The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.





The process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the sense or emotions.
It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, dance and literature.


DEFINITION and EVALUATION | Edward Hopper | AI WEIWEI |CHOOSING for LESS SEEMS the KEY to the GOOD LIFE | sharing is essential, that is why the arts matter | BEAUTY, VALUE, PRICE | paintings and icons | Baroque | towards a-definition of western culture (Nexus Institute: New Notes Towards the Definition of Western Culture "THE CLASSICS, ART AND KITSCH" | Philippe de Montebello | biennale de la danse |Paul Löbe Haus | Van Gogh | Max Ernst | Galeria degli Uffizi | Gallerie dell'Accademia | Masterpieces | Museé du Louvre | Museo del Prado | National Gallery | Gemäldegalerie | Hermitage | Voorlinden | Robert Hughes († 6-8-2012) at Nexus Institute | Ai Weiwei | 8 European architecture styles | Isenheimer altar | Magnum Photos: "Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity." | Documenta | Fotonica | hip hop break dance | Great! Damian Woetzel | Peter Sellars | Tretyakov Gallery | The IMZ International Music + Media Centre, dedicated to the promotion of the performing arts through audiovisual media | the Vatican


The definition and evaluation of art has become especially problematic since the 20th century. Richard Wollheim distinguishes three approaches:
  • the Realist, whereby aesthetic quality is an absolute value independent of any human view; the Objectivist, whereby it is also an absolute value, but is dependent on general human experience;
  • the Relativist position, whereby it is not an absolute value, but depends on, and varies with, the human experience of different humans.

An object may be characterized by the intentions, or lack thereof, of its creator, regardless of its apparent purpose. A cup, which ostensibly can be used as a container, may be considered art if intended solely as an ornament, while a painting may be deemed craft if mass-produced.Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science". Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.The nature of art has been described by Richard Wollheim as "one of the most elusive of the traditional problems of human culture". It has also been defined as a vehicle for the expression or communication of emotions and ideas, a means for exploring and appreciating formal elements for their own sake, and as mimesis or representation. Leo Tolstoy identified art as a use of indirect means to communicate from one person to another. Benedetto Croce and R.G. Collingwood advanced the idealist view that art expresses emotions, and that the work of art therefore essentially exists in the mind of the creator. The theory of art as form has its roots in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and was developed in the early twentieth century by Roger Fry and Clive Bell. Art as mimesis or representation has deep roots in the philosophy of Aristotle.

The visual arts are art forms that create works that are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, computer art and architecture. Definitions should not be taken too strictly as many artistic disciplines such as performing arts, conceptual art, textile arts involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types, including the applied arts such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.

A significant contribution to European art apart from the illuminated manuscripts produced by monks during the Middle Ages, music, dance and literature, was from Italy's renaissance painters. From Giotto in the 13th century to Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael at the beginning of the 16th century, this was the richest period in Italian art as the chiaroscuro technique was used to create the illusion of 3-D space.

Painters in northern Europe too were influenced by the Italian school. Jan van Eyck from Belgium, Pieter Bruegel the Elder from the Netherlands and Hans Holbein the Younger from Germany are among the most successful painters of the times. They used the glazing technique with oils to achieve depth and luminosity.

The 17th century saw the emergence of the great Dutch masters such as the versatile Rembrandt who is especially remembered for his portraits and Bible scenes, and Vermeer who specialized in interior scenes of Dutch life. Impressionism began in France in the 19th century with a loose association of artists including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne who brought a new freely brushed style to painting, often choosing to paint realistic scenes of modern life outside rather than in the studio. They achieved intense colour vibration by using pure, unmixed colours and short brush strokes. Towards the end of the 19th century, several young painters took impressionism a stage further, using geometric forms and unnatural colour to depict emotions while striving for deeper symbolism. Of particular note are Paul Gauguin, who was strongly influenced by Asian, African and Japanese art, Vincent van Gogh, a Dutchman who moved to France where he drew on the strong sunlight of the south, and Toulouse-Lautrec, remembered for his vivid paintings of night life in the Paris district of Montmartre Edvard Munch, a Norwegian artist, developed his symbolistic approach at the end of the 19th century, inspired by the French impressionist Manet. The Scream (1893), his most famous work, is widely interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man. Partly as a result of Munch's influence, the German expressionist movement originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century as artists such as Ernst Kirschner and Erich Heckel began to distort reality for an emotional effect.

In parallel, the style known as cubism developed in France as artists focused on the volume and space of sharp structures within a composition. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were the leading proponents of the movement. Objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form. By the 1920s, the style had developed into surrealism with Dali and Magritte.

Prints in the Western tradition produced before about 1830 are known as old master prints. In Europe, from around 1400 AD woodcut, was used for master prints on paper by using printing techniques developed in the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. Michael Wolgemut improved German woodcut from about 1475, and Erhard Reuwich, a Dutchman, was the first to use cross-hatching. At the end of the century Albrecht Dürer brought the Western woodcut to a level that has never been surpassed, increasing the status of the single-leaf woodcut.


Sculpture Intuition, consisting of three interlocking triangles

digital_art_festival Kraków


Sunday afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Georges Surat


Franz Marc, Fighting Forms, 1914
LIL BUCK | NOBODY KNOWS - Pastor TL. Barrett &
The Youth For Christ Choir

Museum Voorlinden opened in 2016. The museum houses a private collection of modern and contemporary art, which has been collected with great dedication over the last fifty years. The collection contains works of Dutch and international artists, from young talents to established names. The collection is characterised by diversity, in terms of media, periods and styles.
Over time, dear relationships have been built with many artists. Therefore both their early and recent works are represented in the collection.
Besides a regularly changing selection of pieces from our own collection, each year three to four temporary exhibitions will be on view in Museum Voorlinden. Some iconic works are permanently installed in the museum, such as a Skyspace by James Turrell and the steel sculpture ‘Open Ended’ by Richard Serra

Museum Voorlinden is situated in the natural environment of the eponymous estate. Surrounded by green trees, overlooking the water and wide pasturage, visitors will be able to enjoy the artworks peacefully. The architecture of the museum actively contributes to the experience of nature inside the building. Large glass windows offer views on the natural surroundings and the museum rooms will be lit with a special roof construction that provides daylight. Nature, art and architecture harmonise at Voorlinden.




Edward Hopper (born July 22, 1882, Nyack, N.Y., U.S.—died May 15, 1967, New York City) American painter whose realistic depictions of everyday urban scenes shock the viewer into recognition of the strangeness of familiar surroundings. He strongly influenced the Pop art and New Realist painters of the 1960s and 1970s.

Hopper was initially trained as an illustrator, but, between 1901 and 1906, he studied painting under Robert Henri, a member of a group of painters called the Ashcan School (*)


(*) Ashcan School, group of American realist painters based in New York City in the early 20th century. The group’s most prominent figures were known as “The Eight.”


Ai Weiwei  
Born 28 August 1957 in Beijing is a Chinese contemporary artist and activist. His father's (Ai Qing) original surname was written Jiang. Ai collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron as consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
"art is about a necessity, human struggle, the deep layers of humanity".

As an activist, he has been openly critical of the Chinese Government's stance on democracy and human rights. He investigated government corruption and cover-ups, in particular the Sichuan schools corruption scandal following the collapse of "tofu-dreg schools" in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. In 2011, following his arrest at Beijing Capital International Airport on 3 April, he was held for 81 days without charge; officials alluded to allegations of "economic crimes". Since being allowed to leave China in 2015, he has lived in Berlin, with his family, working and traveling internationally.


8 European Architecture Styles

One of the beauties of traveling through Europe is seeing the great layers of history in the form of buildings and public spaces.

It can be a challenge, though, to find your place in time with the wide range of decorative flourishes.


Greek and Roman Classics









Why do we long for more in a time when we ever live the best standard of living? We think that material possessions are the highest attainable and that satisfying this desire for all those things leads to happiness. The excess of merchandise and advertising incentives that we are exposed to today requires a counter-movement and making conscious choices. What do we really need? Choosing for less seems the key to the good life.

Carel Willink, Jan Schoonhoven, Piero Manzoni, Ann Veronica Janssens, Jan Henderikse, Alicja Kwade and Donald Judd are artists who focus on reduction and essence and who create a grand gesture with minimal intervention.

<- Jan Henderikse, Schoots & Van Duyse, Antwerp


"Sharing is essential. That is why the arts matter. They teach us how to share a space, and how to share the world. "  

Peter Sellars, director of opera, theatre and film, is renowned worldwide for his innovative treatments of classical material from western and non-western traditions, and for his commitment to exploring the role of the performing arts in contemporary society. He was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and attended Phillips Academy and, subsequently, Harvard University, graduating in 1981. As an undergraduate, he performed a puppet version of Wagner's Ring cycle, and directed a controversial minimalist production of Three Sisters (a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov), with mature birch trees on the stage apron at Loeb Drama Center and Chopin Nocturnes played on a concert grand piano seen through a suspended gauze box set.

Peter Sellars was invited by the NEXUS Institute for the lecture "Climbing the Razor-Path Mountain and Leaping Into Fire", in which he focussed on the perpetual value of the arts and how innovative treatments of classical material can comment and reflect on our fast evolving society.

Arts and humanities express our emotions and teach us to be better people, Peter Sellars said in his passionate and dynamic Nexus Lecture on 13 March 2016. He also stated his intriguing title, which proved to be a representation of the Buddhist tradition: Through serpentines we climb a mountain of discomfort, once above there rests the only option to jump into the fire. With this Sellars emphasizes that nothing in life can be done without discomfort. To choose freedom has a price.



Why Beauty Matters

Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives. In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert. Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the center of our civilization

A Defence of What is Priceless

The art world is in a deep crisis. Obsessed by innovation, so-called avant-garde artists flood the market with mass-produced works which lack any depth. As long as a famous name is involved, art collectors are willing to pay obscene amounts of money for such works.

Robert Hughes unmasks the current art world and brings to our attention the intrinsic value and beauty of true masterpieces.