Can art be considered Literature?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question. I would say that the answer is yes and no. It all depends on how you define literature. If you define literature as a written piece of work, which most people do, then art (without text) is not literature. If you take a strict view, literature is usually divided into fiction or non-fiction, and between prose and poetry. So, from this point of view, art is not literature. 

If we define art as the communication of content, then sure art can be literature. As people say, a picture is worth a thousand words. In the end, the key is how you define literature. 

arrellbelle | Student

The questions are, how do you define literature and how do you define art? Every person is different, for example, I consider literature to be a form of written work, consisting of words, dialogue, plot, etc. However, the way I define art is entirely different. Art is a visual expression of the artist's mind through the utilization of the elements and principles of art. This can be what other people call, an "Argument of Definition".

eli468 | Student

I agree with the others above. It really depends on your definition.

Literature is defined as," writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays."

Art is defined as," the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance."

Based off of these two definitions you can see that art cannot be considered as literature, however literature can be considered as art. Art cannot be considered literature because literature is literally writing. Even if you consider," a picture is worth a thousand words," art is not literature if it has no writing, and a signature does not count as literature. However some artists do put literature pieces into their works of art and that may be considered. However, literature can be considered art because art is about what someone finds beautiful or appealing and is something that has expression. This all relates to literature. Words can be written in a very appealing and beautiful matter that is very expressive.