Art Essays

The kind of pleasure we receive from beauty is that which pleases us without evoking desire in us.

All human life is filled with art, from cradle songs to fashion in clothes, but by the word ‘art’, we mean that part of artistic activity which we select as having special importance.

This special importance has always been given to that part of art which transmits feelings flowing from religious perception.

Furthermore, the production of a play which does not afford pleasure to the producer or audience, may yet be a work of art.

The inaccuracy of all these definitions arises from the fact that, in them all, the object considered is the pleasure art may give, and not the purpose it may serve in the life of man and of humanity.

And one may see now in the art of our circle, to what lengths the insanity and deformity of art may go.

So that theory of art is nothing but the setting up as good whatever pleases us, that is, pleases a certain class of people.Religions are the exponents of the highest comprehension of life accessible to the best and foremost people at a given time. Therefore religions have always served as bases for the valuation of human semtiments.If feelings bring men nearer the ideal their religion indicates, they are good, if they oppose it, they are bad.But all attempts to define absolute beauty have failed. All definitions amount to the same thing; that art is that which makes beauty manifest, and beauty is that which pleases without exciting desire.But there is and can be no explanation of why one thing pleases one man and displeases another, so scientists cannot work out the laws of art.Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship, both with the artist and all who receive the same impression.Just as words transmit thoughts, so art transmits feelings.If we compare it to the food question, nobody would affirm that the importance of food consists in the pleasure we get from eating it.We know that the satisfaction of the taste buds is no infallible guide to the best food from a health point of view, in the same way the pleasure we get from a painting is no indication of its worth. Art is an activity arising even in the animal kingdom, springing from sexual desire and the propensity to play (Schiller, Darwin Spencer) and accompanied by a pleasurable excitement of the nervous system. Art is an external manifestation by means of lines, colours, movements, sounds,or words, of emotions felt by man. Art is the production of some permanent object or passing action, which is fitted not only to supply an active enjoyment to the producer, but to convey a pleasurable impression to a number of spectators or listeners, quite apart from any personal advantage to be derived from it.In order define any human activity, it is necessary to understand its sense and importance; to do that one must examine the activity itself, and its causes and effects, not merely in relation to the pleasure we get out of it.If we say that the aim of any activity is merely pleasure, and is defined by that pleasure, our definition will be false.

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