The question, â€œWhat is Artâ€? has been a problem and a subject of debate for thousands of years. Great philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and 3rd century philosopher Plotinus, as well as many contemporary philosophers such as Nietzsche, Marx, Wittgenstein, Bell, Collingwood, Dickie, Wollenheim and Barthes have argued itsâ€™ definition and come up with their own numerous definitions. While the ancient philosophers concentrated more on the idea of the aesthetics (a term not introduced until 1753 by German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, even though the study of the nature of beauty had been pursued for centuries), the contemporary philosophers meant to define art, they both have a lot in common as we are faced nowadays with such things as a pile of bricks being entitled art. Anyone who thought about the subject has been forced to consider where the boundaries of art lie. In the following I will use the definitions given by the philosophers to analyse a work of art.
According to Plato and classical aesthetics, what we see on canvas is a second interpretation of an interpretation. He believed that