What is decorative art?
Decorative arts, broadly defined, are artifacts that have artistic features and were created by experienced artisans but do not fall into the broad categories of painting, sculpture, or architecture. What is the precise definition of decorative arts? They include, but are not limited to, interior decoration and furniture, personal adornment (costume and jewelry), and, subsequently, product design, as a result of industrialization. Since its inception in the mid-nineteenth century, decorative arts methodology has focused on connoisseurship—dating, attribution, and the formation of formal and regional categories—which has become increasingly specialized, with medium and country of origin being the most common divisions. Since the 1970s, trends adapted from social and economic history and anthropology have enriched the field, resulting in a multifaceted investigation of the objects themselves within their context as part of the history of visual culture.
What Is the Difference Between Decorative and Fine Arts? What is the precise definition of decorative arts?
It refers to artifacts that have artistic features and were created by experienced artisans. It emerged as a result of industrialization. Painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography are examples of fine art that have no other purpose than to be admired. Decorative art, on the other hand, is frequently functional. Since its inception in the mid-nineteenth century, decorative arts methodology has focused on the formation of formal and regional categories. Another distinction is that fine art is mostly based on drawing, whereas decorative arts are primarily centered on technique. Both of these broad rules, however, include exceptions.
Now that the restricted, elitist concept of fine art has been superseded by the broader classification of visual art, the precise definition of decorative arts is less important. Furthermore, rather than decorative art, numerous modern types of ornamental work including interior/fashion design, graphics, or computers are referred to as design fields. As a result, the latter phrase is likely to fade away over time, particularly because it is so strongly associated with terms like applied art and craft. In general, decorative arts refer to artifacts that have artistic features and were created by experienced artisans as a result of industrialization.
TYPES OF MATERIALS
Since its inception, decorative arts methodology has focused on the formation of formal and regional categories. Textiles, particularly pictorial tapestries, were the most valuable and prized pieces of interior decoration for the majority of the early modern period. However, a disproportionately small number of historical textiles survive due to wear and their fragile nature, resulting in their relative underrepresentation in art historical research. Costume history, which is related to textiles, studies the evolution of dress and body decoration forms and techniques, with a focus on female dress from the beginning, but especially since the seventeenth century.
ARTISTS AND INTERIOR DESIGNERS
Although modern study is revealing more identities of significant figures, the number of nameless masters in the decorative arts remains far greater than that of acknowledged painters. Many great painters, such as Raphael (1483–1520), Bernard van Orley (1492–1542), and Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), are among the creators of textiles, particularly tapestries.
VISUAL CULTURE IN THE DECORATIVE ARTS
The hierarchical separation of fine and decorative arts, which was only created in the mid-nineteenth century as a result of industrialization, did not exist in the early modern period. Since its inception, decorative arts methodology has focused on the formation of formal and regional categories. The ornamental arts played a significant role in the often scripted lives of society’s upper crust, which were mimicked by others. The multiple roles of things are demonstrated by thorough descriptions and records of their placement. They constructed a space, defined the actors within it, and took part in daily rituals and acts. Decorative arts, when viewed in this light, can provide a particularly immediate and detailed glimpse into the past.
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Decorative Art Collections in Museums
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses one of the world’s most important collections of this genre of art. The Louvre and the Victoria and Albert Museum are the most important collections of decorative art in Europe. The Met’s collection of American works includes 12,000 pieces of furniture, silver, glass, pewter, ceramics, and textiles dating from the late 17th to the early 20th centuries. Among them is an extraordinary collection of American stained glass, which includes Louis Comfort Tiffany’s groundbreaking work.