What is art?

What is art?What is art? Simple question! To uncover the meaning of this concept, it is necessary to describe the various forms assumed by art from prehistoric times to the present day.

Statuette of a woman with a child
Statuette of a woman with a child
Wood, 54 cm (height).
Côte d’Ivoire,
Museum of Arts of Africa and Oceania, Paris

t is created by human hands. People whom we call artists, sculptors, architects, creating paintings, sculpture, architecture, and we call all these “works of art”. Great artists such as Dürer and Rubens, inspired by what they see in the surrounding reality, but do not copy it, and recreate.

The special view of reality

It is very rare that two different artists alike have seen the same object. In that case, how can you claim that one picture is more like reality than the other? It all depends on what the artist wanted to express. For example, we are often surprised that the portraits of Pablo Picasso’s eyes are depicted under the nose, and the mouth behind the ears. And the artist in such a way to convey emotions or someone else’s suffering. There is no more difficult task than to convey feelings. To show the “spiritual confusion,” why not draw a person “in a mess”, say, under the eyes nose and mouth behind the ears? Art never exhaust the whole of reality, it displays a certain side of it, but great artists see in this more than others.

Art: the century and people

Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
A man lifting weights.
Study ok.1615 city,
paper, charcoal pencil 43.2 x 54.8 cm.
Louvre, Paris

The major museums of the world are stored works created in different countries and at different times. Of course, each country’s own culture better known: in French museums more works of French authors, museums Japan – Japanese. But the story is a fine art and even dive into the depths of the ages, and journey across the Earth. It innumerable contacts of different civilizations in the Indian art was influenced by Greek, Impressionist painters have a lot of Japanese prints. And the art of XX century absorbed the legacy of all time. Although we have a work of art exist outside of time, each of them gives us a message from the ancestors, the sum of knowledge, emotions and ideas that they would like to convey to future generations.


Pablo Picasso Study for the painting "Avignon girl".  Spring 1907., Oil on cardboard, 53.5 x 36.2 cm. Picasso Museum, Paris
Pablo Picasso Study for the painting “Avignon girl”. Spring 1907., Oil on cardboard, 53.5 x 36.2 cm. Picasso Museum, Paris

In China and India, in America or Europe – every civilization has created its own architectural style, consistent with the local natural conditions and available materials. Usually each style meet its technical features: columns in Egypt and ancient Greece, medieval stone arches (first in the Romanesque and then – in the Gothic art), the use of metal structures at the end of the XIX century. Today, new materials in the possession of the architect (cement, concrete, glass), allowing him to build a building, the proportions of which would violate both the laws of harmony