Visual Arts

These are the arts that meet the eye and evoke an emotion through an expression of skill and imagination. They include the most ancient forms, such as painting and drawing, and the arts that were born thanks to the development of technology, like sculpture, printmaking, photography, and installation art. Though beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different eras in art history have had their own principles to define beauty, from the richly ornamented taste of the Baroque to the simple utilitarian style of the Prairie School.
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Featured content, August 10, 2022

15:018-19 Teeth: Tooth Fairy, girl asleep in bed, tooth fairy collects her tooth
8 Mythological Monsters You Should Be Glad Aren’t Real
There’s a reason you wanted your parents to check under the bed.
List / Visual Arts
Madonna and Child Enthroned by Gentile da Fabriano, tempera on panel, c. 1420, 95.7 x 56.5 cm
Beautiful Gibberish: Fake Arabic in Medieval and Renaissance Art
Medieval and Renaissance artists admired Arabic script but couldn’t read it. So they improvised.
#WTFact / Visual Arts
The Colossus of Rhodes is often depicted as straddling the harbor entrance, but this would have been technically impossible. The statue of the sun god Helios instead stood upright next to the harbor. Seven Wonders of the World.
Why Have There Been Plans to Build a New Colossus of Rhodes?
Find out about attempts to bring the ancient Colossus of Rhodes statue into the 21st century.
Companion / Visual Arts
pyramid sunset, egypt
What’s Inside the Great Pyramid?
Are there mummies inside the Great Pyramid? Hieroglyphs? Hidden treasure? Ghosts? Find out!
Demystified / Visual Arts
ziggurat
Iranian art and architecture
Iranian art and architecture, the art and architecture of ancient Iranian civilizations. Any reservation about attributing...
Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
video art
video art, form of moving-image art that garnered many practitioners in the 1960s and ’70s with the widespread availability...
Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
Doctor Zhivago
film
film, series of still photographs on film, projected in rapid succession onto a screen by means of light. Because of the...
Encyclopedia / Visual Arts
Pablo Picasso: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Cubism
Cubism, highly influential visual arts style of the 20th century that was created principally by the artists Pablo Picasso...
Encyclopedia / Visual Arts

Visual Arts Quizzes

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, with her dog, Toto, from the motion picture film The Wizard of Oz (1939); directed by Mervyn LeRay. (cinema, movies)
Classic Closing Lines
Some classic movies have memorable last lines. See if you know who said what where.
Quiz / Visual Arts
Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) directing on the set of the film - Barry Lyndon (1975) motion picture director movie screenwriter
Stanley Kubrick
Do you think you know about the films of Stanley Kubrick? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Quiz / Visual Arts
Rodin Museum, Paris.
Museums of the Western World
Test your knowledge of museums that hold some of the world’s greatest paintings, sculptures, and other pieces of art.
Quiz / Visual Arts
David Statue, Michelangelo. Florence, Italy.
Leonardo da Vinci versus Michelangelo
It’s hard to say who was better, Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo. It might be even harder to remember which one did what....
Quiz / Visual Arts
Drury Lane Theatre (London, England) showing a Roman play in progress, print (black ink with watercolor on paper), 1808; design by Thomas Rowlandson and August Charles Pugin. (theaters)
Actors and Acting Quiz
Do you know who founded the Old Vic? Who made her name starring in Funny Girl? Test your knowledge of actors and...
Quiz / Visual Arts
Aerial view of Florence (Firenze), Italy from the campanile of the Duomo, with the gigantic dome (designed by Filippo Brunelleschi) in the foreground. Unidentifiable tourists are visible on top of the dome, which provide a measure of the building s scale.
History of Architecture Quiz
Which emperor built the Taj Mahal? Who designed the Lincoln Memorial? What’s a baldachin? Test your knowledge of architectural...
Quiz / Visual Arts
Shadow puppet (wayang kujlit), Indonesia. (puppetry, theater, theatre)
A History of Theatre Quiz
Shakespeare claimed that all the world’s a stage, but there are no questions about him in this quiz. Figure out how much...
Quiz / Visual Arts
"The Large Plane Trees" (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) oil on fabric by Vincent van Gogh, 1889; in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Which Artist? Part One Quiz
Which artist originated the art of assemblage? Who was King Charles I’s court painter? Test what you know about artists (and...
Quiz / Visual Arts
Art Nouveau wall covering of poppies by Albert Ainsworth of machine printed on oatmeal paper made in Hackensack, New Jersey, c. 1905.
Art at Random Quiz
Test your knowledge of the deepest nooks and crannies of art history with this quiz.
Quiz / Visual Arts
"Self-Portrait Etching at a Window" etching (drypoint and burin in black on ivory laid paper) by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1648; in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Artistic Styles and Techniques Quiz
Do you know how etching works? What was used in ancient China for drawing and lettering? Learn this and more in this quiz...
Quiz / Visual Arts
Image Gallery
Visual Arts
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Visual Arts Subcategories

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa Architecture
Architecture is a sphere of art and design in which functionality and aesthetics can combine to produce visually stunning structures that manage to both catch the eye and serve a functional purpose. The expansive variety of architectural styles that have been employed throughout the ages underscores the fact that not every building need look the same, a principle that is readily apparent when comparing Gothic cathedrals with igloos or pagodas with cliff dwellings. Although architecture is commonly associated first and foremost with the design and construction of buildings, landscape architects may work with gardens, parks, and other planned outdoor areas, aiding in the development and decorative planning of such spaces.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Arts Awards
Awards such as the Praemium Imperiale and the Pritzker Prize honor artists for a job well done.
Articles
interior of a Kabuki theatre Decorative Art
People appreciate the usefulness of things like glassware and furniture, but they appreciate such objects even more when they’re aesthetically pleasing, too. That’s where decorative art comes in. Explore the world of basketry, metalwork, pottery, interior design, tapestry, and more.
Articles
shoe Fashion Design
Looking to make a statement without ever saying a word? Fashion designers know that clothing and accessories can speak volumes about the wearer, affecting both how the wearer is perceived by others and how the wearer perceives of him- or herself. The fashion industry has become a multibillion-dollar global enterprise devoted to the business of making and selling clothes; it thrives by being diverse and flexible enough to gratify any consumer's desire to embrace or reject fashionability, however that term might be defined.
Articles
William Blake Graphic Art
Calligraphy, graffiti, engraving, caricature: graphic art's domain stretches as far as the eye can see. Take a look at some of the other types of graphic art, and learn more about the artists working within this category of fine arts.
Articles
James Turrell Installation & Performance Art
Learn about the artists who create installation art, which can incorporate a variety of different materials and artistic forms, such as sculptures, videos, and music, all with the purpose of transforming a given space. Performance artists may also make use of videos and music—as well as such varied elements as acting, poetry, dance, and painting—to create a live presentation for an audience; here, the audience could consist of onlookers on the street or patrons browsing the halls of a museum, among countless other possibilities.
Articles
Vincent van Gogh: A Wheatfield, with Cypresses Painting
Need help distinguishing your Picassos from your Monets? Learn about history’s celebrated painters and the different styles, techniques, mediums, and forms that have been used to create such unique visual images as Salvador Dalí’s melting clock and the ever-shifting eyes of Leonardo da Vinci’s enigmatic Mona Lisa.
Articles
Dada exhibit Photography
Photography’s history began long before we were snapping pictures on camera phones. Learn about the masters of the craft and explore the development of photographic technology as it progressed through daguerreotypes and tintypes on the way to modern day’s increasingly sophisticated digital cameras.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Sculpture
Looking to find a use for that extra clay, stone, plaster, or metal that you have lying around? Consider sculpture, in which artists employ these materials and others to create three-dimensional art. Perhaps you’ll join the ranks of noted sculptors such as Michelangelo, Auguste Rodin, and Donatello.
Articles