Defining the History of Visual Art
Art is a broad spectrum of human activities which involve an attempt to creatively express beauty, technical capability, aesthetic sense, emotional ability, or other specific, intangible thoughts. In most cases, the term “art” refers to visual art, but it can also include literature, dance, music, architecture, painting, and literature. There are many different types of art. Modern art refers to the artistic endeavors of contemporary artists. Postmodern art seeks to explore and record the postmodern condition.
Visual art includes painting, photography, and sculpture. Printmaking and sculpture are forms of visual art. Film-makers produce motion pictures and television series, while authors produce literary works and music. Photography is used to make images and to document events.
A further broadening of the definition of art is the inclusion of theater as a separate field. Many theater productions are actually made of the work of art of various other artists. Since this definition of visual arts is very broad, it excludes many fine arts, including ceramics, metalwork, glass, woodwork, photography, and furniture.
The field of painting is probably the oldest of the different forms of art. Paintings date from the earliest prehistoric period. In the Neolithic period, man began to make decorative images on cave walls. The art of painting has developed in many different forms throughout history. One of the most popular images of mankind from prehistoric times is the painting of abstract objects.
The definition of fine art has become even more vague in recent years. Since the mid-twentieth century, it has been widely accepted that any work of visual arts which makes a significant contribution to the culture of a country or region can be seen as having artistic merit. This expanded definition of fine art allows for more artistic merit than was previously the case. Some examples of recent and expanded artistic merit include music, cinema, television, and even fashion.
The creation of works of art has been an ongoing attempt by human beings to define and express their creative nature. Artistic creations range across a wide spectrum from the highly realistic to the highly abstract. From the creation of photographic images to the creation of magnificent works of architecture, the history of visual art has always been a history of struggle and conflict. The visual arts will continue to develop and expand in all directions until the final frontier of the human mind is found.