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Tree of Knowledge - Art & Man
Sydney Opera House in Australia is one of the world's most famous landmarks. It took 15 years to build and was one of the first large-scale projects to be designed using computer technology.

Paintings found on the walls of caves in Lascaux, south-west France, are estimated to have been painted in 20,000 BC.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-91) was one of the world's greatest composers. More than 200 years after his death, his appeal is as broad as ever. An infant prodigy at seven years of age, he had composed (or arranged) a wide range of music (626 works) before his early death at 35. 

In the course of the Middle Ages, painting became one of the major arts. Social changes and new techniques offered painters the chance to create realistic, thoroughly humanized works that would eventually revolutionize western art. 

Gothic was the first truly original architectural style to be developed in northern Europe. For over 300 years, soaring, light-filled cathedrals and churches became the supreme expressions of Christian piety and pride. 

One of the most artistically fertile of all eras, the Renaissance ('Rebirth') produced a galaxy of genuises. Italy emerged as the cultural leader of Europe, and classicism and naturalism became the dominant trends in art. 

Artist, scientist and inventor; Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is a fascinating and puzzling figure. Only a handful of his paintings survive, but his Mona Lisa is probably the most famous picture in the world. 

Colorful and dramatic, Baroque art was created mainly in the service of religion. It aimed to uplift, to overwhelm, and above all to involve the spectator in miracles, ecstasies and moments of Christian triumph. 

A distinctive form of sung drama, opera first appeared in Renaissance Italy as a highly exclusive entertainment. However, it soon became popular with a wider public and was exported to Europe. 

The Eiffel Tower, Paris(1887-89) was designed by Gustave Eiffel, an engineer by trade. The Eiffel Tower became a striking symbol of the advances made in the use of metal technology, and demonstrated very clearly that such new material need not be confined to industrial usage. 

Before a concert, musicians in an orchestra warm up and make sure their instruments are in tune. They tune their instruments to the note A, played on an oboe. 

Ludwig van Beethoven's (1770-1827) musical revolution spelt the end of the Classical style of Haydn and Mozart, and the beginning of the Romanticism. It is recorded that among his last words were, "Clap your hands, my friends, the comedy is over". His funeral was attended by 20,000 people. 

Vincent van Gogh (1853-90)painted all his masterpieces in the last five years of his life. He worked furiously, until madness finally overtook him and he killed himself. 

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) is one of the greatest artists who ever lived: his astonishing career encompasses the arts of painting, architecture, sculpture and even poetry. One of his sculptures, David, has become the symbol of Florentine art. 

William Shakespeare's literary career lasted for some 20 years, from about 1592 to 1612, and it spanned two reigns, Queen Elizabeth I's (1558-1603) and King James I's(1603-25). During this period Shakespeare wrote two long narrative poems, a sequence of linked sonnets (rhymed verse of 14 ten-syllable lines) and, above all, 37 plays. 

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Copyright 2000 Ron C. Velasco