According to The Concise Oxford Dictionary culture is defined as “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively”.
Things which generally come under the heading of ‘the arts’ are as follows:
· Literature which includes novels, short stories, biographies, drama and poetry.
· Performing arts are represented by dance, opera, cinema, theatre, ballet and concerts (rock, classical, country and western music).
· Fine arts refer to painting and sculpture.
What do we mean by ‘art’? We use the word a great deal and in many different contexts. We talk about the art of the film-maker, for example, but what we actually mean by the word ‘art’ alone is really quite different. As a general definition we will consider art to be the creation of something that is ‘aesthetically pleasing’.
The most important movements of art and architecture in European history are:
· Romanesque: Typical attributes of this style are painted walls, massive pillars, small round windows and doors, round arches, and later, carved doors.
· Gothic: It is known to be the highest and noblest of all styles. The main distinguishing features are rib vaulted ceilings, stone erches, and stained glass windows. The Notre Dame in Paris is built in this style.
· Renaissance: The word renaissance is representative of a period in which the role of townspeople increased and life on earth was celebrated. In Renaissance architecture, you can find lower buildings with simple facades ornamented by grafiti and stucco, horizontal lines, and square and rectangular windows and doorways. World famous artists of this period were Michelangelo Buonarotti and Leonardo da Vinci.
· Baroque: It was a period in which man turned back to God. Baroque art focuses on the themes of death, destitution, and starvation. The buildings of the time were based on classic models, full of splendor and nobility. Baroque architecture is known for luxury detail and extravagent decoration, such as curves, and ovals made of gold and marble. Also notable during this period was the play of contrast made between light and dark.
· Rococo: The Rococo period is marked by elegance, lightness, and cheerful decoration. Paintings during this period returned to nature and the exotic, and often featured love scenes.
· Classicism: It was a period marked by emphasis on reason over emotions and drew its inspiration from classical antiquity. It featured straight lines, light colours, and little decoration.
· Neo-Baroque, Neo-Gothic, and Neo-Renaissance: A revival of Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles emerged during the 19th century. Many churches and public buildings were built, drawing inspiration on the styles of previous periods.
· Art nouveau: It was a period of new values and new rules in art. Interesting new materials were used, including glass and ceramics.
As we stroll through almost any city in Europe, we can feast our eyes on the works of architectural art from many different periods and styles. Each castle, château, palace, town house, cottage, church, chapel, or other kind of building displays the art style of the historical period in which it was build. These styles developed out of the political, religious, social, and economic system of its time. By studying a piece of architecture, we can better understand history. The fine arts also offer us insight into the past and bring beauty into our world. When we walk through city parks and squares, we often come across statues and sculptures cut in sandstone, granite, and marble, carved in wood, or moulded in clay, plaster, or bronze.
Not everybody was born with the extraordinary ability either to create art or to perform it. Those lucky ones who are gifted enough can make a living of art as actors, actresses, directors, conductors, musicians, painters, sculptors and writers. The vast majority of the human population are those who only consume works of art. Moreover, there is also the third category of those who critisice both creators and consumers of art. They scorn the former ones for not being able to create a ‘proper’ work of art and the latter ones for not having taste. If people cared about their highbrow comments on art, art would no longer exist.
The arts in all their forms draw large audiences. Those interested in music can listen to philharmonic or chamber orchestras, choirs in concert halls. Keen theatre goers can watch various types of dramatic art, operas and ballets in historical buildings of theatres. Fans of popular culture usually prefer open air concerts. To store works of fine art galleries have been built. They exhibit masterpieces of different types from portraits to landscapes. Since the Lumiere brothers developed the camera and the projector, film has become the most influential and profitable industry.
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Significance of art in our life
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