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 by Teresa Bernard

This category includes works of art that are created primarily for aesthetic reasons.

Fine arts include:

    • Drawing – charcoal, chalk, crayon, pastel, graphite, colored 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
    • Environmental art
    • Contemporary forms of expression – assemblage, collage, conceptual, installation

Plastic Art

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

Performance Art

This classification consists of an art form that refers to public performance events that occur mainly in the theater. Performance arts include:

    • 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.

Decorative Art

example of decorative art
Decorative Art

This classification refers to functional but ornamental art forms, such as jewelry, ceramics, mosaic art, and other embellished items by ornaments and other designs. It also includes works in glass, clay, wood, metal, textile fabric, furniture, furnishings, stained glass, and tapestry art. Interior designers often use this art form for home, commercial and retail outlets, and office décor.

Additional Reading

Classification of Fine Art by Genre

Know Your Art Painting Styles: 7 Most Popular

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UPDATED: 10 March 2023

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