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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

state of the art

Having or using the most advanced, up-to-date technology available. Sometimes hyphenated when used before a noun. Our new state-of-the-art facility will be at the forefront of cancer research. After working in such a drab, old-fashioned office for so long, it's refreshing to work somewhere that's so state of the art.
See also: art, of, state

art for art's sake

Art created for the sole purpose of being an artistic expression. Don't interpret this piece as some sort of political statement—it's just art for art's sake.
See also: art, sake

be art and part of (something)

To be an active participant in something. I really hope you aren't art and part of your brother's foolish schemes.
See also: and, art, of, part

the noble art (of self-defense)

The sport of boxing. Any two yahoos can get into a fistfight, but it takes real skill, dedication, and training to learn the noble art of self-defense. He spent most of his career training in the noble art before joining the world of mixed martial arts last year.
See also: art, noble

fine art

Something that requires finely-honed abilities and/or a particular expertise. Managing an entire team of people is a fine art—I don't think I could do it as well as Joann does.
See also: art, 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

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, noble

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

state of the art

Representing or incorporating the latest advances. This expression, dating from the late 1800s, has nothing to do with the condition of the fine arts. Rather, it first applies art to technology, a usage still current. B. G. Bender used it in Microminiaturism (1962), “. . . techniques have been developed for producing chips . . . which have advanced the state of the art.” However, it also is used more broadly, and often as an adjective, as in “That redecorated living room is state of the art.”
See also: art, of, state
References in classic literature ?
Then, I said, no science or art considers or enjoins the interest of the stronger or superior, but only the interest of the subject and weaker?
Then, I said, Thrasymachus, there is no one in any rule who, in so far as he is a ruler, considers or enjoins what is for his own interest, but always what is for the interest of his subject or suitable to his art; to that he looks, and that alone he considers in everything which he says and does.
The reference of all production at last to an aboriginal Power explains the traits common to all works of the highest art,--that they are universally intelligible; that they restore to us the simplest states of mind, and are religious.
A true announcement of the law of creation, if a man were found worthy to declare it, would carry art up into the kingdom of nature, and destroy its separate and contrasted existence.
However, let us leave what is really a very sordid side of the subject, and return to the question of popular control in the matter of Art, by which I mean Public Opinion dictating to the artist the form which he is to use, the mode in which he is to use it, and the materials with which he is to work.
The thing that stops them, it must be said again, is their desire to exercise authority over the artist and over works of art. To certain theatres, such as the Lyceum and the Haymarket, the public seem to come in a proper mood.
Art often undergoes a transformation while they are pending,
pendent opera interrupta ; they proceed quietly in accordance with the transformed art. The new art takes the monument where it finds it, incrusts itself there, assimilates it to itself, develops it according to its fancy, and finishes it if it can.
He was a psycho-pathologist, as well as a student of art, and the subconscious had few secrets from him.
All this activity had not caused Ruskin altogether to abandon the teaching of art to the members of the more well-to-do classes, and beginning in 1870 he held for three or four triennial terms the newly-established professorship of Art at Oxford and gave to it much hard labor.
Ruskin, like Carlyle, was a strange compound of genius, nobility, and unreasonableness, but as time goes on his dogmatism and violence may well be more and more forgotten, while his idealism, his penetrating interpretation of art and life, his fruitful work for a more tolerable social order, and his magnificent mastery of style and description assure him a permanent place in the history of English literature and of civilization.
"Then thou art perhaps an expert on the leech?" asked Zarathustra; "and thou investigatest the leech to its ultimate basis, thou conscientious one?"
Thou art the man, Thou the accursed polluter of this land.
TEIRESIAS I say thou art the murderer of the man Whose murderer thou pursuest.
"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.