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Howard Caygill

(b Berlin, June 17, 1714; d Frankfurt an der Oder, May 26, 1762).

German philosopher. He was educated at Halle University where he taught philosophy between 1735 and 1740; he then moved to the University of Frankfurt an der Oder, where he taught until his death. He is remembered for the invention of philosophical aesthetics (he introduced the term ‘aesthetics’), based initially on Cartesian principles. His writings also include works in logic, metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy. With the development of a philosophical aesthetics in the Meditationes philosophicae de nonnullis ad poema pertinentibus (Reflections on Poetry; 1735) and the incomplete Aesthetica (1750–58), Baumgarten revolutionized both the dominant early Enlightenment philosophy of Christian Wolff (1679–1754) and the philosophy of art. In contrast to Joachim Christoph Gottsched’s reduction of the judgement and creation of works of art to the Wolffian notion of reason, Baumgarten extended the bounds of reason to include the experience of art. He did so by identifying beauty with sensible perfection, defining this as an aesthetic perfection that differs from the rational perfection of logic but is no less valid....

Article

Frances Spalding

(Heward)

(b East Shefford, Berks, Sept 16, 1881; d London, Sept 17, 1964).

English writer. He studied history at Trinity College, Cambridge (1901–2), where he came under the influence of the writer G. E. Moore (1873–1958) and met Thoby Stephen (1880–1906). On leaving Cambridge he spent time in Paris, and on his return to London he began to frequent the ‘Thursday evenings’ held at 46 Gordon Square, home of Thoby Stephen, his brother, Adrian, and his sisters, Vanessa (later Vanessa Bell) and Virginia (later Virginia Woolf). It was from these gatherings that the Bloomsbury Group emerged, Bell becoming a central figure of it largely due to his marriage to Vanessa Stephen in 1907.

In 1910 Bell met Roger Fry, who shared his interest in modern French art. Bell assisted with the organization of the Second Post-Impressionist Exhibition in 1912 and contributed to the current debates about art and aesthetics. His book, Art (London, 1914), popularized the notion of ‘significant form’: it stated that form, independent of content, was the most important element in a work of art. In this and other writings he simplified many of Fry’s ideas. ...

Article

Martin Jay

(b Berlin, July 15, 1892; d Port Bou, Spain, Sept 25, 1940).

German writer. He was born into a cultivated, assimilated German Jewish family and was compelled to leave Nazi Germany in 1933, first for Denmark and then France. Although the exiled Frankfurt Institute of Social Research in New York (later famous as the Frankfurt School) provided some support, his existence as an unaffiliated intellectual without university or party ties grew increasingly desperate. Finally driven to leave Paris in 1940, he was stopped for trivial bureaucratic reasons at the Spanish border and in a moment of despair took his own life. Only with the posthumous publication of a selection of his works in 1955, edited by Theodor W. Adorno and Gretel Adorno, did he emerge into the public eye, soon gaining an international reputation as possibly the most brilliant and original cultural critic of his era. Like many in his generation, Benjamin came under the spell of a politically ambiguous, romantic anti-capitalism during the waning years of the German empire under William II. An early fascination with messianic and redemptive religious themes, nurtured by his friendship with the great scholar of the Jewish cabbala, Gershom Scholem, remained a potent element in all his subsequent thought. Even when Benjamin turned to Marxism in the 1920s, in part because of friendships with the poet and dramatist Bertolt Brecht and the philosophers Ernst Bloch and Theodor W. Adorno, and a love affair with the Latvian Communist Asja Lacis, his theological preoccupations never dwindled. They remained perhaps most apparent in his linguistic philosophy, which revealed his hope in the restoration of a prelapsarian ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Butrimonys, Alytus County, Lithuania, June 26, 1865; d Settignano, Italy, Oct 6, 1959).

American art historian, critic, and connoisseur. Berenson was perhaps the single most influential art historian in the USA for much of the 20th century. As the leading scholar and authority on Italian Renaissance art, his opinion greatly influenced American art museums and collectors, whom he guided in the purchase of many important works of art. His pupils and disciples became the curators of many of the world’s great museums. His dealings with art galleries also made him a highly controversial figure.

Born to Albert and Julia Valvrojenski in Lithuania, Berenson immigrated to Boston, MA, with his family in 1875, at which time his surname was changed to Berenson. Later called ‘BB’ by friends and family, he dropped the ‘h’ from his first name around 1915. Jewish by birth, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1885. He attended Boston Latin School, Boston University, and finally Harvard University, where he studied under Charles Eliot Norton and received a BA in ...

Article

David Kinmont

(b Paris, Oct 18, 1859; d Paris, Jan 3, 1941).

French philosopher. The son of a Polish Jewish musician, he took his baccalauréat at the Lycée Condorcet in Paris and entered the Ecole Normale Supérieure in 1878. He gained his Licencié ès Lettres in 1879 and during 1881–8 taught in secondary schools at Angers, Clermont Ferrand and Paris. The publication of one of his two doctoral theses, Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (Paris, 1889), brought him public recognition. It was followed in 1896 by Matière et mémoire.

Bergson was concerned with the problem of expression, and he attempted to resist the linguistic snares that he associated with conceptual thinking, arguing instead for an organic philosophy. He was aware of the inadequacies of the mechanistic determinism of 19th-century scientism, especially as presented in the English philosopher Herbert Spencer’s First Principles (London, 1862). Bergson saw reality as a constant state of dynamic flux in which past, present and future formed a single continuum. The question of time was all important to him, and he insisted that the time of consciousness existed on multiple interrelated levels. The fusion of these heterogeneous instants comprised a duration. This was not purely quantitative measurable time, but time as it is experienced by human consciousness. To Bergson, duration meant memory, and memory was synonymous with consciousness, an unending flow rather than a succession of discrete instants....

Article

Edward Chaney

(b Dysart Castle, Kilkenny, March 12, 1685; d Oxford, Jan 14, 1753).

Irish bishop, philosopher, writer, collector, and traveller of English descent. He established the basis of his reputation as a philosopher while still a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, with An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision (Dublin, 1709) and the Principles of Human Knowledge (Dublin, 1710), in which he introduced his theory that material reality exists only in as much as it can be perceived by the mind, and that God is the omnipresent perceiver and the originator of our sense experiences. Early in 1713 he visited England. There he met the writers Joseph Addison, Jonathan Swift, and Alexander Pope; with their help and encouragement, by October he had arranged to travel as chaplain to Charles Mordaunt, 3rd Earl of Peterborough on his embassy to Sicily; but Berkeley only reached Tuscany on this occasion. He returned to Italy in 1716, however, as tutor to St George Ashe, son of the Bishop of Clogher. Over the next four years Berkeley conducted his frail pupil on what was an exceptionally extensive (and intensive) Italian tour for the time. Though underestimated in the history of aesthetics, Berkeley’s value to art history lies largely in what he recorded in his travel journals and letters home from Italy. Cumulatively these represent a fascinating landmark in the history of taste and indicate how successfully a truly independent mind can resist the pressure to conform to contemporary opinion. In early ...

Article

James Smalls

The Black Arts Movement spans the period from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. Inherently and overtly political in content, it was an artistic, cultural and literary movement in America promoted to advance African American “social engagement.” In a 1968 essay titled “The Black Arts Movement,” African American scholar Larry Neal (1937–81) proclaimed it as the “artistic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept.” The use of the term “Black Power” originated in 1966 with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) civil rights workers Stokely Carmichael and Willie Ricks. Quickly adopted in the North, Black Power was associated with a militant advocacy of armed self-defense, separation from “racist American domination” and pride in and assertion of the goodness and beauty of “Blackness.”

In addition to “Black Power,” the slogan “Black is Beautiful” also became part of the Black Arts Movement and the Black Cultural Movement (also known as Black Aesthetics). The aim of these maxims was to counter and dispel the widespread notion throughout Western cultures that black people’s natural features, such as skin color, facial characteristics and hair, were inherently ugly. The central purpose was to subvert decades of anti-black rhetoric and “to make African Americans totally and irreversibly proud of their racial and cultural heritage.” Black Arts Movement cultural theorists and artists reasoned that promotion of a black aesthetic was mandatory to help the African American community perceive itself as not only beautiful, but also as proud of the legacy of African American achievement, self-determinacy and self-identification with all black peoples throughout the African diaspora. The tone was militant and separatist, not conciliatory and assimilationist, and resulted in a call for a revolutionary art that spoke to a definable black aesthetic. In ...

Article

Richard Shone

Name applied to a group of friends, mainly writers and artists, who lived in or near the central London district of Bloomsbury from 1904 to the late 1930s. They were united by family ties and marriage rather than by any doctrine or philosophy, though several male members of the group had been affected by G. E. Moore’s Principia Ethica (Cambridge, 1903) when they had attended the University of Cambridge. Moore emphasized the value of personal relationships and the contemplation of beautiful objects, promoting reason above social morality as an instrument of good within society. This anti-utilitarian position coloured the group’s early history. It influenced the thinking of, for example, the biographer and critic Lytton Strachey (1880–1932) and the economist John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) and confirmed the position of conscientious objection maintained by some members of the group in World War I. Before 1910, literature and philosophy dominated Bloomsbury; thereafter it also came to be associated with painting, the decorative arts and the promotion of ...

Article

Tom Williams

Movement in performance art that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s in which artists use their own bodies or those of their audience as the basis for their work. Body art performances have frequently involved transgression and occasionally violence, and they have often entailed extreme acts of endurance on the part of the artists. This term is typically in used in reference to artists such as Vito Acconci, Chris(topher) Burden, Valie Export, Gina Pane, Carolee Schneemann, the Vienna Actionists, Hannah Wilke, Marina Abramović and her former collaborator Ulay, as well as Brazilian artists in the Neo-Concrete movement such as Hélio Oiticica and Lygia Clark. (For information about the permanent decoration of the body, see Tattoo.)

Although the emergence of body art is often traced back to early 20th-century trends in performance art, recent accounts have pointed to Hans Namuth’s famous photographs of Jackson Pollock (1912–56) in the act of painting as a particularly important precedent. This practice was taken up by a number of performance artists during the late 1950s and early 1960s, including artists involved in Happenings such as ...

Article

Milena Tomic

Body art from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania, as well as the former GDR, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union differed from its Western counterpart mainly in terms of the specific social and political forces with which artists from the region had to contend. Some of the most important artists from Eastern Europe who made body art are Tibor Hajas, Marina Abramović, Raša Todosijević, Petr Štembera, Jan Mlčoch, Karel Miler, Jiří Kovanda, Geta Bratescu, Ion Grigorescu, Tomislav Gotovac, Sanja Iveković, the Autoperforationsartisten, Jerzy Bereś, Oleg Kulik, Alexander Brener, Katarzyna Kozyra, and Tanja Ostojić.

In the 1960s and 1970s actions seen as politically benign in the West could carry serious consequences in the East, forcing many who lived behind the Iron Curtain to perform secretly or else to confine their activities to private apartments. The impracticality of working in the medium of public performance sometimes led artists to perform solely for the camera, as Ion Grigorescu (...

Article

(b Paris, Nov 1, 1636; d Paris, March 13, 1711).

French writer. His influence on art was indirect: although he made no claim to knowledge of art, he unwittingly played a part in the development of historical painting during the second part of Louis XIV’s reign and particularly in the development of the theory of art in the 18th century. At the beginning of the personal reign of Louis XIV he was at first excluded from the distribution of pensions awarded through the mediation of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, the particular function of which was to lay down the iconography to be used in works that the King had commissioned; through Charles Perrault, it to some degree dominated the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. In 1683, after Boileau had finally obtained admission to the Académie des Inscriptions, it ceased to deal with iconography, and from then on artists working for the King enjoyed greater freedom.

However, Boileau’s main influence on French art was through his didactic poem ...

Article

Michael J. Lewis

(Gottlieb Wilhelm)

(b Nordhausen, May 29, 1806; d Berlin, June 19, 1889).

German architect, theorist, teacher and writer. He entered the Berlin Bauakademie in 1827 and soon became a leading figure in the new Architekten-Verein zu Berlin (see Berlin §II 3.). Like many of his generation, he was much influenced by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and had a youthful fascination with the Gothic. His first book was a study of medieval timber architecture. He was particularly concerned with the relationship between style and construction and he soon began to apply this analysis to Greek architecture. The result was his monumental Die Tektonik der Hellenen (1843–51). The Rundbogenstil architect Heinrich Hübsch had already suggested that the forms of ancient Greek architecture were based on stone construction and not derived from timber antecedents. Bötticher expanded this insight into a vast system that explained all of Greek architecture in structural terms. For him, Greek architecture was rational building, its forms corresponding absolutely to the requirements of the stone used in its post and lintel construction. This constituted a major upheaval in the interpretation of Classical architecture, insisting that its elements were sanctioned neither by their historical pedigree nor by Platonic perfection of form, but rather by immutable physical and material laws. Bötticher briefly considered synthesizing Greek and Gothic structural principles to form a new style, but he quickly abandoned the idea, arguing that it would be superficial. In a prophetic ...

Article

Henri Béhar

(b Tinchebray, Feb 19, 1896; d Paris, Sept 28, 1966).

French writer. While still an adolescent he came under the influence of Paul Valéry and Gustave Moreau, who for a long period were to influence his perception of beauty. From that time on, his poetic creation interrelated with his reflections on art, which like Gide’s were conditioned by a moral code. He considered that it is not possible to write for a living, but only from interior necessity; in the same way, painting must always derive from an irrepressible need for self-expression. These criteria guided Breton both in his dealings with the Surrealist group (of which he was the uncontested leader) and in his articles on painting, collected in editions of Le Surréalisme et la peinture (first published in 1928).

Breton’s family were of modest means. He was educated in the modern section of a lycée, without any Latin or Greek, and had embarked on a study of medicine when he was called up to serve in World War I. During this period he was drawn to poetry by his fascination with Arthur Rimbaud. His meeting with the aesthete Jacques Vaché temporarily dulled his interest in Rimbaud, and instead he turned to Guillaume Apollinaire, whose advice and friendship were a significant influence on him. Through Apollinaire he came into contact with Marie Laurencin, Derain, De Chirico and Picasso, and became friendly with the French poet and novelist Philippe Soupault. The review ...

Article

David Rodgers

(b Dublin, Jan 12, 1729; d Beaconsfield, Bucks, July 9, 1797).

British statesman, philosopher and writer. Following studies at Trinity College, Dublin, he enrolled in 1750 at the Middle Temple, London, but soon abandoned the study of law and devoted the rest of his life to politics and writing. In 1765 he became MP for Wendover, and his eloquence and ability enabled him to rise rapidly in the Whig party; his political writings were widely admired. In 1756 he published, anonymously, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. The major influence on writers on taste during the 18th century was Longinus’ Greek treatise On the Sublime (1st century ad). Longinus defined the Sublime as differing from beauty, and invoking more intense emotions by vastness, a quality that inspires awe. The term came into general use in the 18th century and was used particularly in relation to landscape painting, the works of Salvator Rosa being considered the foremost examples among the Old Masters. The Sublime was discussed by, among others, Jonathan Richardson sr, the Abbé Jean-Baptiste Dubos and John Baillie. Burke was the first to examine and substantiate the link between terror and the Sublime; he also drew a distinction between beauty and the Sublime (for a fuller discussion ...

Article

Camp  

Peter Verstraten

Term that can refer to an (extravagant) style, a sensibility, a matter of self-presentation, and/or a way of seeing the world in aesthetic terms. Popularized in the mid-1960s to problematize the notion of “good taste” in the arts—from literature and film to decorative arts and fashion—camp was appropriated as a gay male strategy in the 1970s. In subsequent decades, new subcategories were introduced such as “female camp,” “pop camp,” and “queer camp.”

Practically any critic agrees that camp is a slippery term that defies a clear-cut definition. Its elusive nature is reinforced by the fact that camp can be applied differently across a great variety of behavior patterns, media, and disciplines. The word camp is possibly derived from the French play Les Fourberies de Scapin (1671) by Molière, when a soldier is advised to provocatively dress up (“se camper”) with satins and silks (Booth 1981, 39–40). Thomas A. King, however, has a different account of the etymological origin. He points to a practice of ostentatious posing, cultivated by French aristocrats in the 17th century. Setting the arms “akimbo” was an excessive gesture and the bourgeois interpreted the hands on hips as disqualifying the upper class as untrustworthy and effeminate. In the transition from “akimbo” to “camp,” the term would come to function in the 20th century as a sobriquet for people, “mainly homosexuals, who constitute themselves as aristocrats of taste” (Sontag ...

Article

Judith Wechsler, Patricia Coronel, Michael Coronel, Sheila S. Blair, Jonathan M. Bloom, and E. Michael Whittington

Type of art in which the characteristic features of the human figure are exaggerated for amusement or criticism. The term caricatura (from It. caricare: ‘to load or change’) was probably invented by Annibale Carracci. It appeared in print, possibly for the first time, in a preface by Giovanni Atanasio Mosini (a pseudonym for Monsignor Giovanni Massani, house master to Pope Urban VII) to Agucchi’s Trattato (1646) and two years later by Bernini.

Caricature appears as an art form throughout the world. Of all its international forms, however, the Western tradition has probably been studied the most, and this article therefore concentrates on this aspect; besides the overview in §2 below, further references to caricature elsewhere may appear within country and regional survey articles of the ancient world and of Asian and African art.

In Western art there are essentially two traditions of caricature. The first derives from Italy, where caricature was seen as primarily a humorous, exaggerated portrait. In northern Europe, especially in 18th-century ...

Article

Ornamental tablet or shield bearing an inscription, monogram or heraldic arms framed in elaborate scrolls, shell-shaped volutes or similar devices. The term has been extended to include the lozenge-shaped frames inscribed with the names of pharaohs in Egyptian hieroglyphs. The cartouche was a minor ornament in the vocabulary of European Renaissance and Mannerist design. Used in both ecclesiastical and secular contexts, it adorned exterior and interior walls and furniture (e.g. cassone with shield cartouche flanked by putti, carved wood and gilt, Roman, mid-16th century; London, V&A). It also embellished manuscripts and prints, used as a motif to enclose titles and brief texts, notably in architectural elevations and maps (see Map).

The use of the cartouche developed more fully in the Baroque era, however, and in its more opulent 17th-century form it spread rapidly as a decorative device throughout Europe and eventually to the New World. It became the dramatic focus of pedimental designs above façades, doorframes and windows, as well as in chimney-pieces, keystones and balconies. Deeply carved in stone, marble and wood or in cast plaster or stucco, its commonly shared characteristics were lavish back or forward scrolls resembling parchment or a profusion of scrolling plant forms. Shields were frequently surmounted by crowns or mantled helmets and flanked by figures, animals or birds and heavy floral swags (e.g. shield cartouche flanked by ostriches, carved and painted wood, façade, ...

Article

Barbara Hoffman

Control of expression that is regarded as outside of and a threat to the religious, political, and social orthodoxy of the time. Throughout history, when governments and other powerful institutions of society have been fearful of the power of art to challenge the established order, they have sought to suppress the works of literature and art that appear decadent, disruptive, indecent, or immoral. Manifestations of the control of artistic expression are historically and culturally specific. Nevertheless, close consideration reveals recurring themes and issues. Awareness of the power of art has meant that censorship accompanies art’s practice and exhibition. According to Plato, ‘because art has the power to intensify and not just purge emotions, a “dramatic censor” must control the content and form of all artistic expression’. By extension, the artist is feared because of his or her ability to make revered things that, depending on the culture, may rival divine creation. Thus, censorship has been a two-edged sword that proscribes as well as prescribes. Long before the first official censors were established in ...

Article

Cinema  

Priscilla Boniface

Building for the projection and viewing of films. The term derives from cinématographie, the equipment devised for showing moving pictures patented by the Lumière brothers in France in 1895. Significant forerunners of this development include the Diorama, invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre in 1822, and the Kinetoscope, a machine for running a film-reel, invented by Thomas Edison’s assistant William Dickson and introduced by Edison in the USA in 1891. The Kinetoscope was one of a variety of solutions produced in Europe and the USA in the last decade of the 19th century to the challenge of presenting moving pictures to an audience. Pressure for improvements in technology and comfort was probably at its most intense in the USA, and the first permanent, purpose-built cinema, the Electric Theater, was opened in Los Angeles, CA, by Thomas L. Tally in 1902.

The early cinema was typically a simple rectangular auditorium fronted by an ostentatious façade; this derived in part from fairground booths and shops, in the recesses of which picture shows were held during the 1890s. Music halls and theatres were often used for projecting moving pictures in conjunction with other forms of entertainment, and their decoration and plan were emulated in the design of early cinemas, many of which had stages. A few cinemas built before World War I had simple balconies and, occasionally, side-boxes, despite the limited vision these usually provided. From ...

Article

Michael Greenhalgh

Term referring to a web of ideas, attitudes, and traditions derived from but not wholly dependent on a respect for and a close study of the literary and/or artistic activities of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The aim of classicism, in all media, has been to construct an ideal vision and version of human experience that should inspire and instruct by its nobility, authority, rationality, and truth (of which beauty may be considered a visible manifestation), and to provide convincing models for imitation. The process started within the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations themselves (see §2 below), but the term ‘classicism’ refers to the activity of generations succeeding the Greeks and Romans, who admired and sometimes imitated or reused antique works—plays, statues, temples, vases, and other forms. These admirers of antiquity studied what the ancients wrote about their own art and literature and the purposes these should serve in society. Convinced that art is governed by reason, they sought to discover in the antique systems of measurement and proportion the means by which to attain beauty. Finally, later generations attempted to rebuild a complete image of the antique past from the evidence of surviving works that, of course, offered a far from complete picture of what the Greeks and Romans actually produced. As antique artworks and antique critical commentaries on them have only survived in part, there has been plenty of room for differing interpretations and ‘rebalancings’ of the material....