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Rembrandt, Self-Portrait with Two Circles, c. 1665–1669, oil on canvas, Kenwood House, London
Rembrandt, Self-Portrait with Two Circles, c. 1665–1669, oil on canvas, Kenwood House, London
Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, 1923–29, oil on canvas, Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg
Kazimir Malevich, Black Square, 1923–29, oil on canvas, Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg

In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork.

Historically, the five main fine arts were painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry, with performing arts including theatre and dance.[1] Today, the fine arts commonly include additional forms, such as film, photography, video production/editing, design, sequential art, conceptual art, and printmaking.

One definition of fine art is "a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture."[2] In that sense, there are conceptual differences between the fine arts and the applied arts. As originally conceived, and as understood for much of the modern era, the perception of aesthetic qualities required a refined judgment usually referred to as having good taste, which differentiated fine art from popular art and entertainment.[3]

The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline according to traditional Western European canons.[citation needed] This definition originally excluded the applied or decorative arts, and the products of what were regarded as crafts. In contemporary practice these distinctions and restrictions have become essentially meaningless, as the concept or intention of the artist is given primacy, regardless of the means through which this is expressed.[citation needed]

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  • ✪ Tips to Draw Better in 6 Minutes: The Line- Fine Art-Tips
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Hello and welcome to another tu tu Tuesday! I am Leonardo Pereznieto and today I´ll give you some tips, that I am so sure they are going to be helpful that I guarantee if at the end of this video you don´t draw better, just let me know and I´ll give you, your money back in full. Oh, you didn´t pay for it, did you? [laughs]. Doesn´t matter, it will still help you. This tutorial is going to be about the line, how to do it cleaner and richer. I will draw a very simply fine figure. First do it in the way that most of us will tempt to do it. What I mean is that we will be very careful, a bit uncertain and we will have back on forth movements. I do this myself all the time and consciously, try to get out of it. I´ll speed up at the shot a little bit. Ok, we are back to real time speed, and this is what I call chicken steps drawing. Ok, very well! Next, we are going to see a cleaner line. But before we do that, I want to tell you something… The line as you know, maybe light and thin… or thin but darker… or dark and white, among many others, and you can use these to enrich your drawing. Let´s say that the light source is on the top left. Then the lights that face this, will be lighter, and the opposite ones will be darker. This time i´ll try to make my line cleaner. For this I practice the movements a few times without touching the paper and then I draw it. I mark where the shoulder should be, and then I get there with a continues line. I am been very soft since this part of the body is the one getting the most light. For the next one, I mark my target, then I practice two or three times. And then… foooom and I go over it as need it. This part is a little darker as it doesn't get as much light. I practice the next curve, and do it. And continue like this. I practice this back part of the face, and do it. I mark where the shoulder will go, and get there with a single line. I visualize the back, practice and draw it. I continue… fooom, foom trying not to make chicken steps. The center line of her back will be almost invisible. This part of the face will be darker, as it will be in shadow. As well as this side of the back and of the arm. Specially the lines that are facing down. When one surfaces touches another one, is produced what in drawing is called an accent. Accents are going to be the darker and wider lines. These ones is also going to be dark as it is facing down and therefore in shadow. I´ll go over a few others. I almost forgot the dress. Ok, it´s ready! Here we can see the difference between a chicken steps drawing and one that looks much more decided, clean, professional, and that shows the volume, even if it´s just a line! If this tutorial was helpful, please, give it a LIKE! and subscribe to my channel. You know where to follow me, the links are below. And see you, next Tuesday :) Subtitled by Grethel Trejo



According to some writers the concept of a distinct category of fine art is an invention of the early modern period in the West. Larry Shiner in his The Invention of Art: A Cultural History (2003) locates the invention in the 18th century: "There was a traditional “system of the arts” in the West before the eighteenth century. (Other traditional cultures still have a similar system.) In that system, an artist or artisan was a skilled maker or practitioner, a work of art was the useful product of skilled work, and the appreciation of the arts was integrally connected with their role in the rest of life. “Art”, in other words, meant approximately the same thing as the Greek word techne, or in English “skill”, a sense that has survived in phrases like “the art of war”, “the art of love”, and “the art of medicine.”[4] Similar ideas have been expressed by Paul Oskar Kristeller, Pierre Bourdieu, and Terry Eagleton (e.g. The Ideology of the Aesthetic), though the point of invention is often placed earlier, in the Italian Renaissance.

The decline of the concept of "fine art" is dated by George Kubler and others to around 1880, when it "fell out of fashion" as, by about 1900, folk art came to be regarded as of equal significance. Finally, ""fine art" was driven out of use by about 1920 by the exponents of industrial design ... who opposed a double standard of judgment for works of art and for useful objects".[5] This was among theoreticians; it has taken far longer for the art trade and popular opinion to catch up.

Cultural perspectives

The separation of arts and crafts that often exists in Europe and the US is not shared by all other cultures. In Japanese aesthetics, the activities of everyday life are depicted by integrating not only art with craft but man-made with nature. Traditional Chinese art distinguished within Chinese painting between the mostly landscape literati painting of scholar gentlemen and the artisans of the schools of court painting and sculpture. A high status was also given to many things that would be seen as craft objects in the West, in particular ceramics, jade carving, weaving, and embroidery. Latin American art was dominated by European colonialism until the 20th-century, when indigenous art began to reassert itself inspired by the Constructivist Movement, which reunited arts with crafts based upon socialist principles. In Africa, Yoruba art often has a political and spiritual function. As with the art of the Chinese, the art of the Yoruba is also often composed of what would ordinarily be considered in the West to be craft production. Some of its most admired manifestations, such as sculpture and textiles, fall in this category.

Visual arts

Two-dimensional works

Painting and drawing

Drawing is a form of visual expression and is one of the major forms of the visual arts. Common instruments include: graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoals, chalk, pastels, markers, stylus, or various metals like silverpoint. There are a number of subcategories of drawing, including cartooning and creating comics. There remains debate whether the following is considered a part of “drawing” as “fine art”: "doodling", drawing in the fog a shower and leaving an imprint on the bathroom mirror, or the surrealist method of "entopic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and the lines are then made between the dots.


Mosaics are images formed with small pieces of stone or glass, called tesserae. They can be decorative or functional. An artist who designs and makes mosaics is called a mosaic artist or a mosaicist.


Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print. Each print is considered an original, as opposed to a copy. The reasoning behind this is that the print is not a reproduction of another work of art in a different medium — for instance, a painting — but rather an image designed from inception as a print. An individual print is also referred to as an impression. Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix. Common types of matrices include: plates of metal, usually copper or zinc for engraving or etching; stone, used for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts, linoleum for linocuts and fabric in the case of screen-printing. But there are many other kinds, discussed below. Multiple nearly identical prints can be called an edition. In modern times each print is often signed and numbered forming a "limited edition." Prints may also be published in book form, as artist's books. A single print could be the product of one or multiple techniques.


Folio from a Koran (8–9th century), Abbasid Kufic Calligraphy
Folio from a Koran (8–9th century), Abbasid Kufic Calligraphy

Calligraphy is a type of visual art. A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner".[6] Modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters.[6] Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, improvised at the moment of writing.[7][8][9]


Ansel Adams, The Tetons and the Snake River, 1942
Ansel Adams, The Tetons and the Snake River, 1942

Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created to fulfill the creative vision of the artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism and commercial photography. Photojournalism visually communicates stories and ideas, mainly in print and digital media. Fine art photography is created primarily as an expression of the artist’s vision, but has also been important in advancing certain causes.

Three-dimensional works


Saint Basil's Cathedral from the Red Square (Moscow)
Saint Basil's Cathedral from the Red Square (Moscow)

Architecture is frequently considered a fine art, especially if its aesthetic components are spotlighted — in contrast to structural-engineering or construction-management components. Architectural works are perceived as cultural and political symbols and works of art. Historical civilizations often are known primarily through their architectural achievements. Such buildings as the pyramids of Egypt and the Roman Colosseum are cultural symbols, and are important links in public consciousness, even when scholars have discovered much about past civilizations through other means. Cities, regions and cultures continue to identify themselves with, and are known by, their architectural monuments.[10]


One field where "fine" remains a valid technical term is pottery, especially in archaeology. "Fine wares" are high-quality pottery, often painted, moulded or otherwise decorated, and in many periods distinguished from "coarse" wares, which are basic utilitarian pots used by the mass of the population, or in the kitchen rather than for more formal purposes.


Head Ife Terracotta, Nigeria, 12th–14th century
Head Ife Terracotta, Nigeria, 12th–14th century

Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping hard or plastic material, commonly stone (either rock or marble), metal, or wood. Some sculptures are created directly by carving; others are assembled, built up and fired, welded, molded, or cast. Because sculpture involves the use of materials that can be moulded or modulated, it is considered one of the plastic arts. The majority of public art is sculpture. Many sculptures together in a garden setting may be referred to as a sculpture garden.

Conceptual art

Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns. The inception of the term in the 1960s referred to a strict and focused practice of idea-based art that often defied traditional visual criteria associated with the visual arts in its presentation as text. However, through its association with the Young British Artists and the Turner Prize during the 1990s, its popular usage, particularly in the UK, developed as a synonym for all contemporary art that does not practice the traditional skills of painting and sculpture.[11]


Vasily Mate, Portrait of Alexander Pushkin (1899)

Poetry (the term derives from a variant of the Greek term, poiesis, "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as sound symbolism, phonaesthetics and metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning.[12]


Fela Kuti in 1970
Fela Kuti in 1970

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. The common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture (which are sometimes termed the "color" of a musical sound). Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces (such as songs without instrumental accompaniment) and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; "art of the Muses").

Performing Arts


Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic, and to music,[13] used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting. Dance is also used to describe methods of nonverbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, patterns of behaviour such as a mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain musical genres. In sports, gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are dance disciplines while the Katas of the martial arts are often compared to dances.


Modern Western theatre is dominated by realism, including drama and comedy. Another popular Western form is musical theatre. Classical forms of theatre, including Greek and Roman drama, classic English drama (Shakespeare and Marlowe included), and French theater (Molière included), are still performed today. In addition, performances of classic Eastern forms such as Noh and Kabuki can be found in the West, although with less frequency.


Fine arts film is a term that encompasses motion pictures and the field of film as a fine art form. A fine arts movie theater is a venue, usually a building, for viewing such movies. Films are produced by recording images from the world with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or special effects. Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating — or indoctrinating — citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue.

Cinematography is the discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images for the cinema. It is closely related to the art of still photography, though many additional issues arise when both the camera and elements of the scene may be in motion.

Independent filmmaking often takes place outside of Hollywood, or other major studio systems. An independent film (or indie film) is a film initially produced without financing or distribution from a major movie studio. Creative, business, and technological reasons have all contributed to the growth of the indie film scene in the late 20th and early 21st century.


  • Avant-garde music is frequently considered both a performing art and a fine art.
  • Electronic Media —perhaps the newest medium for fine art, since it utilizes modern technologies such as computers from production to presentation. Includes, amongst others, video, digital photography, digital printmaking and interactive pieces.
  • Textiles, including quilt art and "wearable" or "pre-wearable" creations, frequently reach the category of fine art objects, sometimes like part of an art display.
  • Western art (or Classical) music is a performing art frequently considered to be fine art.

Academic study



  • Kyoto City University of Arts, Japan Offers graduate degrees in Painting, Printmaking, Concept and Media Planning, Sculpture, and Design (Visual, Environmental, and Product), Crafts (Ceramics, Dying and Weaving, and Urushi Lacquering); also the Science of Art and Conservation.
  • Tokyo University of the Arts The art school offers graduate degrees in Painting (Japanese and Oil), Sculpture, Crafts, Design, Architecture, Intermedia Art, Aesthetics and Art History. The music and film schools are separate.
  • Korean National University Music, Drama, Dance, Film, Traditional Arts (Korean Music, Dance and Performing Arts), Design, Architecture, Art Theory, Visual Arts Dept. of Fine Arts (painting, sculpture, photography, 3D laser holography, Video, interactivity, pottery and glass)
  • The Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts is a Chinese national university based in Guangzhou which provides Fine Arts and Design Doctoral, Master and bachelor's degrees .
  • Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata is a Fine Art college in the Indian city of Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts is a prestigious fine arts college originally founded in 1937 by a group of young classical musicians in Beirut, in 1988 it was merged with University of Balamand. ALBA is considered a Pioneering Institute in the region with exceptional educational expertise and world renown lecturers and instructors.[14]


South America

  • Brazil: The Institute for the Arts in Brazilia has departments for theater, visual arts, industrial design, and music.[15]

United States

In the United States an academic course of study in fine art may include the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and/or a Master of Fine Arts degree — traditionally the terminal degree in the field. Doctor of Fine Arts degrees —earned, as opposed to honorary degrees— have begun to emerge at some US academic institutions, however. Major schools of art in the US:


  1. ^ The Project Gutenberg EBook of Encyclopædia Britannica. 10 (11 ed.). 1911.
  2. ^ "Fine art | Define Fine art at". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  3. ^ "Aesthetic Judgment". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 22 July 2010.
  4. ^ Clowney, David. "A Third System of the Arts? An Exploration of Some Ideas from Larry Shiner's The Invention of Art: A Cultural History". Contemporary Aesthetics. Retrieved May 7, 2013.
  5. ^ Kubler, George (1962). The Shape of Time : Remarks on the History of Things. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Kubler, pp. 14-15, google books
  6. ^ a b Mediavilla, C. (1996). Calligraphy. Scirpus Publications.
  7. ^ Pott, G. (2006). Kalligrafie: Intensiv Training. Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz.
  8. ^ Pott, G. (2005). Kalligrafie:Erste Hilfe und Schrift-Training mit Muster-Alphabeten. Verlag Hermann Schmidt Mainz.
  9. ^ *Zapf, H. (2007). Alphabet Stories: A Chronicle of Technical Developments. Rochester: Cary Graphic Arts Press.
  10. ^ The Tower Bridge, the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum are representative of the buildings used on advertising brochures.
  11. ^ Conceptual art Tate online glossary Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  12. ^ "Poetry". Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2013.
  13. ^ Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. "britannica". britannica. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  14. ^ "Alexis Boutros, le fondateur de l'Alba  - Historique - À propos de l'Alba - Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (Alba) - Université de Balamand".
  15. ^ "Institute for the Arts, Brazilia". Archived from the original on 2014-07-22.
  16. ^ "Yale University School of Art". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  17. ^ "Division of Fine Arts RISD". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  18. ^ "School of the Art Institute of Chicago". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  19. ^ "UCLA Department of Art". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  20. ^ "California Institute of the Arts Programs". 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  21. ^ "Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts". Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  22. ^ "Welcome to Cranbrook Academy of Art". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  23. ^ "Maryland Institute College of Art". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  24. ^ "B.F.A. Program". The Ailey School.
  25. ^ "Columbia University School of the Arts". Retrieved 2014-03-13.
  26. ^ "Still 'best reputation' for Juilliard at 100". The Washington Times. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
  27. ^ Frank Rich (2003). Juilliard. Harry N. Abrams. p. 10. ISBN 0810935368. Juilliard grew up with both the country and its burgeoning cultural capital of New York to become an internationally recognized synonym for the pinnacle of artistic achievement.
  28. ^ "The Top 25 Drama Schools in the World". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 15, 2013.

Further reading

This page was last edited on 11 February 2019, at 20:36
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