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English artEdit

Reasons for stub (but maybe "rfc" is better):

  • Etymology in wrong place, thou art sense has different etymology.
  • The definition given could be tighter.
  • The sense as in art of computer programming or liberal art is missing.
  • All kinds of interesting related terms (black art, fine art, liberal art, artist, artful, folk art etc., etc. are missing)
  • Could use a Wikipedia link
  • Proper Noun (Arthur etc.).

By the first definition, wouldn't drugs be art? -DanielLC

Why are there two Interlingua translations for English art?--Kip122 00:46, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

They are Interlingua and Interlingue, two different languages.

The problem with these definitions is they are defining a specific art, or a group of art types. They are not defining what art really is. In addition, there are two different uses of the term that are not encompassed by these definitions. Consider the usage "state of the art" when applied to technology. Now consider the same usage - "State of the art" when applied to a dance troupe or modern painting school. There are also subtle distinctions for a given piece of art. Consider for example of the art rendered by a great pianist playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata". How is that both similar and different from the art rendered by Beethoven when he composed "Moonlight Sonata"?

At one point in history a judge had to determine what is art (I believe it was during a obscenity law suit involving Mapplethorpe). The judge could not find an adequate answer and so concluded that "art is what artists do". From that standpoint, and also considering that many people felt Mapplethorpe was an artist, than the judge concluded if Mapplethorpe (an artist) declared what he did was art, who was the judge to disagree. Critics may argue that it is good or bad art, but it was still art. The case against Mapplethorpe was dropped.

So let us get to the real definition of art, and not the judges definition. The real definition of art is two-fold. The first part is that art is a creative process. Creating something that did not exist before is an act of art. Therefore, the statement "state of the art" when applied to technology is describing the state of the creative process in a technological setting. Great creativity can be appreciated and praise whether it is a painting or a computer chip. Creativity is still rare enough that it can be cherished and appreciated.

But, creativity does not cover the piano player performing "Beethoven". Oh, I will fully admit that the player may add a certain amount of personal touch to the piece. That player may enhance spots that were not enhanced in the original score; may downplay spots that Beethoven wanted enhanced. But, that is not the same as creativity. That is interpretation. The musical notes are Beethoven's. It was Beethoven that did the creative part. Yet, the player can still be a great artist. Therefore, there needs to be a definition of art that encompasses the piano player. What is the piano player doing? Why is one piano player considered great and another grating?

The second part of art is the communication of emotion. It is easy to communicate ideas. We do it all the time. Heck, the abbreviated language of texting can communicate ideas, fact, and data quickly and succinctly (unlike me, who is verbose and long-winded). Communicating emotion is difficult. You can write the words "I Love You" to someone, but that is a fact, a data point. That does not communicate the emotional impact of love to the other person. On the other hand, the play “Romeo and Juliet” communicates a concept of love so powerful the people are willing to die for that emotion. That is art because those experiencing the play can feel the emotion, the pain, the suffering, the ecstasy that goes with that emotion. It is no longer a data point, a statement of fact; the work of the artists has rendered the production into a communication of emotion from the artist to the audience.

This then gives us two axis of the art "graph" - the creative axis and the emotional content axis. We can then divide the "artistic graph" into four quadrants (consider the irony of using a math metaphor to study art). If the vertical axis is creativity and the horizontal axis is emotional content, then we can analyze each quadrant separately, examining the meaning of each. In the lower left is the quadrant that contains neither large amounts of creativity nor large amounts of emotional content. That quadrant is the mundane, the normal, the everyday existence. I call this quadrant the technician quad. While “technician” implies something technical, the true meaning of the technician is one who implements something, who makes, builds, fixes, or otherwise works something. While there may be some emotional content and some creativity it never breaks into the level that anyone would call "art".

The upper left quadrant is the creative quadrant. Here we see the creation of things that never existed before. While I like to call this the engineering quadrant, it goes way beyond engineering. However, the reason I refer this quadrant as the engineering quadrant is because engineers render concepts into created products - whether those products are bridges, buildings, computers, software, or whatever, it is an engineering effort to create something new and different that did not exist before. Some say (Heinlein was a good one for this rant) that modern art is devoid of emotion. If that is the case, then the modern sculpture or painting is a work of engineering not art. Note that creating a copy of something is also not art nor is it engineering. While something is created, it is not new or original. The first wheel was a creative piece of art. The 1000th wheel is just a copy. Originality is what gets you into the upper left quad. Duplication moves you down into the lower left.

The lower right quadrant is reserved for the communication of emotions. Great emotional communication is a powerful force. I call this quadrant the performing arts quadrant, although it is more than just the performing arts, and more people do it than performing artists. However, great performing artists, whether actors, singers, musicians, mimes, or comedians, all are great at allowing the audience to empathize with the artist – to feel what the artist is feeling. Powerful performers leave an audience stunned with emotional impact. There may be no true creativity. They are performing something that another person created (an author or composor or correographer). However, they are communicating emotion, and that is the second part of art – the communication of emotion. There are performers who are technically perfect in their implementation, but bring no emotional connection to the audience. Those people would be performance technicians, but are not performing artists.

We now come to the upper right hand corner. In this corner we have both creativity and emotional content. I call this the true artist quad, but again, it is more than that. These people create something that never existed before and that thing has great emotional content. Leonardo was both a great creative, emotionally impactful artist (consider the “Last Supper”) in the upper right quad, but he was also a great engineer in the upper left quad (consider his various flying machines). Using the judges definition, his emotion-free creations are still art (since he is an artist), they just lack the emotional impact of true art. The great masters (Van Gogh, Picasso, Mozart, Debussy, and Michael Angelo, to name a few) showed both great creativity and great emotional content. They are true artists because they are both creative and emotional communicators.

So, there we have it. The true definition of art is:

   1a Creation of something new
   1b Communications of emotion

However, without context, these definitions lack the force of what they really are (maybe to define art you need to communicate emotionally and creatively) and therefore are less satisfying than some of the other definitions. Therefore, the reason for this long-winded discussion item is “how do we put these definitions out there?” This is especially a problem since no dictionary defines art in this way (and therefore, they to lack the true definition of art). Sid1138 15:19, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Interesting. 16:29, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


Where are the citations for this article? For definition one, where is it cited that it must be human? Couldn't there be art on some other planet? Why not? Is it based on the observation that no other species has been found engaging in art? What if I could cite experts in peer-reviewed papers saying that they'd found one such species, right here on this planet? 04:14, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Deletion debateEdit

The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.


Rfv-sense: "Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature." Was tagged with {{fact}}, I thought it would be better to list it here. I feel like it's attempting to be genuine, but the way it's worded I don't think I understand it. A dam counteracts the work of nature by stopping water flowing, and it's clearly a human effort, is a dam therefore art? Mglovesfun (talk) 22:58, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Looks like tosh to me. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:08, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Reasonable in the sense of anything produced by skill - especially considering the general use of "term of art" in engineering etc. And yes - the Hoover Dam is a "work of art" in that sense. [1] "It also is a work of art" Collect (talk) 08:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
  • The first definition of art is in the aesthetic and the second is in the practice of skill. Any relation to nature after that is consequential or situational. If that is true it is either etymological or fanciful. Is the list not, paint, sculpture, scripture, method..? I'd have said a dam could be art if consideration was paid to the aesthetic, and that damming was artful if it were skilled. Counteracting nature is just a poetic abstraction. RTG (talk) 09:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
The focus of the definition does seem to be nature. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:52, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't get why the word nature needs to be in the definition either.
The current configuration of main definitions, on which the translation tables are built, has been there since 2005. But I find the definitions variously hard to understand, tendentious, or duplicative, especially in the absence of usage examples of citations. I'm also not sure about completeness. This would be a candidate for some kind of advanced cleanup. DCDuring TALK 14:33, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Striking; contested sense deleted as unverified. bd2412 T 15:14, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Deletion discussion 2Edit

The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.


Per Wiktionary:Feedback#art

"The third definition of "art" ("A re-creation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value judgments") is taken nearly verbatim from the novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. However meritorious that perspective on art may be, it should hardly be considered a formal dictionary definition. If Wiktionary were to follow that standard, by the same logic, it would have to also include countless other ways people have chosen to summarize the concept of "art," which can be more accurately called personal opinions or philosophies rather than objective definitions."

I'm inclined to agree. Rand's definition of art may be philosophically distinct from other definitions (our number 1 def currently seems to be stolen from Alexander Brouwer), but it still refers to the same physical objects (a painting is art, whether because it's "a production of the beautiful in a graphic medium" or because it's "a re-creation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value judgments"). Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:17, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Delete Not every predicate applied to a word is its definition, even if it is a noun phrase worded a bit like one. DCDuring TALK 15:22, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, delete per nom. - -sche (discuss) 03:40, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Delete. What's next, senses at happiness for "a warm puppy" and "a many-splendored thing at love? Chuck Entz (talk) 03:50, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Delete per the quoted Feedback text above; the nominated definition is redundant; it is an attempt at an alternative characterization of the same thing we have under sense 1. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:43, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
  • RFD sense deleted per consensus. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:29, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Archived feedbackEdit

Latvian art etymology=Edit

Claiming that it comes from *h₁er- is suspect. See here Zezen (talk) 23:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

RFC discussion: November 2012–August 2017Edit

The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup (permalink).

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

The following is from WT:RFV#art:

The current configuration of main definitions, on which the translation tables are built, has been there since 2005. But I find the definitions variously hard to understand, tendentious, or duplicative, especially in the absence of usage examples of citations. I'm also not sure about completeness. This would be a candidate for some kind of advanced cleanup. DCDuring TALK 14:33, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes we do surprisingly badly on very common English words, probably for this reason, definition written back in 2005 or even before in some cases, and never reviewed, as we seem to focus too much in my opinion on adding new words, not improving the one's we have. We have ten definitions, some long wrong, silly or meaningless like "Activity intended to make something special". #2 looks good to me (might need a very slight reword) but I'd favor removing everything else and starting from scratch. It would cause chaos with the translations, and the rfv-sense should remain until (or if) it fails. Would do it myself were it not for the translations. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:12, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

  • The appearance is fine now - lots of TTBC's, but that's not a Cleanup issue. --WF on Holiday (talk) 07:23, 19 August 2017 (UTC)

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