Art is a human creation manifested in physical form for others to view, interpret, and enjoy. Art can express an idea, emotion, or feeling that cannot be expressed in words and is often used to teach students about different cultures and eras. In today’s world, students are exposed to many forms of art and are able to see how it reflects the history of our culture and society.
There are various definitions of art, but one that is a common definition is that art is created with imagination and skill. Another definition says that art is created to be beautiful and is a way for humans to communicate ideas, emotions, and beliefs through visual mediums. Art can be found in many places, from ancient Egyptian tombs to 1920s American paintings. The choices and details that artists make in their work are closely examined to understand what they were trying to communicate.
During the Romantic movement, art was seen as having an emotional content. It was important for artists to express a specific feeling and to connect with the audience. Artists were revered during this time and they became the equivalent of celebrities. The Romantics saw beauty in nature and believed that spirituality was important.
Another important aspect of art is that it creates a connection to a higher power. This is a mystical view of art that was popularized by the Roman Neoplatonism philosopher Plotinus. He believed that a painting or any other piece of art could be used to gain insight into and even mystically merge with the higher beauty that is beyond this physical world.
A large number of people have devoted themselves to the study of art and have authored books and essays about the subject. Many of these writers have focused on the art of a particular culture and era, which is usually tied to a nation. Those who specialize in this field are called art historians.
A philosophical debate over the definition of art is still ongoing. Some argue that a definition is indefinable because the phenomena that it seeks to explain are too diverse. A more serious problem is that a definition, were it to exist, would have a stifling effect on artistic creativity (Wittgenstein 1953).