What are the fine arts?

We explain what the Fine Arts are and how these forms of artistic realization are classified. History and main characteristics.

  1. What are the fine arts?

The Fine Arts refer to the main forms of artistic realization or aesthetic representation historically cultivated by mankind, and considered “pure” forms of art that employ techniques, materials and procedures different from each other. Each of the seven, however, encompasses a multitude of recognized practices, styles and trends.

These arts are traditionally part of the lasting and transcendental elements of humanity : those considered worthy of a central place in high culture , both as documents or testimonies of an era, a way of feeling, or as symbols that concern a specific conception of the world and of existence.

Traditionally, six forms of Fine Arts are recognized: painting , music, literature , dance and sculpture . Subsequently, cinema (the seventh art), architecture and graphic narrative or sequential art (the ninth art) were added.

It must be said that the concept of Fine Arts is linked to the idea of ​​the museum and historical art , and not so much of contemporary art, which has put the concept in check or in question. Today, art is viewed from diverse perspectives, given that the traditional notion of Fine Arts has often been accused of being ethnocentric (privileges the European conception of art) and culturally exclusive.

  1. History of the Fine Arts

The ancient Greeks studied artistic representation (especially Aristotle) ​​and understood it in two opposable categories: the superior and the minor . The former were higher, poetically powerful and transcendental, while the latter were more vulgar and simple. This distinction was supposed from the senses used to perceive beauty (sight and hearing were the upper senses).

However, the term Fine Arts was used properly from the eighteenth century to group the artistic practices valued at the time and try to unify the many theories that were about beauty, style or taste. Initially, the declaration and the oratory were included, but they were replaced in time .

  1. How are the Fine Arts classified?

Fine Arts - Music
Music seeks to achieve beauty through rhythms, melodies and sounds.

The classical division of Fine Arts is established based on the materials you use and the way you use them, as follows:

  • Architecture . It uses the various construction materials to make homes, buildings and urban spaces that are beautiful and functional, aesthetic and habitable at the same time.
  • Dance . It uses the human body and musical rhythm as a form of expression of artistic content.
  • Sculpture . Use stone, clay or various solid materials to achieve three-dimensional artistic representations, whether figurative or abstract.
  • Painting . It uses pigments obtained from various natural and artificial sources, to aesthetically represent reality through color and shapes on canvases and other surfaces.
  • Music . Through various instruments built by the human being , it seeks to achieve beauty through rhythms, melodies and harmonically orchestrated sounds to arouse an aesthetic experience in listening.
  • Literature . Using language as a raw material, he composes stories, theatrical performances or poetic descriptions that can then be read and aesthetically enjoyed.
  • Film . Using complex technical instruments, it captures light, sound and time itself in sequences of simulated or real events that make up a story, a speech or an audiovisual representation of reality.
  1. Characteristics of the Fine Arts

The Fine Arts are diverse, but they assume a uniform set of characteristics:

  • They aspire to beauty . In whatever way and through whatever techniques and materials, but the Fine Arts seek to communicate a specific experience of the beautiful, the harmonic, the transcendent or the deep.
  • They are universal . In principle, works of art would have to be appreciable by all mankind, regardless of the particularities of their origin, religion or sex.
  • They are durable . Works of art should last over time and be able to communicate their content to future generations, whether in museums, reproductions or specialized media for it.

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