Definition Essay on Art

Millions years ago, when mankind only began to explore our enormous world, no one could even realize, how far we will go with our development. Firstly people were able only to use nature in their practical needs, their way of life was utilizable. They simply couldn’t have time and ability to think about something more. But as time when on, people began to pay attention to the way they live, the place they live in. They began to get pleasure from the beauty of nature, from its sounds and views, forms and mysteries. In this way people got esthetic side of being. They began to imitate nature to make their own lifes wider and diverse. That is how art was born.

Art as creative ability and capability to accept the results of creation is one of those things that make a human being immanently different from animals. Thousands years ago Platon explained, that imperfect always aspires to perfect and raises a person to unattainable. B. Pascal confirmed, that each person has “tendency to overcome his own boundaries”, or, as Shakespeare said, strong passion to rise above ourselves.

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Meanwhile, each of us understands this word in his or her own way. Before we come in touch with its definition itself, we accept this phenomenon as something natural and permanent without trying to overtake its full meaning. It certainly may be something connected with what we like or don’t like. Without any doubt, art is the way an artist expresses himself. Art appears there, where we have passion, emotions, feelings, when we have something to express. If there is a fire, burning inside of you, you need to do something with it, and the best way is to take away that pain or whatever it is from inside and turn it into a masterpiece – or something similar to it. We get our emotions under the influence of the world around us and it would be natural to turn them back to the outside in the way that you like best. You should only start, and you won’t notice, how easily you’ll become its fan.

Art gives us something nothing else is able to give. The first moment you may appreciate, as I have already mentioned, is the process of materializing the thoughts and feelings. You just pay all your attention to your work and it creates a magic world around you. In this world you are the Master, you can do anything you like, whatever you wish. You can delete your enemies or animate the dead, fly away to the unexplored worlds, overcome earth gravitation, go deep underground or pass across centuries. Lord created us by His own icon and image, He is a creator and we are as well.

To go on, you finally see what you’ve done in your hands. It’s the result of your creative work. How can you not feel pride for it? It goes without saying, it may be something far away from perfection, you may be not very successful or have some vices. What is more, some people may not see anything in your work of art. But then it is their problem, not yours. The main thing is you have experienced something really great and earlier or later your work will find the one, who will appreciate it.

True artists never think of glory or any acknowledgement from the crowd. They do what they do by their inside intention and at the moments of work they fuse together with all the beauty of the world. Art is benevolence from Heaven.

On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget that attitude to art changes through ages. The art of Ancient Greece, Rome and so on was mainly devoted to the mythology, to gods and forces they believed in. In the Middle Ages the art was a tool in the hands of religion. It was scholastic mostly and was expected to reflect the life of Jesus Christ, God’s Mother, saints etc. its main task was to cause grief and reverence, to remind people about their sins and destination. The epoch of Renaissance came to set the people free from superstitions and endless sorrow. It worshipped the Human and therefore artists turned to representation of human body beauty and perfection. The times of Enlightenment couldn’t make serious revolution in art, as it was the time of Reason, and art is sphere, where Reason must take part the last, it is the sphere of spirit.

At the end of the 19th century all the theories and beliefs of the past were criticized and rejected. It was the time of Decadence. The mankind and the artists as its mirror struggled in anticipation of future catastrophes, believing the Apocalypses was close. Therefore the art was full of pessimism, suffering and irrational reality – remember Salvador Dali, Picasso, Van Gogh. It was the epoch of modernism, when people looked for new truth and explanation of severe cruelty of the world. What is more, after 2nd World war the time of postmodernism began with its main rule: “no rules at all”. It’s not always easy to understand the modern arts. They don’t always cause esthetic pleasure. The new art has other aims. They are much more complex. They are to reveal how we live and what it leads to.

Still, it finds so many admires, that it makes us believe it is also worth doing. It proves that art is not dead. Art is the most precious thing we have and I think special classes devoted to it make us grow as personalities, realize our innate creativity and feel we are also a wonderful part of the world we live in, joining its genius in such an unsurpassed way.


Frank, P. Preble’s Artforms. Published by Pearson Prentice-Hall.

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