What is art? In the Western culture, art is anything created with skill and knowledge, and consists of a physical object, concept, or thought. Artists learned to master their craft and recreate their subjects with skill. This was particularly true during the Dutch Golden Age. Artists were free to express themselves with any medium and earned a living from their creations. Art has been regarded as an important form of expression throughout history, but it isn’t as important as religion and philosophy.
Art helps educate us about almost anything. It helps us understand different cultures by creating awareness and presenting information in an easy to understand format. In addition, art helps to bridge cultural divides and prevents cultural loss. In our technology-obsessed society, art helps us understand and appreciate different cultures. This means that art can help us understand one another and create a sense of community. Art is important not only for its beauty, but also for its role in promoting cultural appreciation.
A second way to define art is to look at its historical development. Plato, who is widely regarded as the father of philosophy, developed the idea of art as a form of mimesis. Mimesis means “to copy, to imitate, to reproduce.” This definition defined art as a form of representation that reproduced something meaningful. An artwork is deemed “art” if it faithfully replicates its subject. While this definition is somewhat vague, it provides a framework for discussions of art.
While many people disagree on the definition of art, there is no doubt that it can be defined in a variety of ways. The most commonly used definition is historical conventionalism. Historical conventionalism, on the other hand, defines art as an artifact created by an artist that is presented to an artworld audience. Furthermore, a work of art must have a subject, a style, and an engagement with an audience. And, of course, art is always contextualized.
Visual art is created through skill and imagination. This category covers a variety of art forms, from paintings to sculptures to music to dance. The process of creating art allows artists to express important ideas, emotions, and concepts. It can be beautiful or ugly, large or small, or abstract. Whatever the medium, art is a form of communication. You can express your own feelings or thoughts through art, as long as it is made by a skilled artist.
The origins of art are important because it informs the definition of an artworld. It begins with prehistoric art ancestors. All artworks, then, sit on a line of descent from these ancestors. And that line continues to grow into an artworld. As a result, artworlds are both anthropocentric and bottom-up, and it implies that a work of art can change over time. So, there are no definitive guidelines for what constitutes an art.
Classical definitions of art are less self-contained and free-standing than they were in the eighteenth century. Most definitions of art are embedded within general philosophical theories, incorporating epistemology and metaphysics. These two areas of philosophy are prime examples of conceptually confusing language. Therefore, it is important to read classical definitions with caution. It may be hard to understand them in isolation. A quick summary of them might be misleading.