Friday, September 21, 2012


What is Art?

How is art defined and classified? What's the difference between fine, decorative and applied arts? What's the difference between arts and crafts? What's the difference between representational and abstract art? What exactly is non-objective art? What are ready-mades? What are aesthetics? What is junk art? architecture, assemblage, calligraphy, caricature, ceramics, collage, computer graphics, crayons, drawing, design, digital artworks, fresco, graffiti, ink-and-wash, illustration, installations, murals, outsider artworks, painting, performance or happenings, metalsmithing, mosaics, pastels, photography, poster art, pottery, sculpture, stencils, tapestry, textile design, stained glass, video, and many more.

The World's Greatest Painters (c.1300-1800)
Read biographies of ALL the great European Masters, including: Medieval artists (c.1100-1400); Gothic illuminators like Jean Pucelle and the Limbourg Brothers; leading icon panel painters like Andrei Rublev, proto-Renaissance artists such as Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giotto; the Flemish artists Jan Van Eyck, Hans Memling, Hugo Van Der Goes; Dutch painters like Hieronymus Bosch, as well as artists of the German Renaissance like Durer, Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans Holbein. We analyze the Greatest Renaissance Paintings by Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, and take a look at architects like Bramante. We profile Mannerists including Vasari, El Greco, Pontormo and Parmigianino, followed by the great masters of Baroque painting such as Rubens, Caravaggio, Ribera, Velazquez and others. We profile Dutch Realists like Frans Hals, Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer; as well as 18th century view-painters like Canaletto, Rococo painters like Boucher and Fragonard; and the more serious Neoclassicists such as Jacques-Louis David and J.A.D.Ingres.

English figurative painting
as well as members of the school of English landscape painting including the Romantics JMW Turner and Constable. We also cover the 18th century American School, exemplified by portraitists Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, and Gilbert Stuart.

We provide biographies of ALL major 19th century painters including: masters from the French Barbizon Landscape School such as Camille Corot. We also profile American landscape painters of the Hudson River School (Thomas Cole, Frederic Church), as well as exponents of Luminism (George Caleb Bingham). Pre-Raphaelites, Symbolists and Continental Realist artists are also covered. We profile Impressionist painters like Pissarro, Monet, Renoir, Degas and Whistler; and Post-Impressionist painters such as Georges Seurat, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne and Edvard Munch. We also include details on Russian artists up to 1917, including the Romanov goldsmith Peter Carl Faberge, creator of the exquisite Faberge Easter Eggs.

We profile ALL major 20th century painters. Including the poster artist Jules Cheret, inventor of 3-stone chromolithography; Fauvists like Matisse, Derain and Kees van Dongen; Expressionists like Kirchner, Kandinsky and Franz Marc; Modigliani and Chagall of the Ecole de Paris; Cubists like Picasso, Braque and Gris; Surrealists like Dali and Miro, and the abstract painters Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich. We cover ALL important exponents of 20th century American art including: Georgia O'Keeffe, Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, Jasper Johns, Robert Smithson, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and the Neo-Pop sculptor Jeff Koons. At the same time we analyze 20th century European masters like Tamara de Lempicka, Lucian Freud, Balthus, Wols, Antoni Tapies, Yves Klein, Georg Baselitz, and others. We also profile Turner Prize winners like Damien Hirst, and HUNDREDS MORE!!

History of Art
Our coverage of Prehistoric art features the oldest art from across the globe. Dating to the lower Paleolithic era of the Stone Age between 290,000 and 700,000 BCE, it includes cupule art, the Bhimbetka petroglyphs, the Venuses of Berekhat Ram and Tan-Tan, and the Blombos Cave engravings. In addition, it features Venus figurines (eg. Venus of Hohle Fels, Venus of Willendorf), and cave painting at the caves of Chauvet, Lascaux and Altamira, as well as Aurignacian carvings like the amazing Lion Man of Hohlenstein Stadel.

Ancient art
from a variety of civilizations. It includes the sculpture and frescos of Classical Antiquity, notably those of Greek art and Roman art. From 450 CE, we cover the mosaics and religious icons of the Byzantine era, followed by the courtly revivals of the Carolingian and Ottonian dynasties. From 1,000 CE, we trace the development of Medieval architecture and sculpture through the Romanesque, and Gothic periods, while painting is explored through the Sienese School and International Gothic styles. We explain the difference between trecento, quattrocento and cinquecento paintings. At the same time, Italian Renaissance art receives in-depth coverage, after which we look at 16th Century Mannerism, 17th century Baroque art, 18th Century Rococo and Neoclassical art.

Important Velazquez Exhibition in Dallas
An exhibition of works by the 17th century Spanish artist, Diego Velazquez (1599-1660), which the organizers say is the most important to be held in America, will run until January 2013 at the Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas. The art exhibition, entitled "Diego Velazquez: The Early Court Portraits", is a collaboration between the Meadows Museum and Spain's national art museum, the Museo del Prado, in Madrid. The exhibition chronicles the relationship between the artist Velazquez and the Spanish King, Philip IV. Velazquez became Philip's court painter in 1623, when he was just twenty-four years old and held that position for almost forty years until his death in 1660. The focus of the show will be on the artist's first decade as the King's painter, and for the first time in four hundred years, brings together two of Velazquez's early portraits of the king: the Museo del Prado's full-length portrait of Philip dressed all in black, and the Meadow's own bust-length portrait. Following X-ray analysis at the Prado, experts now believe that the Meadow's portrait is, in fact, the first portrait which the artist painted of the King. Also included in the exhibition are a number of other works of art by Velazquez, including a portrait of Philip IV from Velazquez's workshop held by a Spanish private collection and which is being seen in public for the first time. Other works include an early portrait, done around 1620 prior to Velazquez becoming court painter, of the Spanish poet, Luis de Gongora y Argote, and a portrait of a court jester from the early 1630s which belongs to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Velazquez excelled at portraits and other figure paintings, not least because of his exceptional realism. By the same token, his mythological and inspirational religious paintings sometimes fail to convince precisely because they look too real and down to earth.Painting
Our coverage of fine art painting through the ages centres on the medium of oil painting, but we also answer questions about the earlier encaustic and tempera methods. 19th Century watercolours / gouache, and 20th Century acrylic paints are also covered.

We look at the history and development of oil paint as it expanded from damper areas of Northern Europe to Italy and Spain, and examine techniques such as fresco, sfumato, and linear perspective. Painterly methods like chiaroscuro, tenebrism, and impasto are also examined, as are automatic painting techniques like frottage and decalcomania.

We profile the five painting genres which make up the Hierarchy of the Genres as were taught in the main Fine Arts Academies of Europe. They include (in order of importance): (1) History Painting; (2) Portraiture; (3) Genre Painting; (4) Landscapes; (5) Still Life.

We cover the origins, history and development of sculpture in bronze, stone, marble, bronze, clay, and wood. Read our introduction Greek Sculpture Made Simple covering the Archaic (600-500), Classical (500-323) and Hellenistic (c.323-27 BCE) eras; read about the great Roman narrative reliefs like Trajan's Column. We also profile the finest known Greek sculptors, including Phidias, Polykleitos, Myron, Callimachus, Lysippos, Skopas, Praxiteles and Leochares, while we also analyze outstanding antique sculptures including the Venus de Milo (130-100 BCE) and Lacoon and His Sons (42-20 BCE). For a chronological outline of the plastic arts.

In addition, we cover column statues and other architectural stonework by the great stone-masons and bronze-workers associated with Italian Renaissance sculpture, as well as Medieval, Romanesque and Gothic sculpture. We look at equestrian statues, bas-relief and haut-relief sculptures by artists like Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Andrea del Verrocchio and Jacopo Sansovino, along with marbles and bronzes by masters like Giambologna, Bernini and Rodin. We also profile great 20th century sculptors such as Brancusi, Umberto Boccioni, Alexander Calder and Louise Bourgeois; the Cubist Lipchitz; exponents of biomorphic abstraction like Jean Arp and Henry Moore; the expressionists Ernst Barlach and Jacob Epstein; abstract sculptors like Naum Gabo; advocates of minimalism like Donald Judd; junk artists like Marcel Duchamp, Louise Nevelson, Arman and Cesar Baldaccini; kinetic artists like Takis and Jean Tinguely; the surrealist Giacometti; the Pop sculptor Claes Oldenburg; and the contemporary sculptors Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor.

Irish Art - History and Development
We trace the 10 stages in the history of Irish art. These include the Stone Age engravings at Newgrange; Celtic metalwork like Ardagh Chalice, Broighter Gold Torc, Petrie Crown, and Tara Brooch, as well as Christian illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells. In addition, we profile the cultural institutions which fostered the growth of Irish painting and Irish sculpture, such as the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA).
We also examine the current state of visual arts in Ireland, look at the architectural heritage and cultural legacy of Leinster, Connacht, Munster and Ulster, and profile organizations involved in Irish art, like the Arts Council, Culture Ireland, auctioneers including Adams, Whytes, and deVeres, plus schools like Dublin's NCAD and Cork's Crawford College of Art & Design.

Greatest Irish Painters & Sculptors

Our list of over 300 biographical profiles of the greatest Irish artists starts with Garret Morphy and Susanna Drury of the 17th century, and continues up until the 21st century. We look at a range of Famous Irish artists including John Lavery, Roderic O'Conor, Jack B Yeats, William Orpen, Paul Henry, Francis Bacon, William Scott, Louis le Brocquy and others. We also review artist groups like Aosdana, as well as the most exciting contemporary Irish artists, and examine the top Irish sculptors including the Surrealist F.E.McWilliam, the figurative Rowan Gillespie, the semi-abstract Edward Delaney, and others.

Best Art Museums in 2011
We explore the collections, acquisitions and history of the world's great museums profile the best art museums in America, including the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of Arts, Frick Collection, the Metropolitan Museum / MoMA / Samuel R Guggenheim / Whitney Museum (all in New York), the Getty Center LA, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Gallery Washington DC, the Phillips Collection and many more.

We also profile the best art museums in Europe, such as the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Vatican Museums (including Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms), the Prado Museum in Madrid, the British Royal Art Collection, the Tate Collection / the National Gallery / Courtauld Gallery / Victoria and Albert / Saatchi Gallery (all in London), the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Pinakothek Munich and many more.

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