The visual arts are art forms such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, video, filmmaking, and architecture. Many artistic disciplines (performing arts, conceptual art, textile arts) involve aspects of the visual arts as well as arts of other types. Also included within the visual arts[1] are the applied arts[2] such as industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.[3] Current usage of the term "visual arts" includes fine art as well as the applied, decorative arts and crafts, but this was not always the case. Before the Arts and Crafts Movement
Arts and Crafts Movement
in Britain and elsewhere at the turn of the 20th century, the term 'artist' was often restricted to a person working in the fine arts (such as painting, sculpture, or printmaking) and not the handicraft, craft, or applied art media. The distinction was emphasized by artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, who valued vernacular art forms as much as high forms.[4] Art
schools made a distinction between the fine arts and the crafts, maintaining that a craftsperson could not be considered a practitioner of the arts. The increasing tendency to privilege painting, and to a lesser degree sculpture, above other arts has been a feature of Western art
Western art
as well as East Asian art. In both regions painting has been seen as relying to the highest degree on the imagination of the artist, and the furthest removed from manual labour – in Chinese painting
Chinese painting
the most highly valued styles were those of "scholar-painting", at least in theory practiced by gentleman amateurs. The Western hierarchy of genres reflected similar attitudes.


1 Education and training 2 Drawing 3 Painting

3.1 Origins and early history 3.2 The Renaissance 3.3 Dutch masters 3.4 Baroque 3.5 Impressionism 3.6 Post-impressionism 3.7 Symbolism, expressionism and cubism

4 Printmaking

4.1 European history 4.2 Chinese origin and practice 4.3 Development In Japan 1603–1867

5 Photography 6 Filmmaking 7 Computer
art 8 Plastic

8.1 Sculpture

9 Copyright definition of visual art (US) 10 See also 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 External links

Education and training[edit] Main article: Visual arts
Visual arts
education Training in the visual arts has generally been through variations of the apprentice and workshop systems. In Europe the Renaissance movement to increase the prestige of the artist led to the academy system for training artists, and today most of the people who are pursuing a career in arts train in art schools at tertiary levels. Visual arts
Visual arts
have now become an elective subject in most education systems. Drawing[edit] Main article: Drawing Drawing
is a means of making an image, using any of a wide variety of tools and techniques. It generally involves making marks on a surface by applying pressure from a tool, or moving a tool across a surface using dry media such as graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoals, pastels, and markers. Digital tools that simulate the effects of these are also used. The main techniques used in drawing are: line drawing, hatching, crosshatching, random hatching, scribbling, stippling, and blending. An artist who excels in drawing is referred to as a draftsman or draughtsman. Drawing
goes back at least 16,000 years to Paleolithic
cave representations of animals such as those at Lascaux
in France and Altamira in Spain. In ancient Egypt, ink drawings on papyrus, often depicting people, were used as models for painting or sculpture. Drawings on Greek vases, initially geometric, later developed to the human form with black-figure pottery during the 7th century BC.[5] With paper becoming common in Europe by the 15th century, drawing was adopted by masters such as Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
who sometimes treated drawing as an art in its own right rather than a preparatory stage for painting or sculpture.[6] Painting[edit]

Mosaic of Battle of Issus

Main article: Painting

with Isis

taken literally is the practice of applying pigment suspended in a carrier (or medium) and a binding agent (a glue) to a surface (support) such as paper, canvas or a wall. However, when used in an artistic sense it means the use of this activity in combination with drawing, composition, or other aesthetic considerations in order to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. Painting
is also used to express spiritual motifs and ideas; sites of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to The Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
to the human body itself. Origins and early history[edit] Main article: History
of painting Like drawing, painting has its documented origins in caves and on rock faces. The finest examples, believed by some to be 32,000 years old, are in the Chauvet and Lascaux
caves in southern France. In shades of red, brown, yellow and black, the paintings on the walls and ceilings are of bison, cattle, horses and deer.

Raphael: Spasimo (1514–1516)

Paintings of human figures can be found in the tombs of ancient Egypt. In the great temple of Ramses II, Nefertari, his queen, is depicted being led by Isis.[7] The Greeks contributed to painting but much of their work has been lost. One of the best remaining representations are the Hellenistic Fayum mummy portraits. Another example is mosaic of the Battle of Issus
Battle of Issus
at Pompeii, which was probably based on a Greek painting. Greek and Roman art contributed to Byzantine art
Byzantine art
in the 4th century BC, which initiated a tradition in icon painting. The Renaissance[edit] Main article: Italian Renaissance
painting Apart from the illuminated manuscripts produced by monks during the Middle Ages, the next significant contribution to European art was from Italy's renaissance painters. From Giotto
in the 13th century to Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
and Raphael
at the beginning of the 16th century, this was the richest period in Italian art as the chiaroscuro techniques were used to create the illusion of 3-D space.[8]

Rembrandt: The Night Watch

Painters in northern Europe too were influenced by the Italian school. Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck
from Belgium, Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Pieter Bruegel the Elder
from the Netherlands and Hans Holbein the Younger
Hans Holbein the Younger
from Germany are among the most successful painters of the times. They used the glazing technique with oils to achieve depth and luminosity.

Claude Monet: Déjeuner sur l'herbe (1866)

Dutch masters[edit] Main article: Dutch Golden Age painting The 17th century witnessed the emergence of the great Dutch masters such as the versatile Rembrandt
who was especially remembered for his portraits and Bible scenes, and Vermeer
who specialized in interior scenes of Dutch life. Baroque[edit] Main article: Baroque The Baroque
started after the Renaissance, from the late 16th century to the late 17th century. Main artists of the Baroque
included Caravaggio, who made heavy use of tenebrism. Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
was a flemish painter who studied in Italy, worked for local churches in Antwerp
and also painted a series for Marie de' Medici. Annibale Carracci took influences from the Sistine Chapel
Sistine Chapel
and created the genre of illusionistic ceiling painting. Much of the development that happened in the Baroque
was because of the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
and the resulting Counter Reformation. Much of what defines the Baroque
is dramatic lighting and overall visuals.[9] Impressionism[edit] Main article: Impressionism Impressionism
began in France in the 19th century with a loose association of artists including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
who brought a new freely brushed style to painting, often choosing to paint realistic scenes of modern life outside rather than in the studio. This was achieved through a new expression of aesthetic features demonstrated by brush strokes and the impression of reality. They achieved intense colour vibration by using pure, unmixed colours and short brush strokes. The movement influenced art as a dynamic, moving through time and adjusting to new found techniques and perception of art. Attention to detail became less of a priority in achieving, whilst exploring a biased view of landscapes and nature to the artists eye.[10][11]

Paul Gauguin: The Vision After the Sermon
The Vision After the Sermon

Edvard Munch: The Scream
The Scream

Post-impressionism[edit] Main article: Post-Impressionism Towards the end of the 19th century, several young painters took impressionism a stage further, using geometric forms and unnatural colour to depict emotions while striving for deeper symbolism. Of particular note are Paul Gauguin, who was strongly influenced by Asian, African and Japanese art, Vincent van Gogh, a Dutchman who moved to France where he drew on the strong sunlight of the south, and Toulouse-Lautrec, remembered for his vivid paintings of night life in the Paris district of Montmartre.[12] Symbolism, expressionism and cubism[edit] Main article: Modern art Edvard Munch, a Norwegian artist, developed his symbolistic approach at the end of the 19th century, inspired by the French impressionist Manet. The Scream
The Scream
(1893), his most famous work, is widely interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man. Partly as a result of Munch's influence, the German expressionist movement originated in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century as artists such as Ernst Kirschner and Erich Heckel
Erich Heckel
began to distort reality for an emotional effect. In parallel, the style known as cubism developed in France as artists focused on the volume and space of sharp structures within a composition. Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
and Georges Braque
Georges Braque
were the leading proponents of the movement. Objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form. By the 1920s, the style had developed into surrealism with Dali and Magritte.[13] Printmaking[edit]

Ancient Chinese engraving of female instrumentalists

Main article: Printmaking Printmaking
is creating, for artistic purposes, an image on a matrix that is then transferred to a two-dimensional (flat) surface by means of ink (or another form of pigmentation). Except in the case of a monotype, the same matrix can be used to produce many examples of the print.

Albrecht Dürer: Melancholia I
Melancholia I

Historically, the major techniques (also called media) involved are woodcut, line engraving, etching, lithography, and screenprinting (serigraphy, silkscreening) but there are many others, including modern digital techniques. Normally, the print is printed on paper, but other mediums range from cloth and vellum to more modern materials. Major printmaking traditions include that of Japan (ukiyo-e). European history[edit] Main article: Old master print Prints in the Western tradition produced before about 1830 are known as old master prints. In Europe, from around 1400 AD woodcut, was used for master prints on paper by using printing techniques developed in the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. Michael Wolgemut
Michael Wolgemut
improved German woodcut from about 1475, and Erhard Reuwich, a Dutchman, was the first to use cross-hatching. At the end of the century Albrecht Dürer brought the Western woodcut to a stage that has never been surpassed, increasing the status of the single-leaf woodcut.[14] Chinese origin and practice[edit]

The Chinese Diamond Sutra, the world's oldest printed book (868 CE)

Main article: Woodblock printing In China, the art of printmaking developed some 1,100 years ago as illustrations alongside text cut in woodblocks for printing on paper. Initially images were mainly religious but in the Song Dynasty, artists began to cut landscapes. During the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1616–1911) dynasties, the technique was perfected for both religious and artistic engravings.[15][16] Development In Japan 1603–1867[edit]

Hokusai: Red Fuji southern wind clear morning from Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji

Main article: Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
in Japan Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
in Japan (Japanese: 木版画, moku hanga) is a technique best known for its use in the ukiyo-e artistic genre; however, it was also used very widely for printing books in the same period. Woodblock printing
Woodblock printing
had been used in China for centuries to print books, long before the advent of movable type, but was only widely adopted in Japan surprisingly late, during the Edo period (1603–1867). Although similar to woodcut in western printmaking in some regards, moku hanga differs greatly in that water-based inks are used (as opposed to western woodcut, which uses oil-based inks), allowing for a wide range of vivid color, glazes and color transparency. Photography[edit] Main article: Photography Photography
is the process of making pictures by means of the action of light. Light patterns reflected or emitted from objects are recorded onto a sensitive medium or storage chip through a timed exposure. The process is done through mechanical shutters or electronically timed exposure of photons into chemical processing or digitizing devices known as cameras. The word comes from the Greek words φως phos ("light"), and γραφις graphis ("stylus", "paintbrush") or γραφη graphê, together meaning "drawing with light" or "representation by means of lines" or "drawing." Traditionally, the product of photography has been called a photograph. The term photo is an abbreviation; many people also call them pictures. In digital photography, the term image has begun to replace photograph. (The term image is traditional in geometric optics.) Filmmaking[edit] Main article: Filmmaking Filmmaking
is the process of making a motion-picture, from an initial conception and research, through scriptwriting, shooting and recording, animation or other special effects, editing, sound and music work and finally distribution to an audience; it refers broadly to the creation of all types of films, embracing documentary, strains of theatre and literature in film, and poetic or experimental practices, and is often used to refer to video-based processes as well. Computer
art[edit] Main article: Computer
art Visual artists are no longer limited to traditional art media. Computers have been used as an ever more common tool in the visual arts since the 1960s. Uses include the capturing or creating of images and forms, the editing of those images and forms (including exploring multiple compositions) and the final rendering or printing (including 3D printing). Computer art
Computer art
is any in which computers played a role in production or display. Such art can be an image, sound, animation, video, CD-ROM, DVD, video game, website, algorithm, performance or gallery installation. Many traditional disciplines are now integrating digital technologies and, as a result, the lines between traditional works of art and new media works created using computers have been blurred. For instance, an artist may combine traditional painting with algorithmic art and other digital techniques. As a result, defining computer art by its end product can be difficult. Nevertheless, this type of art is beginning to appear in art museum exhibits, though it has yet to prove its legitimacy as a form unto itself and this technology is widely seen in contemporary art more as a tool rather than a form as with painting. Computer
usage has blurred the distinctions between illustrators, photographers, photo editors, 3-D modelers, and handicraft artists. Sophisticated rendering and editing software has led to multi-skilled image developers. Photographers may become digital artists. Illustrators may become animators. Handicraft
may be computer-aided or use computer-generated imagery as a template. Computer
clip art usage has also made the clear distinction between visual arts and page layout less obvious due to the easy access and editing of clip art in the process of paginating a document, especially to the unskilled observer. Plastic
arts[edit] Main article: Plastic
arts Plastic arts
Plastic arts
is a term, now largely forgotten, encompassing art forms that involve physical manipulation of a plastic medium by moulding or modeling such as sculpture or ceramics. The term has also been applied to all the visual (non-literary, non-musical) arts.[17][18] Materials that can be carved or shaped, such as stone or wood, concrete or steel, have also been included in the narrower definition, since, with appropriate tools, such materials are also capable of modulation.[citation needed] This use of the term "plastic" in the arts should not be confused with Piet Mondrian's use, nor with the movement he termed, in French and English, "Neoplasticism." Sculpture[edit] Main article: Sculpture Sculpture
is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard or plastic material, sound, or text and or light, commonly stone (either rock or marble), clay, metal, glass, or wood. Some sculptures are created directly by finding or carving; others are assembled, built together and fired, welded, molded, or cast. Sculptures are often painted.[19] A person who creates sculptures is called a sculptor. Because sculpture involves the use of materials that can be moulded or modulated, it is considered one of the plastic arts. The majority of public art is sculpture. Many sculptures together in a garden setting may be referred to as a sculpture garden. Sculptors do not always make sculptures by hand. With increasing technology in the 20th century and the popularity of conceptual art over technical mastery, more sculptors turned to art fabricators to produce their artworks. With fabrication, the artist creates a design and pays a fabricator to produce it. This allows sculptors to create larger and more complex sculptures out of material like cement, metal and plastic, that they would not be able to create by hand. Sculptures can also be made with 3-d printing
3-d printing

Copyright definition of visual art (US)[edit] In the United States, the law protecting the copyright over a piece of visual art gives a more restrictive definition of "visual art".[20]

A “work of visual art” is — (1) a painting, drawing, print or sculpture, existing in a single copy, in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author, or, in the case of a sculpture, in multiple cast, carved, or fabricated sculptures of 200 or fewer that are consecutively numbered by the author and bear the signature or other identifying mark of the author; or (2) a still photographic image produced for exhibition purposes only, existing in a single copy that is signed by the author, or in a limited edition of 200 copies or fewer that are signed and consecutively numbered by the author.

A work of visual art does not include — (A)(i) any poster, map, globe, chart, technical drawing, diagram, model, applied art, motion picture or other audiovisual work, book, magazine, newspaper, periodical, data base, electronic information service, electronic publication, or similar publication;   (ii) any merchandising item or advertising, promotional, descriptive, covering, or packaging material or container;   (iii) any portion or part of any item described in clause (i) or (ii); (B) any work made for hire; or (C) any work not subject to copyright protection under this title.

See also[edit] Main article: Outline of visual arts

Visual arts
Visual arts

materials Asemic writing Avant-garde Child art Collage Comics Contemporary art Creative peacebuilding (visual arts) Crowdsourcing creative work Décollage Environmental art Found object Graffiti History
of art History
of graphic design History
of film History
of painting History
of sculpture Illustration Indigenous Australian art Installation art Interactive art Islamic art Kandyan Era Frescoes Landscape art Mail art Mathematics and art Mixed media Naïve art Portraiture Process art Recording medium Rock balancing Sketch (drawing) Sketchbook Sound art Street art Video


^ An article by art expert, Shelley Esaak: What Is Visual Art? ^ Different Forms of Art
– Applied Art. Retrieved 11 Dec 2010. ^ "Centre for Arts and Design
in Toronto, Canada". 15 February 2011. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.  ^ Art
History: Arts and Crafts Movement: (1861–1900). From World Wide Arts Resources. Retrieved 24 October 2009. ^ History
of Drawing. From Dibujos para Pintar. Retrieved 23 October 2009. ^ "Drawing". 2006. Archived from the original on 14 March 2009. Retrieved 23 October 2009.  ^ History
of Painting. From History
World. Retrieved 23 October 2009. ^ History
of Renaissance
Painting. From ART 340 Painting. Retrieved 24 October 2009. ^ ^ ^ Impressionism. Webmuseum, Paris. Retrieved 24 October 2009 ^ Post-Impressionism. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 25 October 2009. ^ Modern Art
Movements. Irish Art
Encyclopedia. Retrieved 25 October 2009. ^ The Printed Image
in the West: History
and Techniques. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 25 October 2009. ^ Engraving in Chinese Art. From Engraving Review. Retrieved 23 October 2009. ^ The History
of Engraving in China. From ChinaVista. Retrieved 25 October 2009. ^ Art
Terminology at KSU[dead link] ^ "Merriam-Webster Online (entry for "plastic arts")". Retrieved 2011-10-30.  ^ Gods in Color: Painted Sculpture
of Classical Antiquity 22 September 2007 Through 20 January 2008, The Arthur M. Sackler Museum Archived 4 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Copyright Law
of the United States of America – Chapter 1 (101. Definitions)". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 


Barnes, A. C., The Art
in Painting, 3rd ed., 1937, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., NY. Bukumirovic, D. (1998). Maga Magazinovic. Biblioteka Fatalne srpkinje knj. br. 4. Beograd: Narodna knj. Fazenda, M. J. (1997). Between the pictorial and the expression of ideas: the plastic arts and literature in the dance of Paula Massano. n.p. Gerón, C. (2000). Enciclopedia de las artes plásticas dominicanas: 1844–2000. 4th ed. Dominican Republic s.n. Oliver Grau
Oliver Grau
(Ed.): MediaArtHistories. MIT-Press, Cambridge 2007. with Rudolf Arnheim, Barbara Stafford, Sean Cubitt, W. J. T. Mitchell, Lev Manovich, Christiane Paul, Peter Weibel a.o. Rezensionen Laban, R. V. (1976). The language of movement: a guidebook to choreutics. Boston: Plays. La Farge, O. (1930). Plastic
prayers: dances of the Southwestern Indians. n.p. Restany, P. (1974). Plastics in arts. Paris, New York: n.p. University of Pennsylvania. (1969). Plastics and new art. Philadelphia: The Falcon Pr.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Visual arts.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Plastic

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Visual arts.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Works of art.

ArtLex – online dictionary of visual art terms. Calendar for Artists – calendar listing of visual art festivals. Art
Timeline by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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