Best word I could come up was "provocativeness", but I don't exactly like it. I don't think art has to be provocative. Well, the best art is probably provocative, but i.e. picture on a book cover whilst most often not provocative, still has more "artistic value" than some graffiti (which actually might be much more provoking) or a wall painted during renovation.

One word that sounded more pleasant is "artistry", but that seems to be a "quality of creator" rather than "quality of work of art".

Tags seem to ask me for a sample sentence, so here's one or two:

My sister calls herself an artist, but * of her creations is rather poor.

In general, cinematography has higher level of * than video games.

  • Apparently, 'inspirationality' hasn't made it into the lexicon yet. 'Inspirational' can mean either demonstrating or promoting ... er ... inspiration. Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 12:37
  • your 'quality' works nicely
    – lbf
    Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 13:11
  • Artistry also describes the object itself rather than the creator: " artistic quality of effect or workmanship // the artistry of his novel. Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 15:20
  • I don't think you're going to find anything better than the two word phrase "artistic value" Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


One of the latent assumptions here is that artistic merit can be observed and compared. It sounds like a version of high art and low art, the former being for the upper crust or intellectual enjoyment and the latter being for the masses or for visceral response.

Aesthetics (noun) or aesthetic (noun or adjective) are often used to refer to the quality of appearance. I'll reproduce the Merriam-Webster entry for the noun version:

1 aesthetics also esthetics\ es-​ˈthe-​tiks , is-​ , British usually ēs-​\ plural in form but singular or plural in construction : a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste and with the creation and appreciation of beauty

2 : a particular theory or conception of beauty or art : a particular taste for or approach to what is pleasing to the senses and especially sight

modernist aesthetics

staging new ballets which reflected the aesthetic of the new nation— Mary Clarke & Clement Crisp

3 aesthetics also esthetics plural : a pleasing appearance or effect : beauty

appreciated the aesthetics of the gemstones

Definition 2 shows aesthetic used to classify specific works, as if each work has a type or kind of aesthetic. Meanwhile, definition 3 shows aesthetics to be used to evaluate the quality of appearance, whether it's the cut of a gemstone or the visual elements of a painting.


I'd suggest expressiveness, possibly with "artistic" if you need to emphasize that:

My sister calls herself an artist, but the (artistic) expressiveness of her creations is rather poor.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.