Clockwise from upper left: an 1887 self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh; a female ancestor figure by a Chokwe artist; detail from The Birth of Venus (c. 1484–1486) by Sandro Botticelli; and an Okinawan Shisa lion

Art is a diverse range of human activity, and resulting product, that involves creative or imaginative talent expressive of technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas.[1][2][3]

There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art,[4][5][6] and its interpretation has varied greatly throughout history and across cultures. In the Western tradition, the three classical branches of visual art are painting, sculpture, and architecture.[7] Theatre, dance, and other performing arts, as well as literature, music, film and other media such as interactive media, are included in a broader definition of the arts.[1][8] Until the 17th century, art referred to any skill or mastery and was not differentiated from crafts or sciences. In modern usage after the 17th century, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, the fine arts are separated and distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the decorative or applied arts.

The nature of art and related concepts, such as creativity and interpretation, are explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics.[9] The resulting artworks are studied in the professional fields of art criticism and the history of art.

  1. ^ a b "Art: definition". Oxford Dictionaries. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  2. ^ "art". Merriam-Websters Dictionary. Archived from the original on 30 August 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Conceptual Art | Definition of Conceptual Art by Oxford Dictionary on also meaning of Conceptual Art". Lexico Dictionaries | English. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  4. ^ Stephen Davies (1991). Definitions of Art. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-9794-0.
  5. ^ Robert Stecker (1997). Artworks: Definition, Meaning, Value. Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN 978-0-271-01596-5.
  6. ^ Noël Carroll, ed. (2000). Theories of Art Today. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-16354-9.
  7. ^ Vasari, Giorgio (18 December 2007). The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307432391. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Art, n. 1". OED Online. Oxford University Press. December 2011. Archived from the original on 11 January 2008. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  9. ^ Kennick, W. E. (1979). Art and Philosophy: Readings in Aesthetics. New York (NY): St. Martin's Press. pp. xi–xiii. ISBN 978-0-312-05391-8. OCLC 1064878696.

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