The Different Definitions of Art

Art is something that people are drawn to and enjoy, but it is also a very subjective and debated topic. Despite this, it’s important that students understand the different perspectives and opinions that can exist about the meaning of art. For example, some believe that only visual art can be considered a true work of art, while others have taken a more broad approach that includes writing, music, and other mediums as well. Teaching about the different definitions of art can help a student gain a better understanding of the various types of arts and how they differ.

Visual Arts

The most traditional forms of art are the visual arts, which include painting, sculpting, architecture, drawing, and printmaking. These kinds of arts involve the creation of images that have a primarily aesthetic value, but they can also be used to express ideas and feelings as well.

In the past, artists were often revered for their skills in creating visually pleasing works of art. Then, during the Romantic period of the 18th century, as a reaction to Enlightenment emphasis on science and empirical evidence, art began to be described as being created for a more spiritual purpose than just its beauty. Art was seen as a way to glorify nature and encourage free expression. This new view of art was influenced by the growing popularity of poetry, which was viewed as being more than just a record of events; it could convey emotion and create a sense of beauty.

Aristotle believed that the greatest art was a tragedy, because it allowed the viewer to identify and empathize with the characters and situations depicted. He believed that a good tragedy was like an X-ray of the human soul, showing how humans suffer and struggle to overcome their weaknesses. In addition, the tragedy could teach a lesson to the audience by encouraging them to be more sympathetic and concerned about other people’s problems, as well as their own.

Many scholars have developed a variety of theories about what makes a work of art. Proceduralists argue that it is the way in which a piece of art is made and presented that determines whether or not it is a work of art. For example, a poem may be considered a work of art because it is written by a poet and published in a journal, even though the writer never intended it to be considered a work of art.

Others have suggested that a work of art is considered a work of art if it is recognized by the establishment of art, such as museums and galleries, as being of the highest artistic quality. This is known as Institutionalism. A famous example of Institutionalism is Marcel Duchamp’s Ready-Made, which was a work of art that was not made by an artist but rather by the artist himself. This was an attempt to challenge the idea that a painting had to be made by a professional painter in order to qualify as a work of art.