Decorative arts

Le Nove porcelain, Bowl with cover, 1765–70, painted with ruins, soft-paste porcelain
The front side of the Cross of Lothair (c. 1000), a classic example of "Ars Sacra"
Wine Pot, ca. 18th century, China, Walters Art Museum

The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design and manufacture of objects that are both beautiful and functional. It includes most of the arts making objects for the interiors of buildings, and interior design, but not usually architecture. Ceramic art, metalwork, furniture, jewellery, fashion, various forms of the textile arts and glassware are major groupings.

Applied arts largely overlaps with decorative arts, and the modern making of applied art is usually called design. The decorative arts are often categorized in distinction to the "fine arts", namely painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale sculpture, which generally produce objects solely for their aesthetic quality and capacity to stimulate the intellect.


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