How do art historians categorize the different subjects explored by artists? Why do artists work within specific subject categories?

The word subject in art refers to the main point represented in the artwork. The subject is the importance of the artwork. Art historians categorize the different subjects used by artists as follows; Still life, landscape, nature, portraiture, and the abstract art. The aim of this paper is going to discuss different subjects explored by artists and why do artists work within specific subject categories.

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Still, life refers to the collection of inanimate objects that are arranged together systematically and was used by art historians to show us an anew looking of ordinary objects in the environment. The objects were placed in a specific format of arrangement and painted with ink taking a new meaning and imbued with a life exceeding there ordinary. The subject matter of still life painting is determined by the objects that are used in paintings that cover natural still life objects appearing in most still life painting history Still life painting objects have an important meaning on personal, societal, cultural and religious. Some artist sticks to this subject because life drawing and painting play good roles in every human being and it helps in visual communication (Lanham,2010). Another subject is landscape painting and drawing which it is the main focus is on natural scenery for example; forests, rivers mountains, and valleys. Artists choose to narrate their future of the earth in many various ways. Landscape painting can be formed abstractly so that the imagery is pervaded with more spiritual meaning. For Example, aboriginal artists from Australia create a detailed abstract painting and the Fauvists who use color to create a highly emotional creative landscape. Also, the landscape can include objects of seascapes, skyscapes, riverscapes, and cloudscapes to depict the center of some scenery. Artists love this landscape subject as it provides people with emotional experience that is totally different from the main subject.

Nature in art, Nature is what is around, and within us for example flowers, trees animals, water, plants botany and many others, Nature art as a subject is equivalent to the natural and the phenomena of the physical world. The artwork of nature takes many visual forms that are by taking visually replicated objects from their original appearance in real life. Nature in art is important because artists feel a connection to the nature and beauty of the world. Portrait painting and drawing is also another subject which depicts the images of specific animals or persons. Portraits are not only in visual representation, but it can also tell us about the essence of the person. Portraits painting and drawing can work as a biography by telling the story of persons real life in the artwork, and also it reveals the sitter’s place in the community and their aspects of personal beliefs. Some artists prefer portraits painting because they are used to show the power, beauty, wealth and other importance sitters. They are intended to display the personality, behavior and the mood of people in the society. Abstract art is a subject that does not represent visual reality, images but it uses colors shapes and gestures to achieve its is a good way to express timeless questions of spiritual nature and investigations of various things of life existence. Abstract by nature attracts free association which depicts that persons can assign different understanding to the also expresses things that we can not see by our eyes but using images that people can easily understand, and it focuses the non-linear emotions of the world. Artists stick to this subject because the abstract art opens interpretation and gives freedom to enjoy the artwork and admit their own understandings of artists and imaginations.


Works cited

Lanham, Richard A. The electronic word: Democracy, technology, and the arts. University of Chicago Press, 2010.

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