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down to a fine art

Learned, mastered, or understood perfectly, to the point of requiring little or no focus to do, recall, or accomplish. Make sure you practice these equations until you have them down to a fine art. I always get my routine down to a fine art so there won't be any room for error during the performance.
See also: art, down, fine

Art is long and life is short.

Prov. Works of art last much longer than human lives.; Life is too short to learn everything you need to know about a particular discipline. Alan: You ought to do something besides paint pictures in your spare time. Come out with us, have some fun. Bob: Having fun will not win me immortality. Only my paintings can do that. Art is long and life is short. I always feel a sense of awe when I look at the Babylonian statues in the art museum. They were made thousands of years ago. Art is long and life is short.
See also: and, art, life, long, short

state of the art

using the most recent technology. (Hyphenated before nouns.) Our company's computer setup is strictly state of the art. This state-of-the-art radio is capable of filling the whole room with sound.
See also: art, of, state

work of art

1. Lit. a piece of art. She purchased a lovely work of art for her living room.
2. . Fig. a good result of one's efforts. Your report was a real work of art. Very well done.
See also: art, of, work

to a fine art

in a way that is based on highly developed skill This restaurant elevates the sandwich to a fine art.
See also: art, fine

have something down to a fine art

  (British, American & Australian) also have something off to a fine art (British & Australian)
to be able to do something very well, usually because you have been doing it for a long time He's got sandwich making down to a fine art.
See also: art, down, fine, have


state-of-the-art equipment and machines are the most modern and of the best quality available State-of-the-art computer graphics show how your kitchen could be transformed.

fine art

Something requiring highly developed techniques and skills, as in He's turned lying into a fine art, or The contractor excels in the fine art of demolition. This term alludes to the fine arts, such as music, painting, and sculpture, which require both skill and talent. It is now often used to describe anything that takes skill to do. [First half of 1800s]
See also: art, fine

state of the art

The highest level of development, very up-to-date, as in This new television set reflects the state of the art in screen technology. Despite including the word art, this term originated in technology, and its first recorded use appears in a 1910 book on the gas turbine. Today it is often used adjectivally, as in This is a state-of-the-art camera, and sometimes very loosely, as in That movie is state-of-the-art Woody Allen.
See also: art, of, state
References in classic literature ?
We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography.
What you have told me is quite a romance, a romance of art one might call it, and the worst of having a romance of any kind is that it leaves one so unromantic.
I do not see how, with their lack of comprehension of what Art is, they could possibly use them in the proper sense.
They are, however, interested in the drama, and as a certain advance has been made in the drama within the last ten or fifteen years, it is important to point out that this advance is entirely due to a few individual artists refusing to accept the popular want of taste as their standard, and refusing to regard Art as a mere matter of demand and supply.
He was a psycho-pathologist, as well as a student of art, and the subconscious had few secrets from him.
Impossible to class it in that ancient family of sombre, mysterious churches, low and crushed as it were by the round arch, almost Egyptian, with the exception of the ceiling; all hieroglyphics, all sacerdotal, all symbolical, more loaded in their ornaments, with lozenges and zigzags, than with flowers, with flowers than with animals, with animals than with men; the work of the architect less than of the bishop; first transformation of art, all impressed with theocratic and military discipline, taking root in the Lower Empire, and stopping with the time of William the Conqueror.
Then he took the pottle of sack, and said he, "Now, good fellow, I swear by all that is bright, that thou art the stoutest companion at eating that ever I had.
From the outset, however, he was actuated by an ardent didactic purpose; he wrote of Art in order to awake men's spiritual natures to a joyful delight in the Beautiful and thus to lead, them to God, its Author.
But is the art of medicine or any other art faulty or deficient in any quality in the same way that the eye may be deficient in sight or the ear fail of hearing, and therefore requires another art to provide for the interests of seeing and hearing-- has art in itself, I say, any similar liability to fault or defect, and does every art require another supplementary art to provide for its interests, and that another and another without end?
When that has educated the frame to self-possession, to nimbleness, to grace, the steps of the dancing-master are better forgotten; so painting teaches me the splendor of color and the expression of form, and as I see many pictures and higher genius in the art, I see the boundless opulence of the pencil, the indifferency in which the artist stands free to choose out of the possible forms.
Judicious writers have always practised this art of contrast with great success.
Joe Larrabee came out of the post-oak flats of the Middle West pulsing with a genius for pictorial art.
Thou art not stone; but already hast thou become hollow by the numerous drops.
He was well acquainted with the way dilettanti have (the cleverer they were the worse he found them) of looking at the works of contemporary artists with the sole object of being in a position to say that art is a thing of the past, and that the more one sees of the new men the more one sees how inimitable the works of the great old masters have remained.
Tacitus saith, Livia sorted well with the arts of her husband, and dissimulation of her son; attributing arts or policy to Augustus, and dissimulation to Tiberius.