“Art is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity.”
As philosopher Richard Wollheim says, art is “one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture.” In its simplest manifestation, art is a form of communication that serves as a vehicle for the expression of emotions and ideas. As ideas and beliefs are culturally specific and constantly changing over time, there really is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art. That being said, the classical branches of the visual arts are identified as painting, sculpture and architecture. Literature and poetry are considered part of the humanities or as one of the arts, while music, alongside theatre, film and dance belong to the performing arts. In this section you will discover not only specific explorations of individual art forms, but also a more detailed probing of the relationship between the visual arts and music, including painting and music, sculpture and music and architecture and music. Originally, poetry and music were treated as a unity, but gradually they have become more independent. Nevertheless, the two art forms have never forgotten their shared genetic makeup, and been intertwined for millennia. Art and music have engaged in a dynamic relationship that reveals a diverse range of human activity intended to be appreciated for their beauty.
On 15 December 1822, Wilhelm Müller wrote a letter to the composer Bernhard Klein. Klein had set a number of poems from “Die schöne Müllerin,” and Müller thanked him for “the musical animation of my verses.” Müller writes, “My songs
The poet Wilhelm Müller (1794-1827) was famous in his lifetime for his verses in support of Greek struggle for emancipation from the Turks. Today, we mainly remember him for the highly popular song-cycles “Die schöne Müllerin,” and “Die Winterreise,” poems
Most composers seek to capture a single artwork in their compositions based on art works. Canadian composer Harry Somers (1925-1999), in his Picasso Suite (1964), sought to capture the entire life of a painter in the sweep of his work.
Jean-Jacques or J.J. Grandville, the pseudonym of Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard (1803-1847), looked at the world around him and saw it as a vast human comedy that, for him, could be played out with animals. The collection that made his
Silence and sound – we see this in the paintings of Vermeer and hear it in the Vermeer composition by Gary Carpenter. He was intrigued by an entry listing Vermeer’s works where in 1711, an inventory of the property of
The German composer Walter Steffens has made a life’s work about being inspired by art. Over 100 of his compositions have artists’ works as their inspiration. Works by a wide range of artists including Picasso, Hieronymus Bosch, Edvard Munch, Bernard
Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes hit Europe like a storm: no one had ever seen ballet taken to this level. Founded in 1909 by Diaghilev and lasting 20 years, the Ballet was based in Paris and traveled around Europe and to
The art of Philip Guston (1913-1980) remains controversial even 30 years after his death. A founder of the New York School, this abstract-expressionist was not afraid of putting his beliefs on canvas. One of his early 20th century works, The