By Richard Wollheim
Richard Wollheim's vintage mirrored image on artwork considers primary questions concerning expression, illustration, kind, the importance of the artist's purpose and the primarily old nature of artwork. provided in a clean sequence livery for the twenty-first century, with a specifically commissioned preface written via Richard Eldridge, illuminating its carrying on with significance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, artwork and its items is still a perceptive and interesting creation to the questions and philosophical matters raised by way of artistic endeavors and the half they play in our tradition and society. Wollheim's insights into theories of paintings, feedback, notion and the character of aesthetic worth make this the most influential works on aesthetics of the 20th century.
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Extra resources for Art and its Objects
In this sense the word remains very close to its etymology: exprimere, to squeeze out or press out. An expression is a secretion of an inner state. I shall refer to this as ‘natural expression’. Alongside this notion is another, which we apply when we think of an object as expressive of a certain condition because, when we are in that condition, it seems to us to match, or correspond with, what we experience inwardly: and perhaps when the condition passes, the object is also good for reminding us of it in some special poignant way, or for reviving it for us.
But, How can a work of art qua physical object express emotion? (Of course, there is a problem, which has indeed been much discussed recently, and which we shall deal with later [sections 28–31], about how a particular work of art can express a particular emotion. But that problem, it is important to see, is not our present problem. ) If I am right in asserting the difference between the ways in which representational and expressive properties prove problematic – and I have no desire to be insistent here – the explanation may well lie in the fact that, though there is nothing other than a physical object that has representational properties, there is something other than a physical, or at any rate a purely physical, object that has expressive properties: namely, a human body and its parts, in particular the face and certain limbs.
So, for instance, when Leonardo scandalized the prior of S. Maria delle Grazie by standing for days on end in front of the wall he was to paint, without touching it with his brush – an incident Croce quotes as evidence of this ‘inner’ process of expression – we may suppose that the thoughts that occupied his mind were of painted surface, were perhaps images of ever-developing articulation of what he was to set down. Thus a work of art was created that was both in an artist’s mind and in a medium.
Art and its Objects by Richard Wollheim