We explain what fine arts are, why they are important and some examples. In addition, its characteristics and what is street art.

What are the fine arts?

The seven forms of artistic realization or artistic representation of beauty are known as fine arts . They are considered “pure” forms of art , which involve different techniques, methods, tools and materials, and each one can encompass a series of similar artistic practices.

The fine arts are part of the transcendental and lasting values of humanity , that is, those that remain despite the passage of time , and that therefore are considered worthy of occupying a central place in our culture , either as testimonies of an era and a feeling, or as very central symbols in the human conception of the universe .

At present, the concept of fine arts has been much discussed , as it is opposed to the "lower" or popular arts, which for some are considered less important, often through ethnocentric, segregationist or even racist criteria. This has motivated a change in the paradigm of art that, today, contemplates artistic manifestations of various kinds.

Origin of the term Fine arts

The term fine arts was used for the first time in 1746 , in a book by the French philosopher and rhetorician Charles Batteux in his work Beaux-Arts réduits à un même principe ("The fine arts reduced to the same principle").

In this book the theorist tried to unify the various considerations around beauty and aesthetic taste that prevailed in his time, thus giving birth to the concept of fine arts.

List of fine arts

List of fine arts

In Batteux's original list of fine arts there were only six : dance, sculpture, painting, music, poetry, and later eloquence. However, the latter would be removed from the list later.

A later division distinguished between the higher arts, those that were appreciated by the higher senses ( sight and hearing) ; and minor arts, those appreciated through the minor senses (taste, smell, and touch ).

The current list of fine arts contains seven : architecture, dance, sculpture, music, painting, literature, and cinematography.

Importance of fine arts

Importance of fine arts

The fine arts are considered, as we have said, a vehicle of values, imaginations and central stories in universal culture.

For this reason, they play a vital role in the education of future generations , forging in them notions of citizenship, sensitivity, imagination and ethics that will guarantee a better human quality in the future. The companies are incomplete without this model of education ethical, emotional and spiritual.

Furthermore, in many third world societies , fine arts such as music protect vulnerable populations (especially youth) from bad influences and provide them with a passion to counteract the socio-economic difficulties of their lives .

Fine arts vs. Popular art

Often the idea of fine arts or high arts is accused of being elitist or even ethnocentric, that is, it is an idea that considers as art only those expressions considered valuable by a more affluent socioeconomic class , which values some cultures (such as the European) above others (such as the pre-Columbian American or the African ).

Examples of fine arts

Examples of fine arts

Some examples of fine arts can be:

  • Painting . Paintings by Picasso such as Guernica , classics by painters such as Velázquez and Las Meninas , or abstract art such as Enchanted Forest by Jackson Pollock.
  • Sculpture . Auguste Rodin sculptures as The Thinker , the spheres of Gego or examples classics like Piety of Michelangelo .
  • Music . Beethoven's symphonies, such as the 5th or 9th, Debussy's twelve-tone (avant-garde) music as Prelude to a Faun's Nap .
  • Literature . From classic epic works such as the Iliad orHomer's Odyssey , toclassic novels such asCervantes's Don Quixote or some more modern ones, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez .
  • Architecture . The great buildings of humanity such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Roman Colosseum, or some more modern such as the Empire State Building.
  • Dance . A good example is the ballet works involving various artists and many dancers, such asTchaikovsky's Swan Lake , Beguichev and Geltser, as well as the Bolshoi Theater of 1875, the first to put it on stage.
  • Film . The great works of classical cinema such as Casablanca (director Michael Curtiz) or Andrei Rublev (director Andrei Tarkovski), but also contemporary works such as those awarded by contemporary academies, such as Blade Runner (director Ridley Scott).

The eighth art

The eighth art

Photography is usually considered the eighth art . Works of aesthetic and / or documentary value such as those by Josef Koudelka, Henry Cartier-Bresson or Patty Smith demonstrate the use of the camera to capture a particular moment or perspective in a poetic, lasting and valuable way for humanity.

Follow in: Photography .

The ninth art

The comic, comic strip , graphic novel, or sequential art - there is much discussion regarding the appropriate name for this art form - is often considered the ninth art, despite the fact that it historically predates film or photography, for example.

But its origin linked to political satire, humor and journalism (if not to the youth imaginary), did not have the legitimacy that today is beginning to gain as a valuable artistic form that explores stories and perspectives from sequences of images framed.

Other possible arts

Other possible arts

There is discussion about the possibility of considering as art forms to the television , the advertising , video games, origami, tattoos and other forms of discourse capable of achieving expressive and poetic forces of universal interest that transcend their utilitarianism and can send a message to the rest of humanity.

The Canon

The “canon” is understood as the set of works considered by tradition and critics as a recognized and accepted central part of the fine arts .

It is a concept in constant debate, which changes over time and makes it possible to add works that were initially excluded or, also, to expel works that were considered central to universal art at the time.

The street art

The street art

An unrecognized form of art that, however, is strongly imposed in the contemporary aesthetic imagination is that of street art.

These are illustrations in stencil, graffiti or on stickers and posters fixed with glue to the walls of the street, taking advantage of urban design and road messages to introduce a discourse and a reflection on the order of the political, poetic and subversive.

The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable sources and recommendations from technology experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.


Abubakr Conner brings a diverse skill set to our team, and covers everything from analysis to the culture of food and drink. He Believes: "Education is the most powerful weapon that exists to change the world." .

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