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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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Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta Appraised by Dante and Virgil

Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta Appraised by Dante and Virgil is a composition painted in at least five very similar versions by DutchCFrench Romantic painter Ary Scheffer; all are in oils on canvas. The paintings depict a scene from Dante's Inferno. A pair of lovers, Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta, are shown in Hell, while Dante and Virgil are on the right viewing them. A stab wound is visible on Malatesta's chest, signifying the pair's murder by his brother, Giovanni, who was da Rimini's husband. This picture is the version of the painting painted in 1855, which hangs in the Louvre in Paris. The original, dating to 1835, is now in the Wallace Collection in London. Others exist in collections in the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, and Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art.

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Class II 1804 Silver Dollar

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Featured biography

I. M. Pei in 2006

I. M. Pei (born 1917) is a Chinese American architect, often called a master of modern architecture. Born in Guangzhou, in 1935 he moved to the United States. While enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he became unhappy with the school's focus on Beaux-Arts architecture, and spent his free time researching the emerging architects, especially Le Corbusier. After graduating, he joined the Harvard Graduate School of Design and formed a friendship with the Bauhaus architects Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Pei spent ten years working with New York real estate magnate William Zeckendorf before establishing his own independent design firm that eventually became Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Among the early projects on which Pei took the lead were the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, and the Green Building at MIT. His first major recognition came with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado; his new stature led to his selection as chief architect for the John F. Kennedy Library in Massachusetts. He went on to design Dallas City Hall and the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. In the early 1980s, Pei was the focus of controversy when he designed a glass-and-steel pyramid for the Louvre museum in Paris. Pei has won a wide variety of prizes and awards in the field of architecture, including the 1983 Pritzker Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of architecture. (Full article...)

Featured audio

The toccata from L'Orfeo, composed by Claudio Monteverdi in 1607. Performed by Trisdee and the Bangkok Baroque Ensemble.

Selected quote

Marcel Duchamp, The Creative Act (1957)

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