Lisbon
earlier that year. Dürer never saw the actual rhinoceros, which was the first living example seen in Europe since Roman times
. In late 1515, the King of Portugal, Manuel I
, sent the animal as a gift for Pope Leo X
, but it died in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy
in early 1516. A live rhinoceros was not seen again in Europe until a second specimen arrived from India
at the court of Phillip II
in around 1579. Despite its anatomical inaccuracies, Dürer's woodcut became very popular in Europe and was copied many times in the following three centuries. It was regarded as a true representation of a rhinoceros into the late 18th century. Eventually, it was supplanted by more realistic drawings and paintings, particularly paintings and engravings of Clara the rhinoceros
, who toured Europe in the 1740s and 1750s. It has been said of Dürer's woodcut that "probably no animal picture has exerted such a profound influence on the arts".
A self-portrait of Louis-Marie Autissier (1772–1830), a French-born Belgian portrait miniature painter. He is considered the founder of the Belgian school of miniature painting in the nineteenth century. Born at Vannes, in Brittany, he joined the French Revolutionary Army at Rennes in 1791. On leaving the army in 1795, Autissier went to Paris and trained his art by studying paintings at the Louvre. In 1796 he settled in Brussels, but continued to divide his time between Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Although he enjoyed great success in his career, serving as court painter to Louis Napoleon, French King of the Netherlands, and later to Willem I, Autissier died penniless.
was an English
emigrant to New Zealand
, where he became one of that country's most prominent 19th-century architects
. He was instrumental in shaping the city of Christchurch
. He was appointed the first official Provincial Architect of the developing province of Canterbury
. Heavily influenced by the Anglo-Catholic
philosophy behind early Victorian architecture he is credited with importing the Gothic revival
style to New Zealand. His Gothic designs constructed in both wood and stone in the province are considered to be unique to New Zealand. Today he is considered the founding architect of the province of Canterbury.
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