Art is a diverse range of human activities in producing visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the writer's imaginative or technical skill, designed to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power. In their most general form these activities include the creation of works of art, the criticism of art, the research of the history of art, as well as also the aesthetic dissemination of art.
The oldest documented kinds of artwork are visual arts, which include creation of objects or images in areas such as now painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and other visual media.
Architecture is frequently included among the visual arts; however, such as the cosmetic arts, or advertising, it involves the creation of items where the practical considerations of use are crucial--in a way that they usually are not in a painting, for example.
Music, theater, film, dance, and other performing arts, in addition to literature and other media such as interactive media, are included in a wider definition of artwork or the arts. Until the 17th century, the art referred to any ability or mastery and wasn't distinguished from sciences or crafts.
In modern use following the 17th century, where aesthetic considerations are paramount, the fine arts are separated and distinguished from acquired skills in general, such as the cosmetic or applied arts.
Art might be characterized in terms of mimesis (its representation of reality), narrative (storytelling), saying, communication of emotion, or other attributes. During the period, artwork came to be viewed as "a special faculty of the body to be categorized with religion and science".
Although the definition of exactly what constitutes art is contested and has shifted over time, general descriptions cite an concept of technical or creative ability stemming from human agency and creation.
The character of art and associated concepts, such as imagination and interpretation, are explored in a branch of philosophy called aesthetics.