“Fine Art: Describes solely those categories of artworks traditionally judged to be the most prominent in forms of aesthetic significance. They include architecture, painting, sculpture, and many of the graphic arts, and are contrasted with decorative and applied art, in which function is as important as aesthetic considerations. Within painting, history painting was considered most important, followed by portraiture and landscape.
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.