The Arts Portal



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

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 Entombment
The Entombment is a glue-size painting on linen attributed to the Early Netherlandish painter Dirk Bouts. It shows a scene from the biblical entombment of Christ, probably completed between 1440 and 1455 as a wing panel for a large hinged polyptych altarpiece. The now lost altarpiece is thought to have contained a central crucifixion scene flanked by four wing panel works half its length (two either side) depicting scenes from the life of Christ. The larger work was probably commissioned for export, possibly to a Venetian patron whose identity is lost. The Entombment was first recorded in a mid-19th century Milan inventory and has been in the National Gallery, London since its purchase on the gallery's behalf by Charles Eastlake in 1861. The Entombment is renowned for its austere but affecting portrayal of sorrow and grief. It shows four female and three male mourners grieving over the body of Christ. It is one of the few surviving 15th-century paintings created using glue-size, an extremely fragile medium lacking durability.

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Join, or DieCredit: Restoration: Adam Cuerden

"Join, or Die", a 1754 editorial cartoon by Benjamin Franklin, a woodcut showing a snake severed into eight pieces, with each segment labeled with the initials of a British American colony or region (not all colonies are represented). It was originally about the importance of colonial unity against France during the French and Indian War, and re-used in the years ahead of the American Revolution to signify unity against Great Britain.

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Hayyim Selig Slonimski

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The Naked Maja by Francisco Goya

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Photo of Sylvanus G. Morley, circa 1912
Sylvanus Morley was an American archaeologist, epigrapher and Mayanist scholar who made significant contributions towards the study of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the early 20th century. He is particularly noted for his extensive excavations of the Maya site of Chichen Itza. He also published several large compilations and treatises on Maya hieroglyphic writing, and wrote popular accounts on the Maya for a general audience. To his contemporaries he was one of the leading Mesoamerican archaeologists of his day; although more recent developments in the field have resulted in a re-evaluation of his theories and works, his publications (particularly on calendric inscriptions) are still cited. Overall, his commitment and enthusiasm for Maya studies would generate the interest and win the necessary sponsorship and backing to finance projects which would ultimately reveal much about the Maya of former times. His involvement in clandestine espionage activities at the behest of the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence was another, surprising, aspect of his career, which came to light only well after his death.

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A Gregorian chant setting of Ave Maria, directed by Fr. Dariusz Smolarek SAC. Ave Maria (Hail Mary) is a traditional Roman Catholic prayer asking for the help of the Virgin Mary. It is commonly used in mass and as penance for sins.

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