What is the Difference Between Subject vs Content?

What is the Difference Between Subject vs Content?

When talking about art, every piece is composed of 3 parts: subject, form, and content. Nevertheless, people tend to fail to find what is the difference between subject and content.

The subject is the main focus object in the work of art, whereas the content is the overall meaning of the piece.

You must seize the difference now, but let’s go deeper into the meaning of both these terms in art.

Definition of Subject

In art, the definition of the subject is referring to the main character, object, or anything else that is presented as the main focus in the work of art.

The subject can appear in the center of the piece, or in any other part of it, but it is always the most recognizable thing in the entire work of art, regardless of its size.

This center of attention will be recognized whether it is a commonly known thing, or because it can be seen in context alongside the rest of the work of art.

For example, in a photograph of a dog running on the beach, the dog would be the subject, because it is the most recognizable component in the picture.

In conclusion, the subject is the most recognizable part of the work of art.

Definition of Content

In the world of art, the definition of content is referred to as the general meaning or intention of the piece. It is the way to manifest the message that the artist wants to say with his work.

Content is the message given by the piece of art. It involves the subject, the techniques used to make the piece, the colors used, and anything that was used by the artist to make a statement and give a message.

So, in the same example mentioned before (a photograph of a dog running on the beach), the content could be the dog’s hair moving in the air, its tongue coming out, the white sand, a warm light from the sun, etc.. It allows to give the message that the dog feels free and happy running outside.

Content is the overall meaning or message of the work of art.

Main Differences Between Subject vs Content

Have you now a better knowledge about the differences between subject and content? Let’s recap what we’ve learned so far:

Basis of ComparisonSubject Content
Definition The main object in an artworkThe meaning of the work of art
Determination Very recognizable Must be analyzed
In the work of art Is one of the parts of a work of art Involves and unifies all parts of the artwork

Conclusion of the Main Difference Between Subject vs Content

Pieces of art are at least composed of 3 parts: subject, form, and content, and normally it is easy to confuse the subject and the content. But now you know that they are 2 different things.

The content involves all the parts of a work of art, and this includes the subject, making it a part of the content. This means that the content can be seen as a macro element on the piece, whereas the subject can be seen as a microelement on the artwork.

Now that you have finally learned what is the difference on subject vs. content, you will rock next gallery night with your friends!