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.
for The Maids of Honour
) is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez
, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age
, in the Museo del Prado
. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas
has been one of the most widely analysed works in Western painting
. Las Meninas
shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain
, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot
. Some figures look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margarita
is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone
, bodyguard, and two dwarfs. Las Meninas
has long been recognised as one of the most important paintings in Western art history
. The Baroque
painter Luca Giordano
said that it represents the "theology of painting", while in the 19th century Sir Thomas Lawrence
called the work "the philosophy of art".
The cover to the June 1914 issue of Vanity Fair, an American magazine published from 1913 to 1936 by Condé Montrose Nast, the first of many published by his company Condé Nast Publications. Nast purchased a men's fashion magazine titled Dress in 1913 and renamed it Dress and Vanity Fair. In 1914, the title was shortened to Vanity Fair. During its run, it competed with The New Yorker as the American establishment's top culture chronicle and featured writing by Thomas Wolfe, T. S. Eliot, P. G. Wodehouse, and Dorothy Parker. However, it became a casualty of the Great Depression and declining advertising revenues, and it was folded into Vogue in 1936. In 1983, Condé Nast revived the title as a new publication.
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Lisa del Giocondo
was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence
. Her name was given to Mona Lisa
, her portrait
commissioned by her husband and painted by Leonardo da Vinci
during the Italian Renaissance
. Little is known about Lisa's life. Married as a teenager to a cloth and silk merchant who later became a local official, she was mother to five children and led what is thought to have been a comfortable and ordinary middle-class life. Lisa outlived her husband, who was about 20 years her senior. Centuries after Lisa's death, Mona Lisa
became the world's most famous painting and took on a life separate from Lisa, the woman. Speculation by scholars and hobbyists made the work of art a globally recognized icon
and an object of commercialization. During the early 21st century, a discovery made at a university library was powerful enough evidence to end speculation about the sitter's identity and definitively identified Lisa del Giocondo as the subject of the Mona Lisa.
- Parent project
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