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A Overview of Art History and Divergences Between the Classical Concepts of Art and Empirical View of Sensibility in the Article Classical Theory and Eighteenth Century, Sensibility by Rudolf Wittkower
Word Count: 1,603
Category: Arts and Humanities
Word Count: 1,603
In the eighteenth century period of art history divergences between the classical concepts of art and the new empirical view of sensibility divided the European art world The classical theorists were bound to the Aristotelian view of art as means to bring about morality through its participants The principle of sensibility founded from the non-artist world questioned the subjectivity vs objectivity distinction in morality and beauty Two writers on this discussion Percy Bysshe Shelley and Freidrich Schiller marked their views on poetry and theater to further explain the motivations and impacts that art made on this revolutionary period of time In an article titled Classical Theory and Eighteenth-Century Sensibility Rudolph Wittkower explains the fundamental assumptions of the classical theorist These can be summed up in four ideas art is a science art portrays an objective beauty art must involve human action and that the purpose is not only to entertain but to convey a moral teaching Wittkower 193 The first assumption that art is a science regards the classical strive toward the best representation of nature However the best representation of nature does not allow for explanation of what is most beautiful The second assumption that art should include human action develops a ranking of the genres of art in paintings and sculpture those involving human actions at its highest rank while animal stills and inanimate landscapes take their place in the lower orders The implications of the former statement limit the options of the classical artist as far as what the subject and theme of a painting should include The continuation of exclusive allegorical artistry was halted by the eighteenth century enlightenment Representations in works of art often left unclear messages as to what in each work was representing another thing and how that thing relates to the subject When reasoning became exhausting Eighteenth Century sensibility turned to mans other portion the feeling being Though works in the eighteenth century continued to copy an
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