Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms including animals and plants in their environment. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.
The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences – both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.
For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants – of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual – of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.
It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.
It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world; the pl
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, safflower oil; the choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired; the paints themselves develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss. Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by painters in western Afghanistan sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did not gain popularity until the 15th century, its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in Northern Europe, by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had completely replaced the use of tempera paints in the majority of Europe. In recent years, water miscible. Water-soluble paints are either engineered or an emulsifier has been added that allows them to be thinned with water rather than paint thinner, allows, when sufficiently diluted fast drying times when compared with traditional oils. Traditional oil painting techniques begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner, faster or slower-drying. A basic rule of oil paint application is'fat over lean', meaning that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the final painting will peel; this rule does not ensure permanence.
There are many other media that can be used with the oil, including cold wax and varnishes. These additional media can aid the painter in adjusting the translucency of the paint, the sheen of the paint, the density or'body' of the paint, the ability of the paint to hold or conceal the brushstroke; these aspects of the paint are related to the expressive capacity of oil paint. Traditionally, paint was transferred to the painting surface using paintbrushes, but there are other methods, including using palette knives and rags. Oil paint remains wet longer than many other types of artists' materials, enabling the artist to change the color, texture or form of the figure. At times, the painter might remove an entire layer of paint and begin anew; this can be done with a rag and some turpentine for a time while the paint is wet, but after a while the hardened layer must be scraped. Oil paint dries by oxidation, not evaporation, is dry to the touch within a span of two weeks, it is dry enough to be varnished in six months to a year.
Although the history of tempera and related media in Europe indicates that oil painting was discovered there independently, there is evidence that oil painting was used earlier in Afghanistan. Outdoor surfaces and surfaces like shields—both those used in tournaments and those hung as decorations—were more durable when painted in oil-based media than when painted in the traditional tempera paints. Most Renaissance sources, in particular Vasari, credited northern European painters of the 15th century, Jan van Eyck in particular, with the "invention" of painting with oil media on wood panel supports. However, Theophilus gives instructions for oil-based painting in his treatise, On Various Arts, written in 1125. At this period, it was used for painting sculptures and wood fittings especially for outdoor use. However, early Netherlandish painting with artists like Van Eyck and Robert Campin in the 15th century were the first to make oil the usual painting medium, explore the use of layers and glazes, followed by the rest of Northern Europe, only Italy.
Early works were still panel paintings on wood, but around the end of the 15th century canvas became more popular as the support, as it was cheaper, easier to transport, allowed larger works, did not require complicated preliminary layers of gesso. Venice, where sail-canvas was available, was a leader in the move to canvas. Small cabinet paintings were made on metal copper plates; these supports were more expensive but firm, allowing intricately fine detail. Printing plates from printmaking were reused for this purpose; the popularity of oil spread through Italy from the North, starting in Venice in the late 15th century. By 1540, the previous method for painting on panel had become all but extinct, although Italians continued to use chalk-based fresco for wall paintings, less successful and durable in damper northern climates; the linseed oil itself comes from a common fiber crop. Linen, a "support" for oil painting comes from the flax plant. Safflower oil or the walnut or poppyseed oil are sometimes used in formulating lighter colors li
Physiognomy is a practice of assessing a person's character or personality from their outer appearance—especially the face. It is linked to racial and sexual stereotyping; the term can refer to the general appearance of a person, object, or terrain without reference to its implied characteristics—as in the physiognomy of an individual plant or of a plant community. Credence of such study has varied; the practice was well accepted by the ancient Greek philosophers, but fell into disrepute in the Middle Ages when practised by vagabonds and mountebanks. It was revived and popularised by Johann Kaspar Lavater before falling from favour again in the late 19th century. Physiognomy as understood in the past meets the contemporary definition of a pseudoscience. Popular in the 19th century, it has been used as a basis for scientific racism, along with physical anthropology. No clear evidence indicates physiognomy works—but the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning for facial recognition has brought a revival of interest, some studies that suggest that facial appearances do "contain a kernel of truth" about a person's personality.
Physiognomy is sometimes referred to as anthroposcopy, though the expression was more common in the 19th century when the word originated. Notions of the relationship between an individual's outward appearance and inner character are ancient, appear in early Greek poetry. Siddhars from ancient India are known to have defined samudrika lakshanam that identifies personal characteristics with body features. Chinese physiognomy or face reading reaches back at least to the Northern Song period; the first indications of a developed physiognomic theory appear in fifth century BC Athens, with the works of Zopyrus, said to be an expert in the art. By the fourth century BC, the philosopher Aristotle made frequent reference to theory and literature concerning the relationship of appearance to character. Aristotle was receptive to such an idea, as evidenced by a passage in his Prior Analytics: It is possible to infer character from features, if it is granted that the body and the soul are changed together by the natural affections: I say "natural", for though by learning music a man has made some change in his soul, this is not one of those affections natural to us.
If this were granted and that for each change there is a corresponding sign, we could state the affection and sign proper to each kind of animal, we shall be able to infer character from features. The first systematic physiognomic treatise to survive to the present day is a slim volume, ascribed to Aristotle; the volume is divided into two parts, conjectured to have been two separate works. The first section discusses arguments drawn from nature or other races, concentrates on the concept of human behavior; the second section focuses on animal behavior, dividing the animal kingdom into male and female types. From these are deduced correspondences between human form and character. After Aristotle, the major extant works in physiognomy are: Polemo of Laodicea, de Physiognomonia, in Greek Adamantius the Sophist, Physiognomonica, in Greek An anonymous Latin author de Phsiognomonia Ancient Greek mathematician and scientist Pythagoras—who some believe originated physiognomics—once rejected a prospective follower named Cylon because, to Pythagoras, his appearance indicated bad character.
After inspecting Socrates, a physiognomist announced that he was given to intemperance and violent bursts of passion—which was so contrary to Socrates's image that his students accused the physiognomist of lying. Socrates put the issue to rest by saying that he was given to all these vices, but had strong self-discipline; the term was common in Middle English written as'fisnamy' or'visnomy', as in the Tale of Beryn, a spurious addition to The Canterbury Tales: "I knowe wele by thy fisnamy, thy kynd it were to stele". Physiognomy's validity was once accepted. Michael Scot, a court scholar for Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, wrote Liber physiognomiae in the early 13th century concerning the subject. English universities taught it until Henry VIII of England outlawed "beggars and vagabonds playing'subtile and unlawful games such as physnomye or'palmestrye'" in 1530 or 1531. Around this time, scholastic leaders settled on the more erudite Greek form'physiognomy' and began to discourage the whole concept of'fisnamy'.
Leonardo da Vinci dismissed physiognomy in the early 16th century as "false", a chimera with "no scientific foundation". Leonardo believed that lines caused by facial expressions could indicate personality traits. For example, he wrote that "those who have deep and noticeable lines between the eyebrows are irascible"; the principal promoter of physiognomy in modern times was the Swiss pastor Johann Kaspar Lavater, a friend of Goethe. Lavater's essays on physiognomy gained great popularity; these influential essays were translated into English. Lavater found'confirmation' of his ideas from the English physician-philosopher Sir Thomas Browne, the Italian Giambattista Della Porta. Browne in his Religio Medici discusses the possibility of the discernment of inner qualit
The Allegheny River is a 325-mile long headwater stream of the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania and New York, United States. The Allegheny River runs from its headwaters just below the middle of Pennsylvania's northern border northwesterly into New York in a zigzag southwesterly across the border and through Western Pennsylvania to join the Monongahela River at the Forks of the Ohio on the "Point" of Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Allegheny River is, by volume, the main headstream of both the Mississippi Rivers. The Allegheny was considered to be the upper Ohio River by both Native Americans and European settlers; the shallow river has been made navigable upstream from Pittsburgh to East Brady by a series of locks and dams constructed in the early 20th century. A 24-mile long portion of the upper river in Warren and McKean counties of Pennsylvania and Cattaraugus County in New York is the Allegheny Reservoir known as Lake Kinzua, created by the erection of the Kinzua Dam in 1965 for flood control.
The name of the river comes from one of a number of Delaware Indian phrases which are homophones of the English name, with varying translations. The name Allegheny comes from Lenape welhik hane or oolikhanna, which means'best flowing river of the hills' or'beautiful stream'. There is a Lenape legend of a tribe called "Allegewi"; the following account of the origin of the name Allegheny was given in 1780 by Moravian missionary David Zeisberger: "All this land and region, stretching as far as the creeks and waters that flow into the Alleghene the Delawares called Alligewinenk, which means'a land into which they came from distant parts'. The river itself, however, is called Alligewi Sipo; the whites have made Alleghene out of this, the Six Nations calling the river the Ohio."Indians, including the Lenni Lenape and Iroquois, considered the Allegheny and Ohio rivers as the same, as is suggested by a New York State road sign on Interstate 86 that refers to the Allegheny River as Ohiːyo'. The Geographic Names Information System lists O-hi-o as variant names.
The river is called Ohi:'i:o` in the Seneca language. In New York, areas around the river are named with the alternate spelling Allegany in reference to the river. Port Allegany, located along the river in Pennsylvania near the border with New York follows this pattern; the Allegheny River rises in north central Pennsylvania, on Cobb Hill in Alleghany Township in north central Potter County, 8 miles south of the New York border and a few miles northwest of the eastern triple divide. The stream flows south and passes under Pennsylvania Route 49 11 miles northeast of Coudersport where a historical marker that declares the start of the river is located. Cobb Hill is about a mile north; the stream flows southwest paralleling Route 49 to Coudersport. It continues west to Port Allegany turns north into western New York, looping westward across southern Cattaraugus County for 30 miles, past Portville, Olean and Salamanca and flowing through Seneca Indian Nation lands close to the northern boundary of Allegany State Park before re-entering northwestern Pennsylvania within the Allegheny Reservoir just east of the Warren-McKean county line, approx.
10 miles northeast of Warren. It flows in a broad zigzag course southwest across Western Pennsylvania. South of Franklin it turns southeast across Clarion County in a meandering course turns again southwest across Armstrong County, flowing past Kittanning, Ford City and Freeport; the river enters both Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, the Pittsburgh suburbs, the City of Pittsburgh from the northeast. It passes the North Side, downtown Pittsburgh, Point State Park; the Allegheny joins with the Monongahela River at the "Point" in downtown Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River. The river is 325 miles long, running through the U. S. states of New Pennsylvania. It drains a rural dissected plateau of 11,580 square miles in the northern Allegheny Plateau, providing the northeastern most drainage in the watershed of the Mississippi River, its tributaries reach to within 8 miles of Lake Erie in southwestern New York. Water from the Allegheny River flows into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
The Allegheny Valley has been one of the most productive areas of fossil fuel extraction in United States history, with its extensive deposits of coal and natural gas. In its upper reaches, the Allegheny River is joined from the south by Potato Creek 1.7 miles downstream of Coryville and from the north by Olean Creek at Olean, New York. Tunungwant "Tuna" Creek joins the river from the south in New York. After re-entering Pennsylvania, the river is joined from the east by Kinzua Creek 10 miles upstream of Warren.
Independence Hall is the building where both the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted. It is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the building was completed in 1753 as the Pennsylvania State House, served as the capitol for the Province and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania until the state capital moved to Lancaster in 1799. It became the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and was the site of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. A convention held in Independence Hall in 1915, presided over by former US president William Howard Taft, marked the formal announcement of the formation of the League to Enforce Peace, which led to the League of Nations and the United Nations; the building is part of Independence National Historical Park and is listed as a World Heritage Site. By the spring of 1729, the citizens of Philadelphia were petitioning to be allowed to build a state house.
2,000 pounds were committed to the endeavor. A committee composed of Thomas Lawrence, Dr. John Kearsley, Andrew Hamilton was charged with the responsibility of selecting a site for construction, acquiring plans for the building, contracting a company for construction of the building. Hamilton and William Allen were named trustees of the purchasing and building fund and authorized to buy the land that would be the site of the state house. By October 1730 they had begun purchasing lots on Chestnut Street. By 1732 though Hamilton had acquired the deed for Lot no. 2 from surveyor David Powell, paid for his work with the lot, tensions were rising among the committee members. Dr. John Kearsley and Hamilton disagreed on a number of issues concerning the state house. Kearsley, credited with the designs of both Christ Church and St. Peter's Church, had plans for the structure of the building, but so did Hamilton; the two men disagreed on the building's site. Lawrence said nothing on the matter. Matters reached a point.
On August 8, 1733, Hamilton brought the matter before the House of Representatives. He explained that Kearsley did not approve of Hamilton's plans for the location and architecture of the state house and went on to insist the House had not agreed to these decisions. In response to this, Hamilton, on August 11, showed his plans for the state house to the House, who accepted them. On August 14, the House sided with Hamilton, granting him full control over the project, the site on the south side of Chestnut Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets was chosen for the location of the state house. Ground was broken for construction soon after. Independence Hall touts a red brick facade, designed in Georgian style, it consists of a central building with belltower and steeple, attached to two smaller wings via arcaded hyphens. The highest point to the tip of the steeple spire is 7 1⁄4 inches above the ground; the State House was built between 1732 and 1751, designed by Edmund Woolley and Andrew Hamilton, built by Woolley.
Its construction was commissioned by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature which paid for construction as funds were available, so it was finished piecemeal. It was inhabited by the colonial government of Pennsylvania as its State House, from 1732 to 1799. In 1752, when Isaac Norris was selecting a man to build the first clock for the State House, today known as Independence Hall, he chose Thomas Stretch, the son of Peter Stretch his old friend and fellow council member, to do the job. In 1753 Thomas Stretch erected a giant clock at the building's west end; the 40-foot-tall limestone base was capped with a 14-foot wooden case surrounding the clock's face, carved by Samuel Harding. The giant clock was removed about 1830; the clock's dials were mounted at the east and west ends of the main building connected by rods to the clock movement in the middle of the building. The acquisition of the original clock and bell by the Pennsylvania Colonial Assembly is related to the acquisition of the Liberty Bell.
By mid-1753, the clock had been installed in the State House attic, but six years were to elapse before Thomas Stretch received any pay for it. While the shell of the central portion of the building is original, the side wings and much of the interior were reconstructed. In 1781, the Pennsylvania Assembly had the wooden steeple removed from the main building; the steeple had rotted and weakened to a dangerous extent by 1773, but it wasn't until 1781 that the Assembly had it removed and had the brick tower covered with a hipped roof. The original steeple was demolished due to structural problems in 1781. A more elaborate steeple, designed by William Strickland, was added in 1828; the original wings and hyphens were demolished and replaced in 1812. In 1898, these were in turn replaced with reconstructions of the original wings; the building was renovated numerous times in the 20th century. The current interior is a mid-20th century reconstruction by the National Park Service with the public rooms restored to their 18th century appearance.
During the summer of 1973 a replica of the Thomas Stretch clock was restored to Independence Hall. The second floor Governor's Council Chamber, furnished with important examples of the era by the National Park Service, includes a musical tall case clock made by Peter Stretch, c 1740, one of the most prominent clockmakers in early America and father of Thomas Stretch. Two smaller buildings adjoin the wings of Independence Hall: Old City Hall to the east, Congress Hall to the west; these three buildings are togeth
A self-portrait is a representation of an artist, drawn, photographed, or sculpted by that artist. Although self-portraits have been made since the earliest times, it is not until the Early Renaissance in the mid-15th century that artists can be identified depicting themselves as either the main subject, or as important characters in their work. With better and cheaper mirrors, the advent of the panel portrait, many painters and printmakers tried some form of self-portraiture. Portrait of a Man in a Turban by Jan van Eyck of 1433 may well be the earliest known panel self-portrait, he painted a separate portrait of his wife, he belonged to the social group that had begun to commission portraits more common among wealthy Netherlanders than south of the Alps. The genre is venerable, but not until the Renaissance, with increased wealth and interest in the individual as a subject, did it become popular. A self-portrait may be a portrait of the artist, or a portrait included in a larger work, including a group portrait.
Many painters are said to have included depictions of specific individuals, including themselves, in painting figures in religious or other types of composition. Such paintings were not intended publicly to depict the actual persons as themselves, but the facts would have been known at the time to artist and patron, creating a talking point as well as a public test of the artist's skill. In the earliest surviving examples of medieval and Renaissance self-portraiture, historical or mythical scenes were depicted using a number of actual persons as models including the artist, giving the work a multiple function as portraiture, self-portraiture and history/myth painting. In these works, the artist appears as a face in the crowd or group towards the edges or corner of the work and behind the main participants. Rubens's The Four Philosophers is a good example; this culminated in the 17th century with the work of Jan de Bray. Many artistic media have been used. In the famous Arnolfini Portrait, Jan van Eyck is one of two figures glimpsed in a mirror – a modern conceit.
The Van Eyck painting may have inspired Diego Velázquez to depict himself in full view as the painter creating Las Meninas, as the Van Eyck hung in the palace in Madrid where he worked. This was another modern flourish, given that he appears as the painter and standing close to the King's family group who were the supposed main subjects of the painting. In what may be one of the earliest childhood self-portraits now surviving, Albrecht Dürer depicts himself as in naturalistic style as a 13-year-old boy in 1484. In years he appears variously as a merchant in the background of Biblical scenes and as Christ. Leonardo da Vinci may have drawn a picture of himself at the age of 60, in around 1512; the picture is straightforwardly reproduced as Da Vinci's appearance, although this is not certain. In the 17th century, Rembrandt painted a range of self-portraits. In The Prodigal Son in the Tavern, one of the earliest self-portraits with family, the painting includes Saskia, Rembrandt's wife, one of the earliest depictions of a family member by a famous artist.
Family and professional group paintings, including the artist's depiction, became common from the 17th century on. From the 20th century on, video plays an increasing part in self-portraiture, adds the dimension of audio as well, allowing the person to speak to us in their own voice. Women artists are notable producers of self-portraits. Vigée-Lebrun painted a total of 37 self-portraits, many of which were copies of earlier ones, painted for sale; until the 20th century women were unable to train in drawing the nude, which made it difficult for them to paint large figure compositions, leading many artists to specialize in portrait work. Women artists have embodied a number of roles within their self-portraiture. Most common is the artist at work, showing themselves in the act of painting, or at least holding a brush and palette; the viewer wonders if the clothes worn were those they painted in, as the elaborate nature of many ensembles was an artistic choice to show her skill at fine detail. Images of artists at work are encountered in Ancient Egyptian painting, sculpture and on Ancient Greek vases.
One of the first self-portraits was made by the Pharaoh Akhenaten's chief sculptor Bak in 1365 BC. Plutarch mentions that the Ancient Greek sculptor Phidias had included a likeness of himself in a number of characters in the "Battle of the Amazons" on the Parthenon, there are classical references to painted self-portraits, none of which have survived. Portraits and self-portraits have a longer continuous history in Asian art than in Europe. Many in the scholar gentleman tradition are quite small, depicting the artist in a large landscape, illustrating a poem in calligraphy on his experience of the scene. Another tradition, associated with Zen Buddhism, produced lively semi-caricatured self-portraits, whilst others remain closer to the conventions of the formal portrait. Illuminated manuscripts contain a number of apparent self-portraits, notably those of Saint Dunstan and Matthew Paris. Most of these either show the artist at work, or presenting the finished book to either a donor or a sacred figure, or venerating such a figure.
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