A work of art is the product that results from the artistic creation of human work, which fulfills an aesthetic and/or social function.
That is, a work of art is the end result of the creativity and work done by an artist. Every work of art seeks to convey ideas and feelings through sensitive expressions.
A work of art can be a musical composition, a painting, a play, a poem, a sculpture or any other expression that can be materialized.
Of course, a work of art, whatever it may be, represents values that can be transcendent and universal for all humanity. But, as art is a subjective concept, the values that are transmitted are not always the same for all people.
Another way of approaching the concept of a work of art is to define it as the result of concretizing the knowledge that the artist has about the time in which he lives.
Characteristics of a work of art
Among the most important characteristics of a work of art we find:
- It results as a product of the imagination and the artist’s perception of reality.
- It is a unique and unrepeatable piece.
- Its creation has an aesthetic and not a utilitarian purpose.
- It must generate knowledge and enjoyment from the aesthetic point of view.
- It is always open for new interpretations.
- It forms more precise notions about life and improves sensitivity.
- Promotes reflection and tranquility.
Classification of works of art
Works of art are usually classified as follows:
1. Space artwork
First of all, we find the spatial works of art. All these works are tangible, visible and remain static. That is to say, they remain in time and are pieces that can be seen and touched. This would be the case of painting, sculpture, architecture, engraving and photography.
2. Temporary works of art
Second, there are the temporary works of art. Temporary works have the characteristic that they are dynamic and are maintained over time. To be able to appreciate them, they must be read or listened to, because they have a limited duration. In this group we can find musical, literary and poetic works.
3. Space-time works of art
Thirdly, there is the group of space-time works. These encompass various artistic manifestations that can be admired in a specific place and period of time, when they are taking place. They usually include elements of an intangible nature, such as the use of lighting in the theater. In this classification we find theatre, dance, cinema and performance.
Examples of works of art
To mention some examples of famous works of art, we could cite the following:
- Don Quijote of La Mancha: This chivalric novel of Spanish literature is considered one of the greatest expressions of universal literature. It was written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It was published in the year 1605.
- The sculpture of David: This sculpture was created by Michelangelo in white marble and has a height of 517 centimeters. It is considered the most popular work of sculpture throughout history in the field of art. It was created between the years of 1501 and 1504.
- The Mona Lisa: The Mona Lisa is a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci and is officially known as La Gioconda. It is a half-length painting and one of the most emblematic portraits in the art of painting. It was created between the years of 1503 and 1519.
- TheTaj Mahal: It is a funerary temple that was built in India by order of Emperor Shah Jahan between the years of 1631 and 1648, to perpetuate the memory of his wife. This temple is one of the most appreciated architectural works by humanity.
- Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: It is a musical piece composed between the years 1804 and 1808 by the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. It is a very popular composition within the classical works of music.
Of course, there are many more very important and well-known works of art. But, we have placed some representative of the different fields such as literature, sculpture, painting, architecture and music.
To conclude, we can say that the most important thing about a work of art is that it is a unique and unrepeatable creation. In addition, it has been created for purely artistic purposes in order to express ideas and feelings of an artist that are reflected in a sensitive manifestation.