Download Beauty and Art: 1750-2000 (Oxford History of Art) by Elizabeth Prettejohn PDF

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 gorgeous? which matches of artwork were referred to as attractive, and why? basic and exciting inquiries to artists and paintings fanatics, yet ones which are all too frequently overlooked in discussions of artwork today.
Elizabeth Prettejohn argues that we easily can't have the funds for to disregard those questions. Charting over 200 years of western artwork, she illuminates the important dating among our altering notions of good looks 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 should still we care approximately good looks within the twenty-first century?

Elizabeth Prettejohn is a Professor of contemporary paintings on the collage of Plymouth.

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For Winckelmann the discovery of the beauty of Greek art was not of merely antiquarian interest: it was of vital importance to the creation of new beauty in the present and future. The visual art of the second half of the eighteenth century appears to respond dramatically to Winckelmann’s challenge. In the development that art historians have called ‘neoclassicism’, artists began to reject Baroque complexity and Rococo frivolity in favour of artistic practices more akin, although in diverse ways, to the ‘noble simplicity and quiet grandeur’ of the antique, in Winckelmann’s famous words.

In her work the visual beauty of the female figure signifies the nobility of the figure’s character. As if by magic, a type close to Kauffman’s ideal female figure seemed to come alive in a young Englishwoman, Emma Hart (1765–1815). 1778 Drawings and paintings show Hart with the low forehead, deep-set eyes, straight-line profile, and rounded chin of the Kauffman female type [18]. Her beauty appeared compellingly reminiscent of ancient sculpture to Sir William Hamilton (1730–1803), British diplomatic envoy to Naples and an avid collector of classical antiquities.

When we make out the trees on the rock to the right of the figure’s elbow they seem unexpectedly tiny; then the distant peaks seem to spring away to a vast distance. As we scan the picture our efforts to comprehend the scale relationships are constantly tested or defied. Although this is not a particularly large picture, it gives a strong sense of the kind of aesthetic experience Kant called sublime, in which we strain to perceive something limitless or infinite. We are thwarted in the attempt to realize this perception fully, both by the magnitude of the view and by the scudding patches of fog, yet this failure to comprehend produces a feeling of awe or wonder that is the counterpart, in the experience of the sublime, to the free play of mind in response to the beautiful.

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