Visual Arts Encyclopedia

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  • The word spice comes from the Old French word espice, which became epice, and which came from the Latin root spec, the noun referring to "appearance, sort, kind": Early uses were connected with magic, medicine, religion, tradition, and preservation.

    Arab merchants facilitated the routes through the Middle East and India. This resulted in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria being the main trading center for spices. The most important discovery prior to the European spice trade were the monsoon winds 40 CE. Sailing from Eastern spice cultivators to Western European consumers gradually replaced the land-locked spice routes once facilitated by the Middle East Arab caravans.

    In the biblical poem Song of Solomonthe male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices. Spices were among the most demanded and expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages[5] the most common being black peppercinnamon and the cheaper alternative cassiacuminnutmegginger and cloves. Given medieval medicine 's main theory of humorismspices and herbs were indispensable to balance "humors" in food, [6] a daily basis for good health at a time of recurrent pandemics.

    In addition to being desired by those using medieval medicinethe European elite also craved spices in the Middle Ages. An example of the European aristocracy's demand for spice comes from the King of Aragonwho invested substantial resources into bringing back spices to Spain in the 12th century. He was specifically looking for spices to put in wineand was not alone among European monarchs at the time to have such a desire for spice.

    From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice had the monopoly on spice trade with the Middle East, and along with it the neighboring Italian maritime republics and city-states. The trade made the region rich.

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    The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1. Spices that have now fallen into obscurity in European cuisine include grains of paradisea relative of cardamom which mostly replaced pepper in late medieval north French cooking, long peppermacespikenardgalangal and cubeb. Early Modern Period[ edit ] Spain and Portugal were not happy to pay the high price that Venice demanded for spices.

    The control of trade routes and the spice-producing regions were the main reasons that Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed to India in He described to investors new spices available there. Since becoming the viceroy of the Indieshe took Goa in India inand Malacca on the Malay peninsula in With the discovery of the New World came new spices, including allspicechili peppersvanillaand chocolate.

    This development kept the spice trade, with America as a late comer with its new seasonings, profitable well into the 19th century. The permanent collection consists of 20, drawings, sculptures, and paintings, dating from the 15th century to the present.

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    Best Art Museums in Czech Republic Prague Narodni Galerie, Prague The Czech National Art museum - whose exhibits are displayed at different locations within the city, the largest being the Veletrzni Palac - includes a wide range of artworks by Czech painters and sculptors, as well as a good collection of Western painting.

    Highlights of the permanent collection include: The Feast of the Rosary by Albrecht Durer Highlights include numerous Impressionist paintings, the largest assembly of Etruscan antiquities outside Italy, a major collection of bronzes by Edgar Degas, as well as stone and bronze sculpture by Rodin, including a cast of The Thinker.

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    Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen Danish National museum opened inits permanent collection includes national and international works dating from the 12th-century. Best Art Museums Britain Cambridge, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London British Royal Family Art Collection Housed in several locations including Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, The Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace, and Holyroodhouse Palace, and held in trust for the successors of Queen Elizabeth II and the British nation, this billion dollar collection consists of some 7, paintings, 40, watercolours and drawings, andold master prints, together with tapestries, ceramics, manuscripts and other works.

    It includes masterpieces by a host of the world's greatest artists. British Royal Art Collection. Its permanent collection includes some 8 million cultural objects from Prehistoric art onwards. Courtauld Institute Gallery Next year is the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Courtauld Institute by the British philanthropist Samuel Courtauld Its beautiful art collection, one of the best small collections in the world, is now housed at Somerset House in London, and is an absolute must-see, not least because of its spectacular Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.

    Samuel Courtauld himself was strongly influenced by the collecting habits of the County Cork art dealer Sir Hugh Lanewhose collection he saw when it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery in Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Opened inthe gallery contains a small but high-quality collection of European art mainly dating from the s and s, including masterpieces by Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens and Poussin.

    During the s, Monet and Pissarro closely studied a number of works at the gallery.

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    Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Founded inthe art and antiquities museum of Cambridge University is one of the most important fine art collections in England. Its permanent collection features ancient antiquities, Asian art, pottery and glass, furniture, clocks, armour, coins and medals, illuminated manuscripts and rare books.

    In addition it includes oils by a host of Old Masters and modern artists like Picasso, along with watercolours, drawings, and prints. National Gallery, London Established in and located in Trafalgar Square, the museum holds the British state collection of artworks produced beforeand by UK artists born before The National Gallery attracts more than 4. National Portrait Gallery, London The National Portrait Gallery London features a wide range of historical portrait art of British people including caricatures and photographs as well as paintings, drawings, sketches and bustsby portraitists such as William Hogarth, Joshua Reynolds and Hans Holbein the younger, among many others.

    Important items include the Chandos portrait, the most celebrated portrait of William Shakespeare. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh Opened inthe museum is the national art gallery of Scotland. Masterpieces on display include: National Gallery of Scotland. Saatchi Gallery London Owned by businessman and philanthropist Charles Saatchi, it is one of Europe's best galleries of contemporary artand has been a major influence on the development of avant-garde art in Britain.

    Its exhibitions have featured Minimalism, Young British Artists, postmodernist art as well as the best of Chinese contemporary painting. Named after Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, it was established in Featured in its world renowned collections are: The museum also holds the world's largest assembly of post-classical sculpture: Its permanent collection contains a fine selection of Italian and Netherlandish paintings, 18th and 19th century British art - notably, a major collection of Victorian painting and Pre-Raphaelite oils, a series of prints and drawings, plus works by artists such as Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Gilbert and George.

    Wallace Collection, London Founded inthe museum contains a superb collection of decorative art including gold boxes, Italian maiolica ceramics, glass, bronzes and Limoges enamels, arms and armour, and furniture.

    It is especially renowned for its collections of Sevres and Meissen porcelain. In addition, it owns a world famous collection of Old Master oil paintings, watercolours and works on paper. Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille Opened inthe museum contains the second largest art collection in France after the Louvre.

    Encompassing Antiquities, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Paintings from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, as well as sculpture, the collection features numerous artists from the Low Countries Flanders, Belgium and the Netherlands and Northern France including: Pompidou Centre World renowned for its unique postmodernist architecture - which, according to the New York Times, turned the architecture world upside down - the Georges Pompidou Centre is home to France's national museum of modern and contemporary art and promoter of contemporary art movements.

    For more details, see: French art authorities hope to replicate the success of the Bilbao branch of New York's Guggenheim museum, which has transformed the fortunes of Bilbao in northern Spain since its opening in The project is the first stage in an effort to decentralise France's huge art collection: Meantime, the Pompidou Metz will be devoted to both modern and contemporary art, from the 20th and 21st-century, presented in a series of rotating art exhibitions.

    Louvre Museum Paris One of the world's oldest, largest and most popular museums, its permanent collection includes over 2 million works of art, covering: Its fine arts collection features a vast range of sculpture, works on paper and painting, including items from the Gothic, Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, Romantic, and Realist styles and movements.

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    Musee Conde, Chantilly World famous for its chateau gallery and library. See Musee Conde, Chantilly. Musee d'Orsay, Paris Opened inthe museum concentrates on French art dating from toand features painting, sculpture, and photography. It is best-known for its masterpieces of French Impressionism which were previously housed in the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, prior to the museum's opening in For details, including collection highlights, see: Musee Picasso, Paris Situated in the Marais district of Paris the Picasso Museum holds more than works of art by Pablo Picassoincluding graphic art, ceramics and paintings, augmented by Picasso's personal art collection of works by other painters, including Degas, Cezanne, Rousseau, Seurat, Giorgio de Chirico and Matisse.

    Musee des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg Permanent collection consists of local art and other works from the 14th century until Earlier Old Masters from the local region are displayed in the neighboring Musee de l' oeuvre Notre-Dame. For more information about the collection and contact details, see: Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts.

    Highlights of the permanent collection - which was initially based on the personal art collection of Frederick the Great - include masterpieces by Lucas Cranach, Albrecht Durer, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Noted for its patronage and exhibitions of emerging and established contemporary artists. Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin Noted for the unique glass architecture of its lobby, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the museum's underground galleries display an extensive range of modern 20th century art.

    Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne Founded by Ferdinand Franz Wallraf, its collection includes hundreds of European paintings, prints and drawings from the 13th to the 20th century. Its collection of medieval works, including illuminated manuscripts, is especially notable.

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    Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister Dresden. Its permanent collection - spread between the Alte Pinakothek and other Bavarian venues such as the baroque galleries in Neuburg Palace and Schleissheim Palace - consists of several thousand works, including many of the finest masterpieces of Early Italian, Old German, Old Dutch and Flemish paintings. Neue Pinakothek, Munich Part of the trio of galleries in Munich's Kunstareal, it concentrates on European Art of the 19th century onwards.

    Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich Permanent collection now encompasses: Its ,item permanent collection - founded on contributions from Buda Castle, the Esterhazy and Zichy collections - is organized around six sections: Its permanent collection encompasses: Medieval and renaissance stonework; Gothic wooden statues; Late Gothic altarpieces; Renaissance and Baroque artworks; Modern art, notably 19th and 20th century painting, sculpture and numismatics; Contemporary art, notably by Laszlo Paal and Mihaly Munkacsy.

    Also features an extensive range of sculpture, drawings, and other works on paper, and an exact replica of Francis Bacon's Reece Mews studio. Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Founded in Dublin inthe Chester Beatty Library is a museum and library housing the fine collection of rare illuminated manuscripts, drawings, miniature paintings, prints and decorative arts from the great cultures of the world, assembled by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty For more details, see Chester Beatty Library.

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    Its dynamic exhibition program promotes a wide variety of modern arts including works from its own permanent collection. For more information, see: Irish Museum of Modern Art.

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    National Gallery of Ireland NGIDublin Founded inthe Ghailearai Naisiunta na hEireann holds the state collection of Irish and European art, including paintings, drawings and sculpture, amounting to more than 14, artworks.

    Yeats, as well as many other Irish painters and sculptors. National Gallery of Ireland. For more Celtic designs, see: National Museum of Ireland. Celebrated masterpieces include its illuminated manuscripts like Book of Kells c. Trinity College Dublin Library.

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