Art;10 Facts You Must Know

Art. It is a way of expressing information. Art adds more possibilities to abstract, conceptualize, and communicate than natural or formal languages ​​allow. Such information does not have to be subject to limits. It can transmit ideas or feelings, limit itself to producing an aesthetic effect or even express perceptions and sensations that are not otherwise explained.

Art is a specific form of social consciousness and human activity, consisting of a reflection of reality through artistic images; it constitutes one of the most important procedures of aesthetic apprehension in the world .

It is common for many currents, movements and artistic styles to understand what art is from their own perspective, which adds difficulty to the definition of this word. Despite this breadth of its possibilities, art is often closely associated with the concept of beauty.


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  • 1 Etymology and history
    • 1 Arts and crafts
  • 2 Content and form
  • 3 Philosophical conceptions of the Arts
    • 1 The Fine Arts
  • 4 Art for art’s sake
  • 5 Art and aesthetics
  • 6 Character in Art
  • 7 Popular character of art
  • 8 Style
  • 9 Chronology
  • 10 Regional art
  • 11 Not chronologically classified
  • 12 Sources

Etymology and history

The source that gave rise to artistic activity as well as the preceding process thanks to which man’s feelings and aesthetic needs were formed, was work.

The first traces of primitive art correspond to the late Paleolithic era , approximately between 40 and 20,000 years ago. In primitive peoples, the link between art and work is direct; then it becomes increasingly complex and mediate. At the base of the subsequent historical development of art are the changes in the economic-social structure of society. The people have always played an immense role in the development of art.

The various connections of art with the people have been consolidated under the aspect of one of the particularities of the first: its national character. As a way of reflecting the social being, art has a lot in common with the other phenomena of the spiritual life of society: with science , with technique, with political ideology, with morals .

On the other hand, art has several determining features that distinguish it from all other forms of social consciousness.. The specific object of art is constituted by man’s aesthetic attitudes towards reality; its objective lies in the artistic apprehension of the world. This explains why at the center of any artistic work, man always appears as the bearer of aesthetic relationships. The artist assimilates and reworks the art object (life in all its diversity) in a specific form of reflection: in artistic images that form a unity -in reciprocal penetration- of the sensory and the logical, of the concrete and the abstract, of the individual and the general, of the phenomenon and the essence, etc. Artistic images are produced in the process of the artist’s creative activity on the basis of knowledge of life and consummate mastery. The object of art and the way in which reality is reflected condition the specific function of art, which is to satisfy the aesthetic needs of people by creating splendid works, capable of providing man with joy and pleasure, capable of enriching him spiritually and, at the same time, to develop, to awaken in him the artist who in the specific sphere of his activity can create taking into account the laws of beauty and bring beauty to life. Through this univocal aesthetic function of art, its cognitive value is revealed and its powerful ideological and educational action is exercised over man. able to enrich him spiritually and, at the same time, to develop, to awaken in him the artist who in the specific sphere of his activity can create taking into account the laws of beauty and bring beauty to life. Through this univocal aesthetic function of art, its cognitive value is revealed and its powerful ideological and educational action is exercised over man. able to enrich him spiritually and, at the same time, to develop, to awaken in him the artist who in the specific sphere of his activity can create taking into account the laws of beauty and bring beauty to life. Through this univocal aesthetic function of art, its cognitive value is revealed and its powerful ideological and educational action is exercised over man.

The history of art is the history of how the artistic reflection of reality has been deepening, of how man’s aesthetic knowledge has been expanded and enriched, of how he has increasingly transformed the world. The progress of art is inextricably linked to the development of society, to changes in its class structure. Although the general line of the evolution of art is the one that shows how the means of the artistic reflection of reality deepen, such evolution is not regular. Thus, already in the Greco-Roman world, art reaches a high level and in a certain sense acquires the value of a norm.

Arts and crafts

It is at the end of the 15th century , during the Italian Renaissance , when for the first time the distinction is made between artisan and artist (crafts and fine arts) and, equivalently, between artisan (producer of multiple works), and artist (creator of unique works). It is also in this period when an own language is elaborated to differentiate the external form from the formal representation, the liberal arts (the current fine arts) being classified into three trades: architects, sculptors and painters.

Content and form

Aspects of art or an artistic work that mutually condition each other and in which the main role belongs to the content. The content of art is formed by the multifaceted reality in its aesthetic peculiarity, first of all by man, by human relations, by the life of society in all that is concrete. The form is the internal organization, the concrete structure of the artistic work, which is created by applying specific resources of expression and representation to highlight and capture the content.

The basic elements of the content of a work of art are the theme and the idea. The theme reveals the circle of vital phenomena that are reflected and interpreted in the given work. The idea expresses the essence of the phenomena and the contradictions of reality reproduced, the figurative and emotional assessment of them from an aesthetic ideal leading man to certain aesthetic, moral and political conclusions.

The form of the works of art is extremely varied. They belong to its fundamental elements: the plot, the artistic language, the composition, the figurative-expressive material resources (word, rhyme, rhythm, intonation, harmony, color, style, line, drawing, chiaroscuro, volume, tectonics, passing, setting on stage, film montage, etc.). In contrast to formalism, which separates form from content, and naturalism , which identifies them, Marxist aesthetics considers that one of the important criteria of artistic value lies in the indissoluble unity of content and form, in the correspondence of content and the perfect shape.

Philosophical conceptions of the Arts

Stable forms of the existence of art historically constituted: architecture , applied and decorative art, painting, sculpture , engraving , music , dance , literature , theater and cinema .

The causes that have ultimately determined the appearance and development of the arts in the course of human life have been the diversity of processes and phenomena in the real world and the differences in procedures and objectives linked to the aesthetic reflection of reality already the transformation of it. The particularities of these arts are determined by the specificity of the objects whose reflection is art, by the procedures used to reproduce reality, by the artistic objectives established and by the material resources used. hand to create the artistic image.

In literature, for example, the aesthetic reproduction of the world is carried out by means of the word; in painting, through visually perceptible images of the chromatic richness of the world; in music, through musical tones; in theater and cinema, through the shaping of the acts of the characters and the dramatic conflicts that appear at its base, and this thanks to the performance of living people, the actors. The fundamental peculiarity of architecture and applied and decorative art lies in the unity that utilitarian and aesthetic principles form in their works. In theory and in practice, different classifications of the arts are known. However, they are all conventional. In artistic doing, the interconnection of the different arts is of great importance,

The beautiful Arts

Charles Batteaux , in his 1746 work Les Beaux-Arts réduits un même principe , coined the term “fine arts”, which he originally applied to dance, floriculture, sculpture, music, painting and poetry, later adding the architecture and eloquence. Subsequently, the list would undergo changes according to the different authors who would add or remove gear to this list. Ricciotto Canudo , the first cinema theorist, was the first to describe cinema as the seventh art in 1911 .

Currently the following list is usually considered:

  • The first six are Architecture, Dance , Sculpture , Music , Painting and Poetry ( Literature ) according to the classification used in ancient Greece .
  • The seventh is Cinema.
  • The eighth is Photography, although it is alleged to be an extension of painting.
  • The ninth is the Comic Strip, although it is alleged that it is a bridge between painting and cinema.

Some consider other arts on the list, such as television, fashion, advertising, or video games.

Art for art

(“Pure art”). Principle of idealistic aesthetics presented as opposed to the realistic demand that art have an ideological content and a party spirit. Its theoretical sources go back to Kant’s thesis on the disinterest of aesthetic judgment for the practical. It reaches its maximum diffusion in the XIX – XX centuries , when the bourgeois esthetes, in the fight against realism , decidedly advocate the “character of the end in itself” intrinsic to art, its “absolute character”, claiming that art is only at the service of pure aesthetic enjoyment.

The denial of the cognitive meaning of art, its ideological and educational value, as well as its dependence on the practical needs of the time, inevitably leads to affirming the artist’s “freedom” from society, his total irresponsibility towards the people that is, it leads to extreme individualism.

Before the 1917 revolution , under the slogan of “pure art” representatives of artistic groups such as “The Art World”, “The Blue Rose”, “The Jack of Golds” and others demonstrated in Russia . With its declarations on «pure art», on an imaginary apoliticism, bourgeois art conceals its reactionary orientation. Russian artists oppose their ideological principles of service to the interests of the people and communism against the fallacious bourgeois slogan of the “independence” of literature with respect to society and the false conceptions of “art for art’s sake” .

Art and aesthetics

According to Arnold Hauser , “works of art are provocations with which we polemicize” rather than explain them to ourselves. We interpret them according to our own purposes and aspirations, we transfer a meaning whose origin is in our ways of life and mental habits. We “of all art with which we have an authentic relationship make modern art . 

Today, art has established sets of relationships that allow the work of art, the artist or creator and the recipient or recipient public to be included within a single interaction. Hegel, in his Aesthetics, tried to define the significance of this relationship saying that: «artistic beauty is higher than the beauty of nature, since it changes the illusory forms of this imperfect world, where the truth hides behind false appearances to reach a higher truth created by the spirit » .

Seeking the truth behind appearances! Can there be a higher and more attractive purpose? Art thus becomes the prolongation of action, since it does not try to imitate or reproduce, but translates a metasensitive reality to put the spiritual in daily experience.

Art is also a game with sensible appearances, colors, shapes, volumes, sounds, etc. It is a free game where an appearance that does not pretend to deceive us is created from nothing or from little more than nothing. It is a pleasant game that satisfies our eternal needs for symmetry, rhythm or surprise. The surprise that for Charles Baudelaire is the origin of Poetry . Thus, according to Kant, aesthetic pleasure derives less from the intensity and diversity of sensations than from the apparently spontaneous way in which they manifest a deep unity, sensitive in their reflection, but not conceptualizable.

For Ernst Gombrich , «Art does not really exist. There are only artists. » . Later, in the Introduction of his work, The Story of Art tells us that there is nothing wrong with us delighting in the painting of a landscape because it reminds us of our house or in a portrait because it reminds us of a friend, since as men who we are, when we look at a work of art we are subjected to a set of memories that for better or for worse influence our tastes.

Following Gombrich himself, we see how something similar happens to artists: in the portrait of his son Nicolás , the great Flemish painter Rubens, he represented him beautiful since he surely felt proud of the child’s appearance and wanted to convey his passion for father as well as artist; in the portrait of his mother , the great German painter Dürer, he drew it with the same devotion and love that Rubens felt for his son, but here we see a faithful study of the face of an old woman, there is no natural beauty but Dürer, with His enormous sincerity created a great work of art.

Character in Art

Artistic incarnation of the social, psychic and other characteristics of the hero of the work, characteristics that express the human type and are manifested in the individual image of the acts. For realistic art, the faithful reproduction of the “typical characters in typical circumstances” that surround people and compel them to act in a certain way, acquires singular importance. The typical characters in art are concrete men in their peculiar, complex and contradictory development. Art also demands from the artist the aesthetic determination of each of the characters created by him.

Popular character of art

Aesthetic category that expresses and generalizes a set of various relationships between art and the people, which are manifested, above all, in the fact that authentic art directly or indirectly embodies the aesthetic ideals of the people, the conception that the latter it has justice and beauty, the ” pathos ” of the revolutionary struggle of the people for freedom and happiness.

The popular character of art is a historical concept; Its content is determined by the concrete conditions and stages of the development of society, by the place and role that art plays in it. In Gorki’s words , the town is the first artist in time, and also for the beauty and genius of the work, it is the true forger of world culture. Artistic creation constitutes an important sphere of activity for the working masses. The collective work of the people is the base and permanent source of professional art; The best artistic works extract themes, ideas and images from it.

Unlike the formalist and naturalistic currents, realist art has popular character as its fundamental distinctive feature. This character is revealed in the fact that the artistic work is imbued with popular wisdom and reflects the people’s struggle for their liberation. All the great artists belong to the people, because with their work – sometimes without realizing it – they help the masses in their struggle.

«Art belongs to the people. With its deep roots, it must sink into the very core of the broad masses of workers. It must be understandable … for the masses and loved by them »


This idea of Lenin constitutes one of the fundamental principles of socialist art. The thesis of the Marxist-Leninist aesthetic about the unity of the popular character of art and its party spirit has found profound and multifaceted elucidation in various decisions of the CPSU .


Stable community, historically formed, of the system of images, of the means and procedures of artistic expression, community conditioned by a unit of aesthetic-ideological and historical-social content. Such unity is achieved on the basis of a certain method of creation.

The style reflects both the economic and social conditions of the life of society and the peculiarities and traditions of this or that people. This is, for example, the archaic, Hellenistic, Romanesque and Gothic styles , the Renaissance , Baroque , Rococo styles ., Empire style, modern style, etc. Each style manifests itself with maximum fullness in certain arts. A new style emerges, an expression of profound social changes, when a relationship is established, on a new principle, between artistic form and ideological content. The bourgeois formalist aesthetic either conceives the idea of ​​style too broadly, identifying it with the artistic method (which leads to reducing realism to one of the styles), or it limits it to the limits of the creative way of this or that artist . Nor are statements about a certain “style of the age” correct, regardless of both the world view and the artistic method. In each era there are different artistic methods, and within the limits of these methods different styles are developed, which in turn, they are cultivated by artists who have different creative ways and lines. The diversity of styles and manners constitutes a characteristic feature of socialist realism.


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