Difference Between Art & Literature

Key Difference – Art vs Literature

Art and literature are two concepts that can sometimes be confusing. For instance, although we consider a novel as a piece of literature, this is also referred to as a work of art. Through this article let us comprehend the difference between art and literature. Art can be defined as the expression of creative skill in a visual form. On the other hand, Literature refers to written works regarded as having artistic merit. The key difference between art and literature is that while art generally tends to be visual and auditory, literature is not. It is based on texts.

What is Art?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, art can be defined as the expression of creative skill in a visual form. This includes all forms of art such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, etc. However, art also captures the auditory forms as well. This suggests that art captures a range of human activities. Art can be categorized under various forms, genres, and techniques. For instance, when examining art one of the most basic divisions is traditional art and modern art. In traditional art, there is rigidity in form, which is not visible in contemporary art.
Art has a very long history. In the ancient days, art was visible in the form of paintings in caves. During this period of time, people used art to communicate. Some sociologists highlight that these hunting and gathering communities believed that art had magical properties. Art also had a religious function. This is well depicted in the paintings inside religious buildings such as churches and temples. Art is embraced by people all over the world. It allows them to communicate and express their creativity. Today the scope of art has become much broader in comparison to the past, where it is used for political causes, psychological well-being, commercialism, and social causes.

What is Literature?

Literature can be defined as written works regarded as having artistic merit. This is the difference between art and literature. Although it is important to highlight that a novel, poem, drama can be considered as a work of art. Literature captures a range of works that include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, dramas, journalism, etc. Mainly, literature can be categorized as poetry, prose, and drama. Literature is considered as a significant component of a particular society. This is because the literature usually mirrors the culture, tradition, language, beliefs of a particular society and its people.
Let us take a simple example. You may have read novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Part, etc. of Jane Austen. These belong to the category of fiction of English literature. Although the books are fictions, they are able to emphasize the culture and traditions of the English during the Victorian era. However, if we take another fiction from Africa, the cultural flavor of the book is completely different. Hence, literature allows the reader to immerse himself in a particular context and gain an in-depth understanding of it.

What is the difference between Art and Literature?

Definitions of Art and Literature:
Art: Art is the expression of creative skill in a visual or auditory form.
Literature: Literature refers to written works regarded as having artistic merit.
Characteristics of Art and Literature:
Art: Art is visual and auditory.
Literature: Literature is textual.
Art: Art is usually interpreted in a singular manner.
Literature: Literature can have varied interpretations.
Art: Art generally captures a specific moment.
Literature: Literature captures a span of time.

Key Takeaways

  • Art is typically visual and auditory, while literature is textual.
  • Art is usually interpreted in a singular manner, whereas literature can have varied interpretations.
  • Art generally captures a specific moment, while literature captures a span of time.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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