By W. Tatarkiewicz
The heritage of aesthetics, just like the histories of alternative sciences, can be taken care of in a two-fold demeanour: because the historical past of the boys who created the sphere of analysis, or because the historical past of the questions which were raised and resolved during its pursuit. the sooner heritage of Aesthetics (3 volumes, 1960-68, English-language variation 1970-74) by way of the writer of the current e-book was once a heritage of guys, of writers and artists who in centuries earlier have spoken up bearing on good looks and paintings, shape and crea tivity. the current ebook returns to an identical topic, yet treats it another way: because the heritage of aesthetic questions, techniques, theories. the problem of the 2 books, the former and the current, is partially an analogous; yet in simple terms partially: for the sooner publication ended with the seventeenth century, whereas the current one brings the topic as much as our personal instances. And from the 18th century to the 20 th a lot occurred in aesthetics; it used to be in basic terms in that interval that aesthetics accomplished popularity as a separate technological know-how, got a reputation of its personal, and produced theories that early students and artists had by no means dreamed of.
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Extra info for A History of Six Ideas: An Essay in Aesthetics
Kunst ist was sicht selbst die Regel gibt"). 99). However, this idea concerning the autonomy of art did not win the acceptance that Batteux's idea had. Looking back at the evolution of the concept of art, we will say that such an evolution was natural, indeed inevitable. One may only wonder that so many centuries were needed to bring the concept to its presentday form. Yet something peculiar happened: The ancient-mediaeval concept of art - the point of evolutionary departure - had been rough but clear and had permitted of simple and correct definition.
Alberti demanded of the painter (De pictura, II, p. 88) that all parts of his work should "converge into a single beauty". It is this trend that led to the definition of art established by Batteux and which was virtually the accepted canon in the 19th century. But beauty is an ambiguous notion. In its broadest sense the word may mean anything that pleases; it is not so much a concept as a sort of exclamation, a sign of approval. In a narrow sense it is most often taken to mean a sort of equilibrium, clarity, harmony of forms.
It was a term with a clear range: Batteux listed five fine arts painting, sculpture, music, poetry and dance - plus two related ones, architecture and eloquence. This list came to be universally accepted, and not only was the concept of the fine arts established but so was their roster, the system of the fine arts - after the annexation of architecture and eloquence, seven in number. The concept of the fine arts and their system seem to us simple and natural, but the historian knows how late and with what effort they were established.
A History of Six Ideas: An Essay in Aesthetics by W. Tatarkiewicz