ART has not always been what we think it is today. An object regarded as Art today may not have been perceived as such when it was first made, nor was the person who made it necessarily regarded as an artist. Both the notion of "art" and the idea of the "artist" are relatively modern terms.
Many of the objects we identify as art today -- Greek painted pottery, medieval manuscript illuminations, and so on -- were made in times and places when people had no concept of "art" as we understand the term. These objects may have been appreciated in various ways and often admired, but not as "art" in the current sense.
ART lacks a satisfactory definition. It is easier to describe it as the way something is done -- "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others" (Britannica Online) -- rather than what it is.
The idea of an object being a "work of art" emerges, together with the concept of the Artist, in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy.
During the Renaissance, the word Art emerges as a collective term encompassing Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, a grouping given currency by the Italian artist and biographer Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century. Subsequently, this grouping was expanded to include Music and Poetry which became known in the 18th century as the 'Fine Arts'. These five Arts have formed an irreducible nucleus from which have been generally excluded the 'decorative arts' and 'crafts', such as as pottery, weaving, metalworking, and furniture making, all of which have utility as an end.
But how did Art become distinguished from the decorative arts and crafts? How and why is an artist different from a craftsperson?
In the Ancient World and Middle Ages the word we would translate as 'art' today was applied to any activity governed by rules. Painting and sculpture were included among a number of human activities, such as shoemaking and weaving, which today we would call crafts.