Download e-book for kindle: Aesthetics:: An Introduction by Ruth L. Saw (auth.)

By Ruth L. Saw (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0333115473

ISBN-13: 9780333115473

ISBN-10: 134915461X

ISBN-13: 9781349154616

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It would be sensible to ask craftsmen 8 Baertling, Creator of Open Form, Stockholm, 1g6g. P. , p. 34· What Is a Work of Art? 47 making a chair to make us another just like it, but not a painter painting a picture. We could ask him to paint another picture, but we should have to wait and see what it was like. It is no accident that craft objects cannot figure in our list of named objects. Any chair of Chippendale's best peciod will do; there is a tradition of English furniture making, but it is bound up with a way of living, and part of our enjoyment derives from the realization that there were fortunate people who sat upon Chippendale chairs every day.

The reference to Brecht introduces a new and very difficult notion, that of illusion. What Brecht has been at pains to destroy is dramatic illusion, which has been taken for granted at times, as the essence of art. We are sometimes told that painting is a matter of presenting three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional canvas. If this really were the essence of art, it is difficult to see why it was worth doing. Professor E. H. Gombrich has given the answer conclusively in his Art and Illusion.

Plato's description of the objects of art was unfavorable on both counts. Natural objects were simply imitations of the truly real, and the objects of art, still worse, were imitations of those imitations, and our enjoyment of them a counterfeit emotion. Consequently, the influence of art on the human character is bad, and this badness is reflected in the life of the community. Aristotle disagreed. For him, art was not only pleasing, but also beneficial in its effects, both on the individual and on the community.

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Aesthetics:: An Introduction by Ruth L. Saw (auth.)


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