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Whether artwork could be totally independent has been many times challenged within the sleek historical past of aesthetics. during this number of specially-commissioned chapters, a staff of specialists talk about the level to which paintings will be defined simply by way of aesthetic categories.

Covering examples from Philosophy, tune and artwork heritage and drawing on continental and analytic assets, this quantity clarifies the connection among artistic endeavors and extra-aesthetic issues, together with old, cultural or fiscal components. It offers a accomplished evaluation of the query of aesthetic autonomy, exploring its relevance to either philosophy and the comprehension of particular artistic endeavors themselves. by means of heavily studying how the construction of works of art, and our decisions of those works of art, relate to society and background, Aesthetic and creative Autonomy offers an insightful and sustained dialogue of a big query in aesthetic philosophy.

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Extra resources for Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy)

Sample text

His opinions were respected, even by those who came to think differently about particular paintings. While Berenson was elucidating the story of Italian painting, Max J. Friedländer was doing the same for the study of Flemish art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Their routines, when faced with a painting or a drawing of unknown origin, were closely parallel. They would begin with the region where the painting or the drawing was done. Italian painting, and Netherlandish painting similarly, divides itself up into regions or areas according to the main centres out of which the artist worked.

The examples that follow, of recent discoveries from different periods, have been chosen to illustrate just how important these skills are. In 1961 an English art historian, Michael Jaffé, saw a painting on the stairs of the Duke of Northumberland's home in the South of England. It showed two men at a table against a background of a hanging and a piece of landscape, one writing at the dictation of the other. The composition had long been known from a great number of copies, mainly of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a number of them in English collections.

It was a time of relative consensus as to what the aims of art history were and how, as previously, they were to be implemented. So the very clarity of the account has the effect of highlighting the extent of the agreement then (rather than its philosophical sources or history) and the kinds of study in depth which it continued to make feasible, while the differences which came after can be added as such or can add themselves in retrospect. The spirit in which the book was written may not have a widely shared life any longer, but there should still be room for reflection upon that spirit, of a good-willed and productive sort.

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