Art for art&#39
Thursday, December 13, 2018

Art for art&#39

Art for art’s sake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigation
Jump to search

This article is about the English expression. For the 10cc song, see Art for Art’s Sake (song) . For the 1938 Swedish film, see Art for Art’s Sake (film) .

Art for art’s sake” is the usual English rendering of a French slogan from the early 19th century, “l’art pour l’art“, and expresses a philosophy that the intrinsic value of art, and the only “true” art, is divorced from any didactic , moral, or utilitarian function. Such works are sometimes described as ” autotelic “, from the Greek autoteles, “complete in itself”, a concept that has been expanded to embrace “inner-directed” or “self-motivated” human beings.

The term is sometimes used commercially. A Latin version of this phrase (“ARS GRATIA ARTIS“) is used as a motto by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appears in the circle around the roaring head of Leo the Lion in its motion picture logo.

Contents

  • 1 History
  • 2 Criticism
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 External links

History[ edit ]

L’art pour l’art” (translated as “art for art’s sake”) is credited to Théophile Gautier (1811–1872), who was the first to adopt the phrase as a slogan in the preface to his 1835 book, Mademoiselle de Maupin. Gautier was not, however, the first to write those words: they appear in the works of Victor Cousin , [1] Benjamin Constant , and Edgar Allan Poe . For example, Poe argues in his essay ” The Poetic Principle ” (1850):

We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem’s sake […] and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true poetic dignity and force: – but the simple fact is that would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem, this poem per se, this poem which is a poem and nothing more, this poem written solely for the poem’s sake. [2]

“Art for art’s sake” was a bohemian creed in the nineteenth century, a slogan raised in defiance of those who – from John Ruskin to the much later Communist advocates of socialist realism – thought that the value of art was to serve some moral or didactic purpose. “Art for art’s sake” affirmed that art was valuable as art, that artistic pursuits were their own justification and that art did not need moral justification – and indeed, was allowed to be morally neutral or subversive.

In fact, James McNeill Whistler wrote the following in which he discarded the accustomed role of art in the service of the state or official religion, which had adhered to its practice since the Counter-Reformation of the sixteenth century: “Art should be independent of all claptrap – should stand alone […] and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like.” [3]

Such a brusque dismissal also expressed the artist’s distancing himself from sentimentalism . All that remains of Romanticism in this statement is the reliance on the artist’s own eye and sensibility as the arbiter.

The explicit slogan is associated in the history of English art and letters with Walter Pater and his followers in the Aesthetic Movement , which was self-consciously in rebellion against Victorian moralism. It first appeared in English in two works published simultaneously in 1868: Pater’s review of William Morris ‘s poetry in the Westminster Review and in William Blake by Algernon Charles Swinburne . A modified form of Pater’s review appeared in his Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873), one of the most influential texts of the Aesthetic Movement.

In Germany, the poet Stefan George was one of the first artists to translate the phrase (“Kunst für die Kunst“) and adopt it for his own literary programme which he presented in the first volume of his literary magazine Blätter für die Kunst (1892). He was inspired mainly by Charles Baudelaire and the French Symbolists whom he had met in Paris, where he was friends with Albert Saint-Paul and consorted with the circle around Stéphane Mallarmé .

Criticism[ edit ]

George Sand wrote in 1872 that L’art pour l’art was an empty phrase, an idle sentence. She asserted that artists had a “duty to find an adequate expression to convey it to as many souls as possible,” ensuring that their works were accessible enough to be appreciated. [4]

Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that there is no art for art’s sake:

When the purpose of moral preaching and of improving man has been excluded from art, it still does not follow by any means that art is altogether purposeless, aimless, senseless — in short, l’art pour l’art, a worm chewing its own tail. “Rather no purpose at all than a moral purpose!” — that is the talk of mere passion. A psychologist, on the other hand, asks: what does all art do? does it not praise? glorify? choose? prefer? With all this it strengthens or weakens certain valuations. Is this merely a “moreover”? an accident? something in which the artist’s instinct had no share? Or is it not the very presupposition of the artist’s ability? Does his basic instinct aim at art, or rather at the sense of art, at life? at a desirability of life? Art is the great stimulus to life: how could one understand it as purposeless, as aimless, as l’art pour l’art? [5]

Contemporary postcolonial African writers such as Leopold Senghor and Chinua Achebe have criticised the slogan as being a limited and Eurocentric view on art and creation. In “Black African Aesthetics,” Senghor argues that “art is functional” and that “in black Africa, ‘art for art’s sake’ does not exist.” Achebe is more scathing in his collection of essays and criticism entitled Morning Yet on Creation Day, where he asserts that “art for art’s sake is just another piece of deodorised dog shit” (sic). [6]

Walter Benjamin discusses the slogan in his seminal 1936 essay ” The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction .” He first mentions it in regard to the reaction within the realm of traditional art to innovations in reproduction, in particular photography . He even terms the “L’art pour l’art” slogan as part of a ” theology of art” in bracketing off social aspects. In the Epilogue to the essay Benjamin discusses the links between fascism and art. His main example is that of Futurism and the thinking of its mentor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti . One of the slogans of the Futurists was “Fiat ars – pereat mundus” (“Let art be created, though the world perish”). Provocatively, Benjamin concludes that as long as fascism expects war “to supply the artistic gratification of a sense of perception that has been changed by technology,” then this is the “consummation,” the realization, of “L’art pour l’art.” [7]

Diego Rivera claims that the “art for art’s sake” theory would further divide the rich from the poor. Rivera goes on to say that since one of the characteristics of so called “pure art” was that it could only be appreciated by a few superior people, the art movement would strip art from its value as a social tool and ultimately make art into a currency-like item that would only be available to the rich. [8]

Former Chinese leader Mao Zedong said: “There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes, art that is detached from or independent of politics. Proletarian literature and art are part of the whole proletarian revolutionary cause; they are, as Lenin said, cogs and wheels in the whole revolutionary machine.” [9]

See also[ edit ]

  • Critical theory
  • Intrinsic motivation

Notes[ edit ]

  1. ^ http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9125149/art-for-arts-sake retrieved 23 December 2007
  2. ^ Poe, Edgar Allan (1850). “The Poetic Principle” . E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore. Archived from the original on 18 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-08.

  3. ^ Edwards, Owen (April 2006). “Refined Palette” . Smithsonian Magazine : 29. Retrieved 2007-08-08.
  4. ^ Letters of George Sand, Vol 3
  5. ^ Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols , “Skirmishes of an Untimely Man,” §24
  6. ^ Achebe, Chinua. Morning Yet on Creation Day. Michigan: Heinemann Educational, 1975. Page 19. Print.
  7. ^ Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” in Illuminations, Fontana Press, London, 1973, 23. ISBN   0-00-686248-9 .
  8. ^ http://photo-soup.org/wp2013/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Rivera-Diego-The-revolutionary-spirit-in-modern-art.pdf ; pg.52
  9. ^ “Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art” (May 1942), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 86. Via Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong , accessed via the Marxists Internet Archive here .

External links[ edit ]

Look up art for art’s sake in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Art for Art’s Sake
  • Art History Resources: Art for Art’s Sake Explained

Retrieved from ” https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Art_for_art%27s_sake&oldid=867563229 ”
Categories :

  • Aesthetics
  • English phrases
  • Latin words and phrases
  • History of ideas
  • Avant-garde art

Navigation menu

Personal tools

  • Not logged in
  • Talk
  • Contributions
  • Create account
  • Log in

Namespaces

  • Article
  • Talk

Variants

    Views

    • Read
    • Edit
    • View history

    More


      Navigation

      • Main page
      • Contents
      • Featured content
      • Current events
      • Random article
      • Donate to Wikipedia
      • Wikipedia store

      Interaction

      • Help
      • About Wikipedia
      • Community portal
      • Recent changes
      • Contact page

      Tools

      • What links here
      • Related changes
      • Upload file
      • Special pages
      • Permanent link
      • Page information
      • Wikidata item
      • Cite this page

      Print/export

      • Create a book
      • Download as PDF
      • Printable version

      Languages

      • Català
      • Dansk
      • Deutsch
      • Eesti
      • Español
      • Esperanto
      • فارسی
      • Français
      • 한국어
      • Հայերեն
      • हिन्दी
      • Hrvatski
      • Bahasa Indonesia
      • Italiano
      • Қазақша
      • Latina
      • Magyar
      • Македонски
      • Nederlands
      • 日本語
      • Norsk
      • ਪੰਜਾਬੀ
      • Polski
      • Português
      • Русский
      • Slovenčina
      • Српски / srpski
      • Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски
      • Suomi
      • Svenska
      • Türkçe
      • Українська
      • 中文
      Edit links

      • This page was last edited on 6 November 2018, at 14:46 (UTC).
      • Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License ;
        additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy . Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. , a non-profit organization.
      • Privacy policy
      • About Wikipedia
      • Disclaimers
      • Contact Wikipedia
      • Developers
      • Cookie statement
      • Mobile view
      • Wikimedia Foundation
      • Powered by MediaWiki

      Jump to
      Content

      • Personal Profile: Sign in
      • or Create
      • About

      • News

      • Subscriber Services

      • Contact Us

      • Help

      • For Authors

      Oxford Reference

      • Subject
          

      • Reference Type
          

      • My Content (1)

        Recently viewed
        (1)

        • Art For Art’s Sake – O…

      • My Searches (0)

      Archaeology

      Art & Architecture

      Bilingual dictionaries

      Classical studies

      Encyclopedias

      English Dictionaries and Thesauri

      History

      Language reference

      Law

      Linguistics

      Literature

      Media studies

      Medicine and health

      Music

      Names studies

      Performing arts

      Philosophy

      Quotations

      Religion

      Science and technology

      Social sciences

      Society and culture

      Browse All

      Overview Pages
      Subject Reference
      Timelines
      Quotations
      English Dictionaries
      Bilingual Dictionaries
      Browse All

      Close

      Encyclopedia of Aesthetics$

      Encyclopedia of Aesthetics

      Edited by Michael Kelly

      Publisher:
      Oxford University Press
      Print Publication Date:
      1998
      Print ISBN-13:
      9780195113075
      Published online:
      2008
      Current Online Version:
      2008
      eISBN:
      9780195386318

      • Find at OUP.com
      • Google Preview

      Read More

      • Print

      • Save

      • Cite

      • Email

      • Share

        Share


      Subscriber sign in

      Sign in via your Institution

      In This Entry

      More on this Topic

      • ‘art for art’s sake’

        in The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms (2 ed.)
      • art for art’s sake

        in The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)
      • View overview page for this topic

      Related Content

      In this work

      • Aestheticism
      • Autonomy
      • Baudelaire, Charles
      • Cousin, Victor (1792)
      • Disinterestedness
      • Mallarmé, Stéphane (1842)
      • New Criticism
      • Pater, Walter Horatio (1839)
      • Wilde, Oscar (1854)

      Related Overviews

      Aesthetic Movement

      Théophile Gautier
      (1811—1872)

      Disinterestedness

      View all related overviews

      »

       

      Show Summary Details

      • Publishing Information

      • Editor in Chief

      • Preface

      • History of Aesthetics

      • General Structure of the Encyclopedia

      • Criteria For the Inclusion of Entries

      • Directory of Contributors

      • Next Version

      Art For Art’s Sake 

      Source:
      Encyclopedia of Aesthetics
      Author(s):

      Crispin Sartwell

      The notion of art for art’s sake, or l’ art pour l’ art, was employed beginning with the French

      Access to the complete content on Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

      Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

      If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

      For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs , and if you can”t find the answer there, please contact us .

      • Publishing Information

      • Editor in Chief

      • Preface

      • History of Aesthetics

      • General Structure of the Encyclopedia

      • Criteria For the Inclusion of Entries

      • Directory of Contributors

      • Oxford University Press

      Copyright ©
      2018.
      All rights reserved.

      PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice ).

      date: 11 December 2018

      • Cookie Policy

      • Privacy Policy

      • Legal Notice

      • Credits

      QR code

      • [91.221.66.52]
      • 91.221.66.52

      Close

      Skip to main content

      Academia.edu
      • Log In
      • Sign Up
      • Log In
      • Sign Up
      • more&nbsp
        • Job Board
        • About
        • Press
        • Blog
        • People
        • Papers
        • Terms
        • Privacy
        • Copyright
        •  We’re Hiring!
        •  Help Center
        • less&nbsp

      Art for Art’s Sake

      4 Followers
      • Papers
      • People
      Review of “Transfiguration: The Religion of Art in 19th Century Literature before Aestheticism” by Stephen Cheeke
      Stephen Cheeke explores the ways in which four writers – Ruskin, Browning, Rossetti and Pater – engaged with the relationship between Christian artworks and religious forms of thought and feeling. Cheeke’s thesis concerns two phenomena:… more
      Stephen Cheeke explores the ways in which four writers – Ruskin, Browning, Rossetti and Pater – engaged with the relationship between Christian artworks and religious forms of thought and feeling. Cheeke’s thesis concerns two phenomena: one, the sin of idolatry and two, the poetics of transfiguration.
      Nineteenth-Century Prose 45:1 (Spring 2018)
      • Bookmark
        • by 
        • Art for Art’s Sake

      Art for HEART’S Sake: Social Change Takes Center Stage to Counter Disenfranchisement of Arts in America (2015)
      Research abounds on the potential positive impact of the arts, yet national support for the arts continues to decline. This paper argues that the l’art pour l’art (Art for Art’s Sake) mentality of purposeless is to blame for this… more
      Research abounds on the potential positive impact of the arts, yet national support for the arts continues to decline. This paper argues that the l’art pour l’art (Art for Art’s Sake) mentality of purposeless is to blame for this reduction. Over the past decade, American theatres were hit particularly hard with sluggish subscriptions, redirected governmental funding, and increased production costs. Numerous theaters across the nation have closed their doors, and others continue to struggle. Employing the lessons of Intiman Theatre’s implosion and resurrection, the author develops the framework for a purpose-driven theater movement, “Art for HEART’S Sake” including seven pillars of efficacy, and maintaining that the problem is not in clarifying whether the arts can have a positive impact, but rather if they must in order to thrive.
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    16   

          Performing Arts,  Theatre Studies,  Art Theory,  Empathy (Psychology)

      Discovering Doris Lessing: Convergences between Islam and Her Thoughts
      The 2007 Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing (1919-2013) is one of the twentieth century’s most prolific and versatile British writers. Her literary career is marked by the robustness and diversity of her ideas. The plurality of… more
      The 2007 Nobel literature laureate Doris Lessing (1919-2013) is one of the twentieth century’s most prolific and versatile British writers. Her literary career is marked by the robustness and diversity of her ideas. The plurality of voices in her work makes room for discovering a very different Lessing from how she is usually construed and for discussing some of her views in a new and somewhat unusual light. In this study, I intend to look at her thoughts on education, literature, racism, and women’s rights and locate possible commonalities between them and certain facets of Islamic thought. As she is considered a humanist, a secular writer of great stature, the " grande dame " of British writing of her time, and handles explicit sexual relationships, a sense of remoteness and in-comprehension is perhaps palpable in any attempt to discover an " Islamic Doris Lessing. " However, given that she is known for her courage and outspokenness, as well as for making unconventional moves and iconoclastic statements sometimes at the expense of her literary reputation, it will be interesting to see her ideas from an Islamic perspective.
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    11   

          Race and Racism,  Sufism,  Women and Gender Issues in Islam,  Islamic feminism

      ‘Installations in Words: Imagism and its Response to Art for Art’s Sake’
      • Bookmark
        • by 
        •    3   

          Aestheticism,  Imagism,  Art for Art’s Sake

      Art: A Brief History of Absence (From the Conception and Birth, Life and Death, to the Living Deadness of Art)
      This essay focuses on the logic of the aesthetic argument used in the eighteenth century as a conceptual tool for formulating the modern concept of “(fine) art(s).” The essay also examines the main developments in the history of the art… more
      This essay focuses on the logic of the aesthetic argument used in the eighteenth century as a conceptual tool for formulating the modern concept of “(fine) art(s).” The essay also examines the main developments in the history of the art of modernity which were initiated from the way the “nature” of art was conceived in early modern aesthetics. The author claims that the formulation of the “aesthetic nature” of art led to the process of the gradual disappearance of all of the formal elements that had previously characterized the visual arts; the result was “emptiness” or “nothingness” as art. The author
      refers to this process in terms of “vanishing acts” that allow for the formulation of an aesthetics of absence in connection to twentieth-century art (complementing the Ästhetik der Absenz, formulated in German art theory). The author also briefly addresses the consequences that these processes have for
      the way contemporary art, and art world operate.
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    32   

          Philosophy,  Aesthetics,  Art History,  Art

      Good literature and bad literature: Debate on Islam and poetry
      Abstract: As regards Islam and poetry (for that matter, literature as a whole), there exists some misunderstanding which is most commonly made by two mutually opposing groups: commentators with negative notion about Islam who state that… more
      Abstract: As regards Islam and poetry (for that matter, literature as a whole), there exists some misunderstanding which is most commonly made by two mutually opposing groups: commentators with negative notion about Islam who state that it is a restrictive religion with no room for creativity; and devout Muslims with somewhat puritan tendency who believe that all sorts of entertainment production and consumption including poetry are prohibited in Islam. Interestingly, both the groups use similar kinds of Qur’anic and Hadith texts to pass their verdicts on the subject. This article revisits some of those revealed texts and provides the author’s thoughts on the
      debate on Islam and poetry. It also identifies types of literature which Islam approves and some other literary productions which Islam discourages.
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    7   

          English Literature,  Literature,  Poetry,  Literary Criticism

      Aesthetics 7/8 The Beautiful and the Good
      • Bookmark
        • by 
        •    22   

          Philosophy,  Aesthetics,  Ethics,  Medieval Philosophy

      Carl DAHLHAUS A idéia de Música Absoluta (uma aproximação)
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    16   

          Music History,  Music Theory,  Musicology,  Art Theory

      Bernal, Kathryn A. “‘More like a work of art than of nature:’ The Peacock Feather and the Aesthetes, or A Symbol of Beautiful Design in Victorian and Fin-de-siècle Applied, Decorative and Fine Arts.” B.Art.Th. research dissertation, Sydney: University of New South Wales, 2003.
      This study is about the Aesthetic Movement in British Art and Design during the Victorian to Fin-de-siècle periods. Employing the peacock-feather motif as a theme, it traces the development of the use of symbolism in the nineteenth… more
      This study is about the Aesthetic Movement in British Art and Design during the Victorian to Fin-de-siècle periods. Employing the peacock-feather motif as a theme, it traces the development of the use of symbolism in the nineteenth century, from the idea of the proliferating symbol to a notion of the non-symbolising symbol, or the non-narrative. It begins with an examination of early Pre-Raphaelitism, as a precursor to Aestheticism, and then moves on to the development of ‘Art for Art’s sake’ in fine, decorative and applied art and design, whereby the decorative takes precedence over the narrative. The peacock-feather motif, therefore, illustrates the Victorians’ progression from symbolism to the use of non-symbolism as pure ornament.
      • Bookmark
        • by 
        •    18   

          Symbolism,  Gothic Studies,  Victorian Art,  Orientalism in art

      “‘Il divino pregio del dono’: Andrea Sperelli’s Economy of Pleasures”
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    33   

          Aesthetics,  Literature,  Literary Criticism,  Gift Exchange

      Form follows WHAT? The modernist notion of function as a carte blanche [1995]
      • Bookmark
      • Download
        • by 
        •    28   

          Metaphysics,  User Experience (UX),  Hegel,  User Centred Design

       45.7 million researchers use this site every month. Ads help cover our server costs.

      Log In


      or

      or  reset password

      Need an account?  Click here to sign up
      • About
      • Blog
      • People
      • Papers
      • Job Board
      • Advertise
      •  We’re Hiring!
      •  Help Center
      • Find new research papers in:
      • Physics
      • Chemistry
      • Biology
      • Health Sciences
      • Ecology
      • Earth Sciences
      • Cognitive Science
      • Mathematics
      • Computer Science
      • Terms
      • Privacy
      • Copyright
      • Academia ©2018