What Are The Classifications Of Art?

The various classifications of art include: fine art, visual art, plastic art, performance art, applied art and decorative art.

Fine Art

example of fine art
The Ballerina

This category includes works of art that are created primarily for aesthetic reasons. Fine arts include:

  • Drawing – charcoal, chalk, crayon, pastel, pencil, or pen and ink
  • Painting – oils, watercolor, gouache, acrylics, ink and wash, tempera, or encaustic paints
  • Printmaking – woodcuts, stencils, engraving, etching and lithography, or screen-printing, foil imaging, or giclee prints
  • Sculpture – bronze, stone, marble, wood, or clay
  • Calligraphy – beautiful and stylized handwriting

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Visual Art

example of visual art
Digital Art

The visual arts include all the fine arts, in addition to the following:

  • New media – digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art, video games, computer robotics, 3D printing, and art as biotechnology
  • Photography art
  • Environmental art
  • Contemporary forms of expression – assemblage, collage, conceptual, installation

Plastic Art

The term plastic art includes art works that are molded and not necessarily plastic objects. This category consists of three-dimensional works like clay, plaster, stone, metals, wood and, paper (origami).


Auvers, France church painting“Van Gogh’s Church at Auvers, France”
Landscape by Teresa Bernard
20″ x 24″
Oils on gallery wrap stretched canvas

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Performance Art

This classification consist of an art form that refers to public performance events which occur mostly in the theater. Performance arts includes:

  • Traditional performance art – theatre, opera, music, and ballet
  • Contemporary performance art – mime
  • Hyper-modern performance art  – happenings

Applied Art

This category encompasses the application of aesthetic designs to everyday functional objects. Applied arts are intended for the use of a career. It includes architecture, computer art, photography, industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, and interior design.

example of decorative art
Decorative Art

Decorative Art

This classification refers to functional but ornamental art forms, such as jewelry, ceramics, mosaic art and other items that are embellished by ornaments and other designs. It also includes works in glass, clay, wood, metal, textile fabric, furniture, furnishings, stained glass and tapestry art.