Fine art is created primarily for aesthetics and glory in European academic art traditions, distinguishing it from decorative art or applied art. It also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork.
One of the definitions of fine art is a visual art considered to have been developed primarily for aesthetic and intellectual reasons and evaluated for its beauty and meaningfulness, especially painting, oil, watercolor, graphics, drawing, and architecture. In that sense, there are noticeable differences between the fine arts and the decorative arts or applied arts (these two terms covering mostly the same media). As far as the art consumer was concerned, the recognition of aesthetic qualities required an exquisite judgment, generally reflected as having good taste, which differentiated fine art from popular art and entertainment.
According to traditional Western European canons, the word “fine” does not so much specify the artwork’s property is in question but the theme’s purity. In arts of architecture, where a practical utility was accepted, this definition initially excluded the word “useful” related to decorative arts and the products of what was mentioned as general crafts. In modern practice, these distinctions and restrictions have become virtually meaningless, as the artist’s concept or intention is given importance, regardless of the means through which this is expressed.
The fine art term is typically only used for Western art from the Renaissance onwards, although similar genre distinctions can apply to other cultures’ art, Americas, Asia. The term “fine arts” is sometimes also called the “major arts,” with “minor arts” equating to the decorative arts.