The Arts Portal


An artist's palette

An artist's palette


The arts refers to the theory and physical expression of creativity found in human societies and cultures. Major constituents of the arts include literature (including drama, poetry, and prose), performing arts (among them dance, music, and theatre), and visual arts (including drawing, painting, filmmaking, architecture, ceramics, sculpting, and photography).

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.

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The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch
The Garden of Earthly Delights is a triptych painted by the early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516), housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. Dating from 1503 and 1504, when Bosch was about 50 years old, it is his best-known and most ambitious work. Bosch's masterpiece reveals the artist at the height of his powers. The triptych comprises three sections, a square inner panel with rectangular panels on either side which close as shutters. The panels are painted in oil, the exterior panels of the shutters being in grisaille. The outer wings, when folded shut, show the earth during the Creation. The three scenes of the inner triptych are probably intended to be read chronologically from left to right. The left panel depicts God presenting to Adam the newly created Eve. The central panel is a broad panorama of sexually engaged nude figures, fantastical animals, oversized and gorged fruit, and hybrid stone formations. The right panel is a hellscape and portrays the torments of damnation. Art historians and critics frequently interpret the painting as a didactic warning on the perils of life's temptations. American writer Peter S. Beagle describes it as an "erotic derangement that turns us all into voyeurs, a place filled with the intoxicating air of perfect liberty".

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Kiss of JudasCredit: Gustave Doré; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

Gustave Doré's depiction of the kiss given by Judas Iscariot to Jesus, identifying him as the one whom the soldiers of the high priest Caiaphas are to arrest. The Gospels state that Jesus foresaw and allowed the betrayal because it would allow God's plan to be fulfilled, but most Christians still consider Judas a traitor. Following this event, Caiaphas condemned Jesus for blasphemy, and the Sanhedrin trial concurred with a sentence of death. Jesus was handed over to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate for execution, who carried out the sentence against his own wishes.

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John Douglas
John Douglas (1830–1911) was an English architect who designed about 500 buildings in Cheshire, North Wales and northwest England, in particular in the estate of Eaton Hall. Douglas' output included the creation, restoration and renovation of churches, church furnishings, houses and other buildings.

His architectural styles were eclectic and many of his works incorporate elements of the English Gothic style. He was also influenced by architectural styles from the mainland of Europe and included elements of French, German and Netherlandish architecture into his works.

Douglas is remembered for his use of half-timbering, tile-hanging, pargeting, decorative brick in diapering and the design of tall chimney stacks. Of particular importance is Douglas' use of joinery and highly detailed wood carving. Throughout his career he attracted commissions from wealthy landowners and industrialists.

Most of Douglas' works have survived. The city of Chester contains a number of his structures, the most admired of which are his half-timbered black-and-white buildings and Eastgate Clock. The highest concentration of his work is found in the Eaton Hall estate and the surrounding villages of Eccleston, Aldford and Pulford.

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