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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

A phrase that emphasizes the permanence of art and the fleeting nature of human life. As I've gotten older, I've been painting more because I know that art is long and life is short.
See also: and, art, life, long, short

have (something) down to a fine art

To do something well or efficiently, typically due to one's experience at it. I'm a working mom of three, so I've got lunch-making down to a fine art—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter.
See also: art, down, fine, have

to a fine art

In a manner or form that is masterful. The English have raised the simple act of making a cup of tea to a fine art. Make sure you practice these equations until you have them down to a fine art.
See also: art, fine

have (something) off to a fine art

To do something well or efficiently, typically due to one's experience at it. I'm a working mom of three, so I have lunch-making off to a fine art—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter.
See also: art, fine, have, off

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

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

have something down to a fine art

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

have got something down to a fine art

BRITISH
If you have an activity down to a fine art, you know the best way of doing it because you have done it a lot. They've got fruit retailing down to a fine art. You can be sure that your pears will ripen in a day. Shopping for food is the biggest problem, though she has it down to a fine art. `I go to the cheapest shops and buy only frozen or canned goods'.
See also: art, down, fine, have, something

state of the art

or

state-of-the-art

COMMON Something that is state of the art or state-of-the-art has the most modern and advanced features and technology. The new apartments would be state of the art. We've now installed our own state-of-the-art cameras.
See also: art, of, state

art for art's sake

the idea that a work of art has no purpose beyond itself.
This phrase is the slogan of artists who hold that the chief or only aim of a work of art is the self-expression of the individual artist who creates it.
See also: art, sake

be art and part of

be an accessory or participant in; be deeply involved in.
Be art and part of was originally a Scottish legal expression: art referred to the bringing about of an action and part to participation in it.
See also: and, art, of, part

have (or get) something down to a fine art

achieve a high level of skill, facility, or accomplishment in some activity through experience.
See also: art, down, fine, have, something

the noble art

boxing. chiefly archaic
A fuller version of this phrase is the noble art (or science ) of self-defence .
See also: art

state of the art

the most recent stage in the development of a product, incorporating the newest ideas and the most up-to-date features.
See also: art, of, state

have something down to a fine ˈart

(informal, often humorous) learn through experience how to do something perfectly: I found it difficult to organize the timetables at first, but now I’ve got it down to a fine art.She has complaining in restaurants down to a fine art! Head waiters are terrified of her.
See also: art, down, fine, have, something

ˌstate of the ˈart

using the most modern or advanced techniques or methods; as good as it can be at the present time: The security system we’re using is state of the art.This computer uses state-of-the-art technology.
See also: art, of, state
References in classic literature ?
But among the lower classes the art of Sight Recognition is regarded as an unattainable luxury.
And it is to be noted that it is the fact that Art is this intense form of Individualism that makes the public try to exercise over it in an authority that is as immoral as it is ridiculous, and as corrupting as it is contemptible.
This magnificent art produced by the Vandals has been slain by the academies.
The Stones of Venice' is an, impassioned exposition of the beauty of Venetian Gothic architecture, and here as always Ruskin expresses his vehement preference for the Gothic art of the Middle Ages as contrasted with the less original and as it seems to him less sincere style of the Renaissance.
And the art of payment has the special function of giving pay: but we do not confuse this with other arts, any more than the art of the pilot is to be confused with the art of medicine, because the health of the pilot may be improved by a sea voyage.
Thus, historically viewed, it has been the office of art to educate the perception of beauty.
Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are--my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks--we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.
Glory in thy humble birth, Sancho, and he not ashamed of saying thou art peasant-born; for when it is seen thou art not ashamed no one will set himself to put thee to the blush; and pride thyself rather upon being one of lowly virtue than a lofty sinner.
To be near the goal while the enemy is still far from it, to wait at ease while the enemy is toiling and struggling, to be well-fed while the enemy is famished:--this is the art of husbanding one's strength.
It is a grotesque misapprehension which sees in art no more than a craft comprehensible perfectly only to the craftsman: art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand.
So, Master Reynold Greenleaf, thou art anhungered, art thou?
I now think that there is a finer and truer method than his, but in its way, Tourguenief's method is as far as art can go.
You," he said to the First Poet, "excel in Art - take the Apple.
So, now thou art to be at an hour's warning, whensoever
for it seems perhaps difficult to conceive that any one should have had enough of impudence to lay down dogmatical rules in any art or science without the least foundation.