We explain what art is, the history of its origin and the types that exist. Also, what are its general characteristics and importance.
Art or arts is called a set of human activities of a creative, communicative and subjective nature , which pursue an aesthetic purpose, that is: they try to move, produce beauty, awaken feelings or reflections, all through the manipulation of materials of diverse nature.
One of the most important features of art is its ability to last over time , allowing later generations (or even later cultures ) to know something about the history , beliefs, language and/or sensibilities of the society and time. in which it was created. In this way, art is also a historical element.
Those who engage in the creation of art are known as artists . There are also those who specialize in the interpretation, classification and study of art , called art critics .
There is no single and definitive concept of art, since the question about what art is is part of the explorations that art itself poses. In any case, art is an important part of human culture. It is a concept that changes over time , allowing the inclusion of new forms, content and techniques to what is known at the time.
Currently, the concept of art comes from a generalization of what was called "Fine Arts" in the eighteenth century , to distinguish them from crafts and popular manifestations. This concept, already in disuse, included literature, sculpture, painting, music, dance and architecture. In the 20th century , cinema, photography and comics were incorporated.
The first artistic manifestations of the human being date from prehistory , when the first tribes of Homo sapiens (and perhaps of Homo neanderthaliensis ) decorated the interior of the caves in which they lived with mixtures of pigments and animal fat.
Those first forms of cave art were drawings of totem animals, hunting scenes or impressions of their own hands , who knows if for narrative, shamanic or ritual purposes. Many of those paintings are preserved to this day.
However, the concept of art itself did not always exist , but rather emerged in classical antiquity , especially in the great cultures, such as the Chinese or the Greco -Roman . The latter was also the first to produce theoretical or critical texts regarding art, such as Aristotle's Poetics , for example, founder of literary criticism.
Plutarch's studies also come from the Greco-Roman culture , who distinguished for the first time between "useful arts" (such as current sciences ) and "pleasant arts" (such as current arts).
In ancient times, especially Greco-Roman, the arts were associated with divine influence . The ancient Greeks had specific muses for each form of art, to whom they attributed the necessary inspiration for their exercise.
During the Middle Ages , in the West , the arts began their separation from what was called artificium , that is, "mechanical" or "vulgar" arts , distinguishing between what was later called crafts ( ceramics , goldsmithing, etc.) and what which was called “liberal” arts, which were supposedly the arts of the spirit. During this period the arts were at the service of Christianity .
This concept was accentuated after the sixteenth century , after the artistic and philosophical outbreak of the European Renaissance . Since then, it began to be considered that the artistic profession (especially painting, architecture and sculpture) required something more than simply craft and skill: it required a certain artistic genius. These were then called “design” arts.
Thus , in the 18th century, the concept of “Fine Arts” arose . The great diversification and liberalization of the arts in the 19th and 20th centuries resulted in the consideration of art as the pinnacle of humanity's expressive genius, a more or less refined way of recording our passage through the world.
There are many ways to classify art, such as periods, cultures of origin or, the main one, according to the nature of its representation. Thus, we can talk about:
Traditionally, nine artistic disciplines are recognized, also called "Fine Arts", which are:
In any case, works of art endure over time and acquire more and more possible interpretations as generations know them, version them and spread them.
In this way , it is guaranteed that the work can continue to be exhibited and is preserved for later generations. It is usual for each museum to have its own team of restorers.
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