“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.
When we look at artists and their friends, sometimes its because, in each of their realms, the artist and the composer may have similar stylistic thoughts. In other cases, however, the works of the two artists may be completely opposite.
In my article When the Ear Meets the Eye, I mentioned how music and visual arts have collaborated throughout the years, and particularly how composers have taken inspiration in works of visual art to create their own musical works. I
The Suleika figure we find in Felix Mendelssohn’s settings is far less Oriental and feminine than the one found in his sisters reading. Some scholars have suggested that chromaticism is traditionally linked with Orientalism. “It is supposed to embody cultural
Throughout the 19th century, the Orient raised scholarly interest and provided subjects for lyric poetry, fantasies and novels. Embodying everything that was exotic, erotic, and decadent, the orientalising fetish as it has been called, was fueled by two important sources
It’s one of the most dramatic of American paintings. On a large grassy field, a woman sits on the ground, turned with her back to the viewer, facing a rolling hill. Her body is twisted, her left hand in front
When Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) was commissioned to compose a new opera in 1884, his choice of story fell on Edgar, a tragedy inspired by La coupe et les lèvres by Alfred de Musset. The librettist Ferdinando Fontana took some liberties,
Flailing and falling, so Icarus descends from the skies, having melted his wings in the heat of the sun. In this landscape, we see life going on and then, in the bottom right corner of the work, the legs of