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Great Fine Arts Galleries & Museums Of The World

About Galleries and fine art galleries

A gallery is a roofed promenade, especially one extending along the wall of a building and supported by arches or columns on the outer side.

Galleries are:

  • A prominent feature of most medieval monasteries.
  • Commonly seen today as passageways along an upper story of the interior or exterior of a large building, especially a church, or as an upper section of an auditorium or theater, often with a sloping floor projecting from the rear or side walls to provide additional seating.
  • Frequently seen in remnants of the antebellum U.S. South, where they appear in the form of a shaded veranda that runs along the entire length of a manse and diminishes the beat of an afternoon sun.

In this feature, The Muse Of Fine Arts is chiefly concerned with a different kind of gallery, one related to those cited above, that consists of a building, an institution, or a room for the sheltered exhibition of artistic work. With the advent of the virtual museum, of which The Muse Of Fine Arts museum is an example, The Muse is also concerned with virtual galleries and virtual museums.

The word gallery first appeared about 1400-1500 CE, at a time during the first flourishing of the Italian Renaissance when art proliferated and the shortage of places to display art became an imperative.

There are different interpretations of the origin of gallery. In one view, strangely, the word is derived from the word galilee. How? Follow this chain of reasoning:

  1. A galilee is a small chapel or porch at the western end of a medieval English church, a place at or from which to preach, especially in the cool of the afternoon. Galilee is the name of a region of northern Israel that lies in the northernmost part of Palestine and in the ancient kingdom of Israel which was the center of Jesus's ministry. It's not hard to see how part of a church could have become associated with this region.
  2. Why the western end of the church? In the middle ages, after church service and in the afternoon the ground outside the western end of a church was typically transformed into a market to take advantage of the afternoon light and the shade afforded by the building. Such a place would make an preferred place to preach or show wares.
  3. Showing wares like pots and pans in a lighted but shaded place is analogous to showing pictures in a modern gallery.

Or, one can take a much simpler path to the word, which may have been derived from galerie, meaning a rejoicing, from Old French, galer, to rejoice.

As The Muse Of Fine Arts sees it, either origin of the word gallery fits its function. A gallery is a well-lit place in a museum where you can rejoice while looking at Fine Art in shaded comfort. By analogy, a gallery is a place at Electricka's web where you can do the same.

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