The visual arts definition is quite vague, even though it contains elements that apply to many disciplines. Basically, the visual arts are creative art forms like drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, film, sculpture, ceramic, jewelry, multimedia, and architecture. Most creative disciplines like acting, performing arts, conceptual and decorative art, fine arts, and creative writing also incorporate elements of visual arts into their work. The visual arts have been an important influence on how our society sees beauty since the Renaissance, and they continue to be an influential force today.
Art historians have traced the evolution of visual arts back to thousands of years. There is no clear chronological order, but artists have been using figurative imagery to express themselves for centuries. Early cave paintings revealed the earliest examples of visual art. At the start of the visual arts, fine skills were not required to create these early images. As time progressed, the complexity of the images rose and the ability to create them became more difficult.
In prehistoric times, the fine skills required to draw pictures and paintings were more important than the actual visual art itself. Artists used rocks, twigs, shells, seashells, feathers, natural objects, and animal bones as the building blocks of their visual arts. As people began to farm cattle and sheep, they found that natural objects in their environment could be used to construct shelters for them. The first dwellings appeared on farms, and then later on the mountainsides. As farming became more sophisticated, so did the ways in which people could create their visual arts. Their tools and supplies gradually grew more sophisticated until finally people started to use abstract designs and complex colors.
In the Renaissance, the Italian scholar Paolo Toscan called attention to “the difference between the work of art and the vocation”. He insisted that there were important aesthetic qualities that a good artist should have. In order to become an artist, you need to have a fine eye for details, creativity and imagination, skill in painting and music. But artists didn’t need to be great problem solvers, because they were supposed to show the beauty and naturalness of the objects that they were painting instead of merely depicting or exaggerating their superficial details.
Leonardo da Vinci, the famous Renaissance painter was also an artist, but he wasn’t one of the good artists. He was also a great problem solver. As a matter of fact he spent most of his time drawing portraits in order to solve the death situations that occurred in his career. So it is easy to see that the job of a visual artist isn’t quite as easy as the job of a painter.
But it is worth mentioning that artists of all sorts and all ages have been able to define and establish the visual arts definition over the years. Nowadays, even the children can take part in defining what visual art is for them. This is very interesting because it shows how much the world has changed over the last few centuries. Today children are more interested in computer games than painting. It seems that when we start school, we spend more time playing computer games than painting.
However this doesn’t mean that the making of visual art is not appreciated. Many contemporary artists still appreciate the beauty of the visual arts. They use this beauty in order to communicate something important to society. Pop artist Banksy uses his talent for writing about architecture to illustrate some of his works, whilst photographer Terry Richardson has turned his attention to photographing celebrities and is creating photographic art.
If you want to learn more about visual art, why not visit an online gallery and read more about the definition of art. You can also find out about new works by modern artists. The art of visual art is very subjective and each person can interpret it differently. This is why it is such a fascinating subject for debate and discussion.