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Portal:The arts

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T H E   A R T S   P O R T A L


The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity found in human cultures and societies through skills and imagination in order to produce objects, environments and experiences. Major constituents of the arts include visual arts (including architecture, ceramics, drawing, filmmaking, painting, photography, and sculpting), literary arts (including fiction, drama, poetry, and prose), performing arts (including dance, music, and theatre), and culinary arts (including cooking, chocolate making and winemaking).

Some art forms combine a visual element with performance (e.g. cinematography), or artwork with the written word (e.g. comics). From prehistoric cave paintings to modern-day films, art serves as a vessel for storytelling and conveying humankind's relationship with the environment. (Full article...)

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A 1513 portrait of an unknown Duchess, perhaps Margaret, Countess of Tyrol, by Flemish artist Quentin Matsys. She holds a red flower in her right hand, at the time a symbol of engagement, indicating that she is trying to attract a suitor. This portrait inspired the appearance of the Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The painting is Matsys' best-known work, and developed half of a diptych. The painting is in the National Gallery in London.

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Paul Kane, Self-portrait, ca. 1845

Paul Kane was an Irish-Canadian painter who was famous for his paintings of First Nations peoples in the Canadian West and other Native Americans in the Oregon Country. Largely self-educated, Kane grew up in Toronto (then known as York) and trained himself by copying European masters on a study trip through Europe. He undertook two voyages through the wild Canadian northwest in 1845 and from 1846 to 1848. The first trip took him from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie and back. Having secured the support of the Hudson's Bay Company, he set out on a second, a much longer voyage from Toronto across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Vancouver and Fort Victoria in the Oregon Country and back again. On both trips, Kane sketched and painted Native Americans and documented their lives. Upon his return to Toronto, he produced from these sketches more than one hundred oil paintings. Kane's work, particularly his field sketches, are still a valuable resource for ethnologists. The oil paintings he did in his studio are considered a part of the Canadian heritage, although he often embellished these considerably, departing from the accuracy of his field sketches in favour of more dramatic scenes. (Full article...)

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