In general, the term “ART” means the application of the arts to any human activity. Art is often defined as being creative, exercising an artistic sense, or using imagination and skill to stimulate and encourage creativity. It can also mean the manipulation of physical tools such as paints, chalk, and even crayons. The most popular forms of art include visual art, literature, music, and dance.
Visual art generally refers to the visual arts including motion pictures, sculpture, and photographic works. Varying forms of visual art exist, such as painting, sculpture, photographic expression, and visual non-verbal communication. Most visual art is self-expression through the use of the senses. The word “art” itself often has various definitions, most commonly in regards to visual art and its aesthetic, emotional, and/or creative responses towards objects and situations.
Aesthetics, on the other hand, is the study of beauty. Beauty is typically considered to be the pleasing or lovely appearance of things, but it is also supposed to be a quality of a work of art or of the artistic sensibilities of the creator. An aesthetic evaluation of a work of art may be defined as the judgment of how an object appears to the viewer given the knowledge and information about the artist and the period of its creation. Beauty is the aesthetic quality that appeals most to human beings, and thus has great importance in the art world.
Aesthetic appreciation of art consists of the ability to distinguish between the beautiful and the ordinary. Experts in the field try to establish what makes a work of art beautiful, and what constitutes an aesthetic or emotional response in a work of art. Experts in the field try to define beauty through physical, psychological, cultural, and other scientific criteria. They discuss the factors that influence the emotional response one feels toward a work of art, and they attempt to evaluate the emotional reaction from a visual or auditory perspective. In many cases, the emotional response people have toward a work of art can be correlated with their knowledge and understanding of the aesthetic or emotional response to a work of art provides.
Art historians also study the historical development of the art form to establish its development and evolution over time. They examine various types of art produced throughout history to determine the factors that influence its development and definition as an art form. They analyze the changes in the conception of beauty that occur along the evolution of art over time, the changes in the concept of beauty and the ability to define it, the changes in the ability of artists to communicate their creativity and their needs for beauty, and the impact that certain social and technological aspects have on the development of modern art. Art historians study the relationships between artists, art buyers and the media that embrace art. They also explore the connections between artists, art collectors, and the historical experiences and circumstances that shaped the conceptualization and creation of art.
Modern art theory considers the importance of different kinds of skill in determining the aesthetic quality of a work of art. For example, there is an important difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘creating’ in art, although many people use the two terms interchangeably. Art historians differentiate between knowing and creating through their research of the works of art. By knowing about a specific work of art one can gain a deeper insight into the workings of the artist, but ‘creating’ requires the artist to apply his skill in a particular way and in a specific time period in order to make a work of art. The process of creation is more complex and takes more time than just knowing about a work of art. The two qualities are not mutually exclusive and are often used together in the study of art.