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The humanities are the study of how people process and record their experiences. It can also be described as cultural aspects that investigate what it means to be human (Batteux 78). There is a distinction between humanities and sciences in terms of how they attempt to understand the universe. Humanity reflects humanity's involvements with reality, to deduce reality, to turn our inner involvements into touchable forms, to judge and assess reality, and to comment on reality.
Symbols, imagination, fine and applied arts, and aesthetic engagement are the primary considerations of the arts (Steele 38). A symbol is a physical representation of an abstract thing. Through symbols, the artwork is made into doorways resulting in enriched meaning. Through creativity, artists explore new ways of expressing ideas through the process in which technique, material, creative action, and thought syndicate in a medium to generate something new that will trigger human experience that is our human response to artwork (Batteux 82). Fine and applied arts, on the other hand, means painting, theatre, music, sculpture, architecture, dance, and cinema. In applied arts, there is the inclusion of decorative arts and design and refers to forms of arts that have principally ornamental rather than emotional or communicative purpose.
The four functions of arts are as follows, first is the elevation of the community status. This elevation is through having specific art pieces in the community that perform a given social function. An example is Calder stabile, which can be a community’s point of pride. Secondly, arts can be used as entertaining tools (Batteux 87). Many artistic creations can attract one's emotions and make a person to laugh even if he or she was not prepared to laugh. The third function is control; arts have been used to exert enchanted control over time, acquisition of food or even the seasons. Fourth and lastly, art is used to bring order to a messy situation (Batteux 90). In the case of disorder in the world, the artists can take up the role of controlling the situation by coming up with artworks that symbolize importance of peace maintenance.
The purposes of arts may be summarized as, communication of ideas; such as spiritual and political ideas, philosophically motivated art that creates a sense of beauty (Batteux 93). Also, arts purposes to explore perception nature, strong emotions generation among many other purposes. To analyze the artworks, we use two types of criticism; contextual and formal criticism (Steele 33). The similarity between formal and contextual criticism is that they both focus on a particular artwork (Steele 40). On the other hand, the difference between these two types of criticism is, formal criticism describes the artists’ work while contextual criticism describes how the artist’s work fits in the world around it.
Identification of artworks follows the procedure of forgery detection or determination of the treatment that is needed to reinstate a spoilt item. The identification processes involve the technical specialist working with an art historian in discovering the actual executor of a given drawing, painting, or sculpture (Steele 33). The art historian compares the item in question with examples from the artist’s primary work. The degree of examination depends much on circumstances and context. Investigation initiates with the visual survey, complemented by photography in the infrared, ultraviolet, and normal light. For effective identification, the photographs are taken in front of the painting with both tangential and normal illumination, finally showing the surface irregularities.
Batteux, Charles. The fine arts reduced to a single principle. Oxford University Press, USA, 2015.
Steele, Valerie. Paris fashion: a cultural history. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
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