Last updated: March 16, 2019
Topic: ArtMusic
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What Is Artistic Beauty? Essay, Research Paper

Kelley Rubben

Dr. Marck L. Beggs, Director M.L.A. Plan

Admissions Essay

January 6, 2001

What is Artistic Beauty?

From the beginning of clip, work forces and adult females have scrutinized, categorized, and

compared constituents of their milieus in an effort to better understand their universe. In

the Bible? s Genesis history, Adam, apparently in grasp of Eve? s singularity and beauty,

poetically proclaims her, ? bone of my castanetss and flesh of my flesh ; she shall be called adult female,

for she was taken out of man. ? [ Gen. 2:23 NIV ] Much later, creative persons, authors, and philosophers have

sought to understand beauty, balance, and flawlessness & # 8212 ; the sublime. Their battle to specify

flawlessness and to put criterions of beauty was termed aesthetics or, ? the scientific discipline of the beautiful, ?

in 1753 by German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten. Baumgarten was considered

the first modern philosopher to near the inquiry of beauty consistently, presenting the

term aesthetics and specifying the experience of beauty as the centripetal acknowledgment of flawlessness.

[ Danto 1 ] . The plant of his modern-day, Immanuel Kant, express the impression that beautiful

objects are without a specific intent and that judgements of beauty are non looks of mere

personal penchant but, instead, cosmopolitan. Similarly, Encarta defines aesthetics as:

A subdivision of doctrine concerned with the kernel and perceptual experience of beauty and

ugliness, covering with the inquiry of whether such qualities are objectively present in

the things they appear to measure up, or whether they exist merely in the head of the person ;

hence, whether objects are perceived by a peculiar manner, the aesthetic manner, or

whether alternatively the objects have, in themselves, particular aesthetic qualities. Doctrine

besides asks if there is a difference between the beautiful and the sublime. [ Danto 1 ]

However, even with a definition at manus, geting at a consensus on exactly what constitutes

beauty and flawlessness is about impossible. Ultimately, beauty is? in the oculus of the perceiver. ?

For the interest of statement, in this treatment, beauty will be limited to the perceptual experience of colour,

sound, signifier, and words and with the emotional responses to these elements as experient

within plants of art, literature, and music.djtsidffjpoidffjsaosafdsafsadf

In his treatment of what he calls? dependent beauty, ? Immanuel Kant implies that the

usage of an cosmetic or beautiful object in some manner affects its aesthetic qualities. In some

state of affairss, an object is a beautiful adornment, but in a different scene, that same object would

be viewed as inappropriate or even grotesque. In Critique of Judgment Kant differentiates:

Much that would be liked straight in intuition could be added to a edifice, if merely the

edifice were non [ meant ] to be a church. A figure could be embellished with all kinds of

coils and visible radiation but regular lines, as the New Zealanders do with their tattoos, if merely

it were non the figure of a human being. And this human being might hold had much

more delicate characteristics and a facial construction with a softer and more sympathetic lineation, if

merely he were non [ meant ] to stand for a adult male, allow entirely a militant 1. [ Leddy 1 / Kant

1987 ] . [

Therefore, cultural norms set the parametric quantities for what is accepted as beautiful, though the

boundaries are invariably expanded by new artistic looks that push the bounds of

acceptableness within a society. These? vanguard? artistic creative activities often depict subjects,

images, or topics considered? tabu? in a peculiar society. Exhibited and marketed as

graphics, the creative activities will either be rejected, or they will be accepted as modern art, therefore

spread outing the boundaries of what can be considered art. [ Wilson, 2 / Parsons and Blocker ] .dd

In the universe of physical art, such as sculpting and picture, traditional aesthetics of the

18th and 19th centuries proposed that artistic beauty was an imitation of nature. Yet, while the

plants of realist, impressionist, and neoclassical painters like Jean Francois Millet, Claude

Monet, and Benjamin West who strove to capture graphic item in their plants are

unimpeachably beautiful, this exact mirroring of nature is non a demand of beauty. Much art

( peculiarly modern art ) fails to copy anything, yet frequently the vague creative activities attractively

gaining control an intangible feeling or emotion. Viewing audiences perceive the work as beautiful based on their

reaction to the signifier and colourss which create a temper. Another illustration of how art can be

independent of nature exists in the fact that artistic beauty has the possible to carry through

something that nature can non. Art has the ability to capture ugliness and beauty at the same time.

For illustration, an keen picture of a ghastly conflict or of an ugly face is still beautiful.

[ Danto 2 ] . If a picture is unpleasant or disturbing, is it still art? Can that art still be beautiful if it

disturbances us? [ Wilson, 1 ] . British solon and author Edmund Burke identified beauty with

daintiness and harmoniousness. Yet, he equated the sublime with enormousness, obscureness, and a capacity to

inspire panic. [ ? Burke, Edmund? 1 ] . Therefore, the a

esthetic in art does non needfully mime the

beautiful in nature ; it may, at times, attractively portray the macabre. Famed philosopher

Friedrich Nietzsche, whose plants express the thought that all in life is fundamentally tragic, expressed

the belief that artistic creative activities had the capacity to transform any experience into something of

beauty that could pull strings the horrors of life so that they could be contemplated with

enjoyment. [ Danto 2 ] . Though single gustatory sensations vary when specifying what is beautiful, any work of

art that has the power to elicit strong emotion in the spectator can be said to be an aesthetic


A similar thought can be found in the literary reviews of American writer Edgar Allan Poe,

whose insightful literary reviews established basicss that helped American literature to

addition universe acknowledgment at a clip when it was merely merely emerging. Poe outlines two standards that

he believed must be present in order for a literary work to accomplish illustriousness: a literary work

must hold? high literary value? and must concentrate on a individual strong emotion to arouse an emotional

response from the reader. Poe identifies the strongest emotion as sorrow. To him, the most

sorrowful thing was the decease of something beautiful, an thought which can be seen in his verse form

? To Helen, ? and & # 8220 ; Annabelle Lee. ? The character in each verse form expresses heartache over the decease of

his beautiful beloved. Even though manners of authorship and capable affair have changed from the

in-between ages to modern times, these two standards appear to be cardinal to the? livability? of a literary

work. Those verse forms, novels, and short narratives that have stood the trial of clip and are today

represent the organic structure of great literature have transcended clip periods and tendencies because they

arouse an emotional response ( pleasant or otherwise ) and are of a high literary value.

Similarly, what constitutes? illustriousness? and? beauty? in music is extremely subjective. If

physical beauty is in the oculus of the perceiver, so most assuredly, musical beauty is in the ear of

the hearer. However, the music that has endured for 100s of old ages and which constitutes a

organic structure of musical chef-d’oeuvres portions the cardinal aesthetic standards & # 8212 ; the ability to arouse an emotional

response from the audience. The complex agreement of sounds, and in some music, the

combination of meaningful wordss in add-on to musical sounds, creates a temper. Some music

expresses deep sorrowful melancholy like an Edgar Allan Poe verse form. Other music Rouss

enthusiasm like Frederick Remington sculpture. Music can animate a hearer and inflame him,

cause him to experience plaintive, or lull him to kip. In Republic, Plato? went so far as to ostracize

some types of creative persons from his ideal society because he thought their work encouraged immorality

or depicted base characters, and that certain musical composings caused indolence or incited

people to immoderate actions. ? [ Danto 1 ] Though gustatory sensations in music vary possibly even more so than

penchants in art and literature, whether a hearer likes his music loud or soft, authoritative or

modern-day, entirely or at a concert, hearers have one thing in common: they choose music that

holds intending to them & # 8212 ; that in some manner speaks to their psyche and elicits an emotion.

What is beautiful and great in art, literature, and music is the quality that enables these

plants to digest. Great works of art do non needfully suit into prescribed channels. They may or

may non copy nature ; they may non even depict something baronial or? pretty. ? Some art is

extremely personal, about to a degree of obscureness, while classical signifiers maintain the Grecian ideal of

catholicity and impersonality. Certain artistic creative activities will function no? higher intent? than the

chase of beauty. Other artistic creative activities will function descendants by marking an historic

individual or event ; some art has the power to animate alteration or to motivate a revolution, everlastingly

changing the class of history. What is art? British critic and semiotician I.A. Richards, in his

work Practical Criticism, argues that art is a linguistic communication, asseverating that there are two types of

linguistic communication: the symbolic and the emotive. The 2nd type, affectional linguistic communication, expresses, evokes,

and excites feelings and attitudes. Richards respects art as an affectional linguistic communication which gives

order and coherency to see. [ Danto 10 ] . If so, art is an affectional linguistic communication, so artistic

beauty must hence be art, literature, or music that elicits and excites emotions and, possibly,

forms attitudes. Artistic look that endures to organize a organic structure of great art is that which

touches the emotions of its audience.

Danto, Arthur C. , M.A. , Ph.D. , ? Aestheticss, ? Microsoft? Encarta? Online Encyclopedia,

2000? 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation.

Leddy, Tom. ? Kant & # 8217 ; s Aestheticss: Tattoos, Architecture, and Gender-Bending, ?

American Society for Aesthetics / Aesthetics On-Line. .

& # 8220 ; Romanticism ( art ) , & # 8221 ; Microsoft? Encarta? Online Encyclopedia, 2000

? 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation.

Wilson, Kay ; Walkup, Nancy ; McCarter, Bill. ? Aestheticss: Questioning the Nature of

Art, ? North Texas Institute for Educators on the Ocular Arts. ( degree Celsius ) 1995,1996,1997,1998,1999

Created: 30 November 1995 ; Updated, Fall 1999.