By Elizabeth Prettejohn
What can we suggest once we name a piece of artwork "beautiful"? How have artists spoke back to altering notions of the attractive? which fits of artwork were referred to as appealing, and why? basic and fascinating inquiries to artists and artwork enthusiasts, yet ones which are all too frequently neglected in discussions of paintings today.
Elizabeth Prettejohn argues that we easily can't have enough money to disregard those questions. Charting over 2 hundred years of western artwork, she illuminates the very important courting among our altering notions of attractiveness and particular artworks, from the works of Kauffman to Whistler, Ingres to Rosetti, Cezanne to Pollack. superbly illustrated with a hundred photographs--60 in complete color--Beauty and Art concludes with a difficult query for the longer term: Why may still we care approximately attractiveness within the twenty-first century?
Elizabeth Prettejohn is a Professor of recent paintings on the collage of Plymouth.
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Extra resources for Beauty and Art: 1750-2000 (Oxford History of Art)
The Greek ideal of human beauty is too inextricably intertwined with the European cultural heritage to be amenable to a wholly free judgement of taste. Moreover, for Kant the normative ideas involved in declaring the Greek sculptures to represent an ‘ideal’ or a perfect human form cannot be aesthetic, since they depend on a concept of what the human form ought to be like. Kant seems, then, to vacillate between two different ways of thinking about beauty. On the one hand, he maintains that it is possible in theory to make a pure judgement of taste about any object whatsoever, provided we rid our minds of all personal interests and all thought of the ends the object might serve.
In the early nineteenth century Runge designed eighteenth-century germany: winckelmann and kant 59 60 eighteenth-century germany: winckelmann and kant 33 Philipp Otto Runge The Times of Day, 1805 a cycle of prints about The Times of Day ; each of the four prints supplements its basic concept (Morning, Midday, Evening, Night) with a wealth of aesthetic ideas that cannot be adequately encapsulated in words. Runge wanted to expand his black-and-white designs into colour, and to design an architectural setting where they would be accompanied by music, thus increasing the range of their aesthetic ideas in multiple directions.
Passages such as that on the Venus de’Medici, as well as that on the Apollo Belvedere, raise urgent questions about the relationship between the beautiful and the erotic—questions which, as we shall see, have remained central to both aesthetic thought and art practice ever since. It would be easy enough to resolve them by collapsing the beautiful into the erotic. Thus in Winckelmann’s case it is tempting to avoid difﬁculties by seeing his love of the beautiful simply as a disguised or sublimated form of erotic attraction to young men.