In answer to this question, there was some discussion about whether these two sentences are equivalent:
Art nurtures the soul.
The arts nurture the soul.
Are they equivalent?
'The arts' is a common but woolly term and 'art' is notoriously difficult to pin down. Oxforddictionaries.com gives the following definitions:
- art [mass noun] the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power
- (the arts) the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance
What practical differences in usage are there (if any)?
Also, does Art (capital A) have a special meaning distinct from art (lower case a)?