A visual art that was created to admire the form of inanimate objects, fine art is more about the discipline that forms it. Our prints explore the use of colour, shape and form to create aesthetically pleasing pieces that can be featured in any room. Fine art paintings are often considered to be the most expressive of the forms and is often referred to as ‘art for art’s sake’ due to its focus on the visual, stunning nature of the pieces rather than any historical or cultural influence. Fine art is often considered to be the most expressive of the forms and is often referred to as ‘art for art’s sake’ due to its focus on the visual, stunning nature of the pieces rather than any historical or cultural influence. The form truly grew to prominence in the renaissance era when practitioners of the time transcended from the view of merely ‘skilled workers’ into the highly-respected term of ‘artists’ we hold today. Our fine art canvas prints range from the Great Wave Off Kanagawa to Sunflowers on Blue and will stun you with their effervescence, expression, and raw aesthetic beauty.
In academic classrooms of Europe, the term ‘fine art’ was developed to differentiate works of beauty and aesthetics from that of decorative art (the design of beautiful but ultimately functional objects) and applied arts (including pottery and metalwork). Historically, there were five main fine arts which were music, poetry, painting, sculpture, and architecture. The term has since expanded to include literature and dance. Here are five examples.
In 1954, the Abstract artist Mark Rothko took on the challenge to express emotions in their purest forms. As a result, he created No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue), a large, rectangle painting expressing a dominant red and a strip of blue. Rothko would continue painting large, rectangular canvases throughout his career, and, surprisingly, come to develop several paintings within these dimensions.
In 1657, Johannes Vermeer painted The Milkmaid, depicting a domestic kitchen maid in the process of pouring milk. What could be deemed a bore, or even an eyesore, is nothing of the kind thanks to Vermeer’s skill in the art of painting. He predominantly uses the primary colours of yellow and blue in the painting, using the colours for her outfit, the cloth covering the table, and the food on the table. For modern viewers, The Milkmaid looks remarkably like a photograph. It seems as though Vermeer took a candid snapshot of the woman mid-pour.
The biblical Tower of Babel inspired sixteenth-century artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder to paint the image three times. Bruegel depicted the Tower’s construction in such intricate detail that it would cause you to spend hours staring at the painting. The Tower of Babel is an example of man’s ambition and pride told in the Book of Genesis. It’s the mythical story explaining why there are so many different languages around the world. If the Tower reminds you of another ancient construct, you are on the right track. Bruegel was said to be inspired by Rome’s Colosseum after seeing the structure on a visit in 1552.
A handful of statues are as iconic as Michelangelo’s Statue of David. In fact, It’s revered as one of the most celebrated works by the multidisciplinary Renaissance artist, who was only twenty-nine when he completed the statue. The sculpture is a symbol of strength and beauty. Michelangelo was commissioned to create the Statue of David in 1501.
The story of David is a biblical one and Michelangelo portrays the man before he triumphs over the Goliath, as Donatello and the painter Caravaggio had done. While other depictions of the story shows David holding the head of Goliath, Michelangelo breaks away from tradition to show David moments before the battle.
Michelangelo used marble to carve his biblical figure. The slab of marble was abandoned by two artists, one of them including Renaissance master artist Donatello, who found the stone to be of poorer quality and brittle fifty years before it landed at Michelangelo’s feet. Although it isn’t proportionately accurate, Michelangelo created David’s right hand to be slightly bigger than his left in acknowledgement of the biblical hero’s nickname manu fortis (strong of hand).
From 1888 to 1890, Vincent van Gogh painted almond blossoms across several canvases. The series is inspired by Impressionism and Japanese Ukiyo-e woodcuts. He painted Blossoming Almond Tree soon after his brother Theo’s newborn son was born. He intended for the new painting to be hung over the bed. Vincent’s series of works on almond blossoms is a study in still life. Blossoming Almond Tree shows snow-white almond flowers on a sky blue background, representing rebirth and new life. Tragically, a few months later, van Gogh died by suicide.
Many artists have played with the realm of fine artwork, but here are the most notable. Listed for their daring experimentations in one or many disciplines of Fine Arts, here are five artists who work within the fine arts.
The French artist worked primarily in the discipline of painting and was known for capturing another fine art discipline: dance. Degas’s ballerinas are known around the world. Despite the ballet dancers coming from the lower echelons of Parisian society, they were a favourite of Degas’s to paint. Although he worked primarily in painting, Degas also dabbled in the discipline of sculpture, often sculpting his ballerinas. Degas was part of the Impressionist movement, helping to pioneer it since the 1870s. While the other members were intent on capturing light and colour, like Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot, Degas was far more interested in capturing movement. What better subject to tackle than dance? Degas worked from a sketchbook. He visited Paris’ opera house the Palais Garnier on a regular basis, sketchbook in hand, and observed the ballet classes. His life’s work includes over 1,500 depictions of the dancers. Some of these paintings include The Dance Class (1874), The Rehearsal (1874), and The Dance Lesson (1879).
One of the most celebrated artists from the Renaissance is Italian multidisciplinary artist Michelangelo. During his lifetime, Michelangelo found success as an artist by winning several commissions from the Vatican. Michelangelo mastered many disciplines of Fine Arts but excelled predominantly in sculpture. From a young age, his mastery of the discipline was notable. At twenty-four, Michelangelo gained fame for sculpting the Pieta. Five years later, he cemented his legend when he completed the Statue of David for the city of Florence. Then, in 1508, at thirty-three years old, he would begin to work on one of the greatest achievements in fine arts: the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo continued artmaking even in his older years. Working from his home studio, he sketched out ideas for St. Peter’s Basilica.
Twentieth-century art would be made unremarkable if Spanish artist Pablo Picasso hadn’t been around. Around 1907, Picasso and the artist Georges Braque were the inventors of Cubism, which challenged the conventions of art like no other movement before. An early example of Cubism is his painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1906-07), which was inspired by African masks Picasso had seen in a museum, as well as Henri Matisse’s Blue Nude (1907). Before experimenting with Cubism, Picasso created a series of paintings in the Blue Period (1901-1904), and the Rose Period (1904-1906). Picasso was capable of making political comments whilst also playing within this new style of art, as seen in the anti-war oil painting Guernica (1937), inspired by the horror and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War. Since he was a child, Picasso could draw far better than many other adults. As an adult, he liked to experiment with new ideas, which allowed his work to constantly change and grow. Besides painting, for which he was known for, Picasso also created works in sculpture. Outside the fine arts, he made works in ceramics, printmaking, and theatre design.
Henri Matisse became one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century thanks to his use of bright colours and distorted shapes. Of his entire body of work, none has been reproduced more times than The Dance (1909). His work inspired the art movement Fauvism. At first, Matisse hadn’t studied the discipline of painting. Instead, he studied law and was working in the field when, in 1889, he came down with appendicitis. As he recovered, he received a gift of paints from his mother and found his passion for artmaking, thus putting him on the journey to becoming an artist. While studying under Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, Matisse and his classmates were encouraged to develop their own artistic styles. Matisse became interested in experimenting with form and colour, and even travelled to London to study the landscapes of J.M.W. Turner, who was a master in his use of light and colour. At the end of his life, Matisse experimented with cut-outs. This was due to his failing health, where he was unable to stand at the easel and, instead, began painting with a pair of scissors where he cut out coloured pieces of paper and arranged and rearranged them until he achieved the shapes and sizes he desired.
Childe Hassam is the best-known artist of the American Impressionist movement. He stood out from the other American Impressionists for his adept depiction of urban environments. In Rainy Midnight, Hassam depicts modern cars and newly establish city lights lighting up the streets at night. In The Sonata, Hassam depicts a modern woman sitting by the piano, in a similar vein to Berthe Morisot’s paintings of modern women. Hassam studied art in Paris. Hassam was a determined artist, and within the discipline of painting, he created over 2,000 works of art using oils, watercolours, pastels and more.
While visual arts and fine art both rely on aesthetics, other elements differentiate the two. While fine arts rely on the premise of creating art for its aesthetic value, or ‘art for art’s sake’, visual art incorporates this idea while also including the applied arts and decorative arts. As a result, visual arts encompass several mediums besides painting and sculpture, including printmaking, ceramics, photography, video, and crafts. Meanwhile, fine art remained limited to sculpture, literature, architecture, painting, poetry, music, and dance.