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.
Ukiyo-e, "pictures of the floating world", is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints (or woodcuts) and paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, the theatre and pleasure quarters. It is illustrated here by Hokusai's Red Fuji from his Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji series.
Northwest Coast art is a style of art created primarily by artists from Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka'wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations of the northwest coast of North America, from pre-European-contact times up to the present.
Northwest Coast art is distinguished by the use of form lines, and the use of characteristic shapes referred to as ovoids, U forms and S forms. Before European contact, the most common media were wood (often Western red cedar), stone, and copper; since European contact, paper and canvas have also been used. If paint is used, the most common colours are red and black, but yellow is also often used, particularly among Kwakwaka'wakw artists.
The patterns depicted include natural forms such as bears, ravens, eagles, and humans; legendary creatures such as thunderbirds and sisiutls; and abstract forms made up of the characteristic Northwest Coast shapes. Totem poles are the most well-known artifacts produced using this style. Northwest Coast artists are also notable for producing characteristic "bent-corner" or "bentwood" boxes, masks, and canoes. Northwest Coast designs were also used to decorate traditional First Nations household items such as spoons, ladles, baskets, hats, and paddles; since European contact, the Northwest Coast art style has increasingly been used in gallery-oriented forms such as paintings, prints and sculptures.
||Most painting in the European tradition was painting the mask. Modern art rejected all that. Our subject matter was the person behind the mask.
||— Robert Motherwell, The Times (November 17, 1985)
Pierre Joseph Rossier
(born 16 July 1829, died between 1883 and 1898) was a pioneering Swiss photographer whose albumen
photographs, which include stereographs
, comprise portraits, cityscapes and landscapes. He was commissioned by the London firm of Negretti and Zambra
to travel to Asia and document the progress of the Anglo-French troops in the Second Opium War
and, although he failed to join that military expedition, he remained in Asia for several years, producing the first commercial photographs of China
, the Philippines
and Siam (now Thailand
). He was the first professional photographer in Japan, where he trained Ueno Hikoma
, Maeda Genzō
, Horie Kuwajirō
, as well as lesser known members of the first generation of Japanese photographers. In Switzerland he established photographic studios
, and he also produced images elsewhere in the country. Rossier is an important figure in the early history of photography not only because of his own images, but also because of the critical impact of his teaching in the early days of Japanese photography.