The visual arts are art forms such as painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, filmmaking, design, crafts and architecture. Many artistic disciplines such as performing arts, conceptual art, and textile arts also involve aspects of visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts are the applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.

Current usage of the term "visual arts" includes fine art as well as the applied or decorative arts and crafts, but this was not always the case. Before the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and elsewhere at the turn of the 20th century, the term 'artist' had for some centuries often been restricted to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the decorative arts, craft, or applied Visual arts media. The distinction was emphasized by artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who valued vernacular art forms as much as high forms. Art schools made a distinction between the fine arts and the crafts, maintaining that a craftsperson could not be considered a practitioner of the arts. The increasing tendency to privilege painting, and to a lesser degree sculpture, above other arts has been a feature of Western art as well as East Asian art. In both regions painting has been seen as relying to the highest degree on the imagination of the artist, and the furthest removed from manual labour – in Chinese painting the most highly valued styles were those of "scholar-painting", at least in theory practiced by gentleman amateurs. The Western hierarchy of genres reflected similar attitudes. (Full article...)

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P.S. Krøyer: Hip, Hip, Hurrah! (1888) depicting the group's festivities
P.S. Krøyer: Hip, Hip, Hurrah! (1888) depicting the group's festivities

The Skagen Painters (Danish: Skagensmalerne) were a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered in the village of Skagen, the northernmost part of Denmark, from the late 1870s until the turn of the century. Skagen was a summer destination whose scenic nature, local milieu and social community attracted northern artists to paint en plein air, emulating the French Impressionists—though members of the Skagen colony were also influenced by Realist movements such as the Barbizon school. They broke away from the rather rigid traditions of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, espousing the latest trends that they had learned in Paris. Among the group were Anna and Michael Ancher, Peder Severin Krøyer, Holger Drachmann, Karl Madsen, Laurits Tuxen, Marie Krøyer, Carl Locher, Viggo Johansen and Thorvald Niss from Denmark, Oscar Björck and Johan Krouthén from Sweden, and Christian Krohg and Eilif Peterssen from Norway. The group gathered together regularly at the Brøndums Hotel.

Skagen, in the very north of Jutland, was the largest fishing community in Denmark, with more than half of its population so engaged. Among the locals, fishermen were by far the most common subject for the Skagen painters. Skagen's long beaches were exploited in the group's landscapes; P.S. Krøyer, one of the best-known of the Skagen painters, was inspired by the light of the evening "blue hour", which made the water and sky seem to optically merge. This is captured in one of his most famous paintings, Summer Evening at Skagen Beach – The Artist and his Wife (1899). Although the painters had their own individual styles without any requirement to adhere to a common approach or manifest, one of their common interests was to paint scenes of their own social gatherings, playing cards, celebrating or simply eating together. (Full article...)
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Matryoshka dolls
Matryoshka dolls
Credit: Gnomz007
Matryoshka dolls, also known as Russian nested dolls or Babushka dolls, were seen as early as 1890. They are not a traditional Russian handicraft, although the concept of nested objects was familiar in Russia. The first set of dolls is said to have been made by a painter in the Abramtsevo estate inspired by a set of Japanese wooden dolls representing the Seven Gods of Fortune.

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Pop art is the inedible raised to the unspeakable.
Leonard Baskin, Publishers Weekly (April 5, 1965)

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Linnell - Rev E.T. Daniel.jpg
Portrait by Linnell (1835)

Edward Thomas Daniell (6 June 1804 – 24 September 1842) was an English artist known for his etchings and the landscape paintings he made during an expedition to the Middle East, including Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey. He is associated with the Norwich School of painters, a group of artists connected by location and personal and professional relationships, who were mainly inspired by the Norfolk countryside.

Born in London to wealthy parents, Daniell grew up and was educated in Norwich, where he was taught art by John Crome and Joseph Stannard. After graduating in classics at Balliol College, Oxford, in 1828, he was ordained as a curate at Banham in 1832 and appointed to a curacy at St. Mark's Church, London, in 1834. He became a patron of the arts, and an influential friend of the artist John Linnell. In 1840, after resigning his curacy and leaving England for the Middle East, he travelled to Egypt, Palestine and Syria, and joined the explorer Sir Charles Fellows's archaeological expedition in Lycia (now in Turkey) as an illustrator. He contracted malaria there and reached Adalia (now known as Antalya) intending to recuperate, but died from a second attack of the disease. (Full article...)
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