Defining Eight Types of Art

Gabriel Knight By Gabriel Knight, 13th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Art>Forms & Genres

This article gives examples of why painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, printmaking, conceptual art, installation art, and performance art are considered art.

Definition of Art

1. “The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” (art. (n.d.))

2. “The class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.” (art. (n.d.))


The Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci is a portrait of a woman named Lisa Gherardini. Not only is this piece of art appealing to the eye; it has mystery, historical reference, and an invention of a new art style. Leonardo used chiaroscuro to distribute the light and shading of the picture. To aid in the blending he used what is called sfumato which truly is an invention of his own. Until just recently the sitter for this picture was unknown, but proof has been located, and the sitter is known.

Many historians are convinced that Lisa Gherardini was painted in the nude. There are six known nude paintings (called Monna Vanna) that utilize the same format as the Mona Lisa. The most recent to appear shows strong similiarities to the Mona Lisa. This piece is on exhibit at the Museo Ideale in the Tuscan town of Vinci, Leonardo’s birthplace in 1452.

This piece had once belonged to Napolean’s uncle, Cardinal Joseph Fesch. The Cardinal once owned da Vinci’s “St. Jerome” as well.


The sculpture of the Venus de Milo, or Aphrodite of Melos, is unknown. The sculpted face is not that of the common Greek. Its proportions are made to be of a more divine nature; based more on Plato’s biological studies of the human face. This structuring and detail is what makes this statue stand out from other Hellenistic Era pieces.


The Taj Mahal (Crown Palace) was built in 1648. It required twenty thousand workers for twenty-two years to build this so-called eighth wonder of the world. Although the actual architect is not known it is accredited to Emperor Shah Jahan. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum and holds the Shah and his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, also known as, Arjumand Banu. The design uses an interlocking arabesque concept so that each element stands on its own. Inlaid designs of calligraphy and flowers using precious gems helps make this structure a unique piece of art.


The picture of the raising of the flag in Iwo Jima was taken by Joe Rosenthal on February 15, 1945. Why would this Pulitzer Prize winning photograph be a piece of art? It is an inspiration to not only to Americans but to all of those who have ever fought a battle. When someone sees this photograph and knows anything about it, there will be emotion. That is art.


The Bible is the number one selling book of all time. It has been interpreted and transformed many times. I consider it art because it has touched so many people with such emotion. The bible transforms some of those who read it into believers. Others it may have the opposite effect. Not many read it and have no reaction.

Conceptuall Art

“One and three chairs” by Joseph Kosuth lets us see that even a physical object can spawn new ways of viewing it. A chair as it would appear, he shows us three different ways that a chair may exist; physically, through photography, and through writing. There may be other ways but this helps define that an artist may see a ‘normal’ object and something different than others.

Installation Art

Tracey Emen’s “My bed” lets us see that she is a nervous wreck. Regardless of what her art tells us this piece allows us to see what her personal space looks like. A true unveiling of her inner lifestyle.

Performance Art

Marcel Marceau was a very famous mime in the mid 20th century. He was a man who said little but affected so many. He had a way of bringing out emotion in those who saw him, either good or bad. He was a true entertainer.


There is a saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Art is not beauty. Art is emotion. Do you see the picture with a disgust that you never want to see it again? Is that what the artist wanted from you? Maybe the piece was made to affect people differently and your dislike for it is what the artist wanted to capture. Art is emotion, the expression of said emotion, the outburst of that emotion. The more you look at it in awe, through tears, or though gritted teeth; the more you substantiate the piece of art


Architecture, Art, Bible, Conceptual Art, Da Vinci, Installation Art, Joe Rosenthal, Joseph Kosuth, Marcel Mareau, Mona Lisa, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Taj Mahal, Tract Emen, Venus De Milo

Meet the author

author avatar Gabriel Knight
Freelance writer for US, UK, and Australia. Looking for more clients. SEO, web pages, articles, etc.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Arty Scott
15th Aug 2011 (#)

How about this definition?
Art is the physical manifestation of the imagination.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Alexandre
15th Aug 2011 (#)

I guess there are a lot more than those related above here. What about music, film....
As an artist once said: "art happens".

Reply to this comment

author avatar Gabriel Knight
15th Aug 2011 (#)

Yes, you are both correct. These were just eigh that I picked out, but there are many more forms of art.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Danarik
29th Apr 2012 (#)

What an inspiring post. Thanks to you sir.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?