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❶Study is the means by which the artist brings to consciousness such a content.

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You should indent direct quotations and enclose them in quotation marks [" "]. Add the footnote at the end of the quote. Avoid overcrowding your essay with fuzzy ill-informed generalities, like "art is eternal". Be careful with art historical terms such as Impressionism, Realism or Postmodernism. When you capitalize them, you emphasize their art historical meaning.

Leave out all the slang and colloquial phrases. However, when you introduce the painter, use the full name. Such style concerns not very famous artists and the namesakes to tell one from another. Italicize or write in bold the titles of paintings you talk about in your essay. Don't fail to identify the definite work by adding location or collection and date. Mentioning the date is the minimum requirement. All the numbers less than a hundred should be written as words and for numbers greater than one hundred use figures.

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Send your email To. Add a personal note. Send Us Site Feedback. The spiritual values are seized in the work of art and emphasized with greater purity and clarity than is possible in ordinary reality, therefore the work of art is greater.

Man is a thinking consciousness; he makes explicit to himself all that exists. He has a need to bring himself in his own inner life to consciousness. He needs to assert himself in that which is presented him in immediacy, external to himself, and by doing so at the same time to recognize himself therein. This purpose he achieves by the alteration he effects in external objects, upon which he imprints the seal of his inner life.

He does this in order that he may divest the world of its alienation from himself. A boy throws stones into a stream, and then looks with wonder at the circles which follow in the water, seeing there something of hs own doing. This need runs through everything up to the level of art. Man satisfies his spirit by making explicit to his inner life all that exists, as well as further giving a realized external embodiment to the self thus made explicit.

And by this reduplication of what is his own he places before the vision and within the cognition of himself and others what is within him.

Writers have asked what feelings art ought to excite. But feelings are subjective and passing, although powerful at the time, which is why people are so proud of having emotions. The trouble is that they do not attempt to study their emotions, which would help by creating thereby a distance from them.

Art can give this distance, because by depicting emotions, it helps the onlooker towards the study of his own emotions. Is art there to excite a feeling for beauty? To appreciate beauty people have cultivated taste, but taste is superficial, and cannot grasp the real profoundity of art.

Art scholarship is too often concerned only with externals. Art therefore is not just for the senses. The mind is intended to be affected as well and to receive some kind of satisfaction in it. The creative imagination of a true artist is the imagination of a great mind and a big heart, it grasps the profoundest and most embracing human interests in the wholly definite presentation of imagery borrowed from objective experience.

Art is not meant to be a mere imitation of Nature — if it attempts a mere copy it will always lag a long way behind. Nevertheless the artist must learn the laws of Nature; of colour and chiaroscuro; of line and form.

So what is the true content of art, and what is its aim? One opinion is that it is the the task of art to bring before us everything that the spirit of man can concieve. Sensual desire is more brutal and domineering the more it appropriates the entire man, so that he does not retain the power to separate himself, and loses touch with his universal capacity. Sometimes art showing such passions can awaken man to the horror of his condition, he can see them outside himself, they come before him as objects rather than part of himself — he begins to be free from them as aliens.

In the same way, wailing women were hired at funerals, to create an external expression of grief, so that the sufferer can see his sorrow in an objective form and in reflecting on it, his sorrow is made lighter. So art, while still remaining in the sphere of the senses, faces man from the might of his sensitive experience by means of its representations.

We have seen how art instructs by revealing to man the contents of his nature, but if art tries to bluntly teach, it becomes merely a maxim, with the art added on as bait. Thereby the very nature of art is abused. For a work of art ought not to bring before the creative imagination a content in its universality as such, but rather this universality under the mode of individual concreteness and distinctive sensuous particularity.

For other ends such as instruction, purification, improvement, riches, fame and honour have nothing to do with a work of art as such, still less with the concept of art. Ludwig Wittgenstein — Wittgenstein has said that in his opinion the subject of aesthetics is very big and entirely misunderstood.

He would like a book on philosophy to contain chapters on words, and confusions that come up with them. He compares language to a tool chest; words are used together in a family of ways — yet the tools could be very different.

Now it makes sense! In one case you learn the rules. A tailor learns how to measure and cut the coat. Nevertheless we need the rules. In learning the rules, you get a more and more refined judgement; in fact learning the rules actually changes your judgement. The rules of harmony in music came about because they expressed the way most people wanted the chords to follow — their wishes crytallized in these rules. All the greatest composers wrote in accordance with these rules, and yet you can say that every composer changed the rules, but the variation was very slight, not all the rules were changed.

In the Arts, a person who has judgment also changes and develops. We can distinguish between a person who knows what he is talking about and one who does not. No, the bass is not quite loud enough. Although we can see when someone appreciates something, it is impossible to describe. To do this we would have to describe the whole environment. Entirely different things enter. In a style of architecture a door may be correct, and you appreciate it, but in the case of a Gothic Cathedral, we do not just find it correct — it has a different role to play in our lives.

To describe what you mean by a cultured taste, you have to describe a culture. An entirely different game is played in different ages.


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What is Art? essaysArt has been a part of our life for as long as humanity has existed. For thousands of years people have been creating, looking at, criticizing, and enjoying art. I would like to address three questions: what is art, what is its purpose, and why has it survived for this long.

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Art Essay Start your work on the art essay by choosing a subject related to your studio preferences. When you write about art the spotlight of your analysis is the original art objects and exhibitions. These are Ben Davis's picks for the year's best art essays.