What is Fine Art?

Discover what makes Fine Art so valuable to so many people in today’s society.

Dawsons monthly Fine Art & Antiques sale showcases some of the most wonderful fine art in the UK.


Our seasoned auction attendees at Dawsons will know all about our monthly Fine Art & Antiques sale that showcases some of the most magnificent fine art in the country. However, if you are new to the world of auction rooms, a few questions may pop into your head around this type of sale. Possibly even more so about what it is that we auction at this sale. We are here to guide you on your auction journey, whatever that may be. And so, let us begin a deep dive into the world of fine art.


What is fine art?

Fine art is a subjective phrase that, like art and creative genres, has changed over time. We think of art as the process of producing something unique that appeals to our senses of sight and sound. Sometimes known as "high art," fine art has traditionally been considered the pinnacle of aesthetic expression. Fine artists create work only to delight the eye. 


Carl Haag (1820-1915) German/British, 'The coffee service'

Sold for £14,500 


Fine Art Definition

There are two primary definitions of fine art. The first is fine art which is a creative visual art genre. It is valued primarily for its aesthetic and intellectual sense. The second is praise to the artist, with the term "fine art" referring to work that requires a high level of talent or competence to create. Exquisite artists make this fine art in both meanings. 


 Peter Beard (1938-2020) 'Diary' pages, collage

Sold for £5,800


What Is the Meaning of Fine Art?

"Fine art" is a term used in European culture and academic traditions to describe work that is created primarily to be appreciated for its aesthetics or beauty. Fine art is distinguished from commercial artworks created for commerce and decorative art and applied arts such as pottery and weaving, which have a practical use.


Why Do They Call It Fine Art?

The distinction between fine, ornamental, and commercial arts has dissolved in modern or contemporary art. Some modern art may be classified as high art, yet they employ methods used in lesser art forms. Pop Art and Feminist Art are examples of creative trends in which traditionally decorative or commercial approaches have been transformed into fine art.


What Is Included in the Fine Arts?

Fine art traditionally divides into five categories. Paintings, architecture, sculptures, music, and poetry were among the fine arts. However, the current list of fine arts is now more extensive and includes further forms, bringing the total number of recognised fine arts to seven.


Which Are the 7 Fine Arts?

  1. Painting
  2. Architecture
  3. Sculpture
  4. Music
  5. Poetry
  6. Performing Arts
  7. Photography


Theatre and dance are examples of performing arts. In contrast, a modern vision of the fine arts can include video, photography, shadow boxes, mixed media artworks, printing, design, sequential art, and conceptual art.



Why fine art is important

How paintings are valued

How can you tell if a painting is rare?


We hope that you learned something new from this article and found it informative. As briefly stated above, we hold monthly Fine Art & Antiques auctions. You can find the next upcoming auction here.  

Alternatively, please do get in touch if you have any fine art or antiques that you are keen to value.

We would love to hear from you: 

0207 431 9445 / info@DawsonsAuctions.co.uk