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The Arts Portal



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

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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Old-Kannada inscription, 1114 CE at Doddagaddavalli
Hoysala literature is the large body of literature in the Kannada and Sanskrit languages produced by the Hoysala Empire (1025–1343) in what is now southern India. Kannada literature during this period consisted of writings relating to the socio-religious developments of the Jain and Veerashaiva faiths, and to a lesser extent that of the Vaishnava faith. The earliest well-known brahmin writers in Kannada were from the Hoysala court. While most of the courtly textual production was in Kannada, an important corpus of monastic Vaishnava literature relating to Dvaita (dualistic) philosophy was written by the renowned philosopher Madhvacharya in Sanskrit. Writing Kannada literature in native metres was first popularised by the court poets. These metres were the sangatya, compositions sung to the accompaniment of a musical instrument; shatpadi, six-line verses; ragale, lyrical compositions in blank verse; and tripadi, three-line verses. However, Jain writers continued to use the traditional champu, composed of prose and verse. Important literary contributions in Kannada were made not only by court poets but also by noblemen, commanders, ministers, ascetics and saints associated with monasteries.

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The glass house at Lal Bagh, a botanical garden in Bangalore, India. The garden was commissioned by the ruler of Mysore, Hyder Ali in 1760, and completed during the reign of his son Tipu Sultan. The glass house was modeled on London's Crystal Palace and constructed at the end of the 19th century.

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Detail of the Mona Lisa
Lisa del Giocondo was a member of the Gherardini family of Florence and Tuscany in Italy. Her name was given to Mona Lisa, her portrait commissioned by her husband and painted by, Leonardo da Vinci, during the Italian Renaissance.

Little is known about Lisa's life. Married as a teenager to a cloth and silk merchant who later became a local official, she was mother to five children and led what is thought to have been a comfortable and ordinary middle-class life. Lisa outlived her husband, who was about 20 years her senior.

Centuries after Lisa's death, Mona Lisa became the world's most famous painting and took on a life separate from Lisa, the woman. Speculation by scholars and hobbyists made the work of art a globally recognized icon and an object of commercialization. During the early 21st century, a discovery made at a university library was powerful enough evidence to end speculation about the sitter's identity and definitively identified Lisa del Giocondo as the subject of the Mona Lisa.

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