1975. Academic year. After traveling Europe and witnessing the suffering and cruelty of the world, Tolstoy was transformed. web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/phil of art/tolstoy.outline.htm Academic year. Aristotle’s definition of art focuses on humans’ ability to mimic real life and create a spectacle that causes certain emotions, like fear, to arise in the audience. On the greater or lesser individuality of the feeling transmitted; on the greater or lesser clearness with which the feeling is transmitted; on the sincerity of the artist, i.e., on the greater or lesser force with which the artist himself feels the emotion he transmits. If a work lacks even one of the three qualities, it is counterfeit art. His acute social concern is manifest not only in What Is Art? The more infectious the artwork, the better. On what might be called the full-blown version of expression theory — instances of which were held by Leo Tolstoy and by Clive Bell — expression is understood as a matter of the communication or transmission of emotion or feeling from artist to audience via the work of art. Leo Tolstoy’s What is Art? Which is to say that for Tolstoy art is a sort of language, a means of communication by which a person communicates his/her thoughts to another, a way to transfer information, a rational cognitive operation. Charmed by the faith of the common people, he turned to Christianity. 59-65. But what does Tolstoy exactly mean when he says that something is good or bad art? So, what is art for Tolstoy? Such are the three conditions which divide art from its counterfeits, and which also decide the quality of every work of art apart from its subject matter. Furthermore, a work that does not evoke feelings and spiritual union with others is counterfeit art. Book title What Is Art; Author. Tolstoy s Aesthetics - Summary What Is Art - What Is Art. The Russian painter created a series of portraits of Tolstoy, which were exhibited together at the 2019 exhibition, at the State Museum L.N. Leo Tolstoy created his own ... defines art as a way to communicate emotion with the ultimate goal of uniting humanity. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Leo-Tolstoy, Banking, Trade & Commerce In Ancient Phoenicia, Cubist Art For Dummies: A Beginner’s Guide, Op Art Defined in 7 Mind-Blowing Illusions, Prohibition in the States: How America Turned Its Back on Liquor, Rare Sandro Botticelli Portrait Expected to Fetch $80 Million at Auction. “If only the spectators or auditors are infected by the feelings which the author has felt, it is art.” (Tolstoy 1930). Tolstoy’s book concerns how art can express ideas of how to act right and what it’s purpose is. Tolstoy’s theory has a lot of charming aspects. Tolstoy does not that counterfeit art cannot evoke emotion, he is saying that the emotion that counterfeit art produces is not the purpose of art. Namely, that it considers almost the totality of human activity as art. Portrait of Leo Tolstoy, Ilya Repin, 1912, Penaty Estate Museum of Ilya Repin. Tolstoy. That is, however, only if the boy succeeds in making the listeners feel the fear and anguish of the encounter. Course. If the spectators or auditors can grasp the emotions felt by the artist, it is art. Most of the paintings used for this article were drawn by realist painter Ilya Repin. Leo Tolstoy | Russian writer | Britannica Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace, defines art as a way to communicate emotion with the ultimate goal … “What is truth” Christ and Pilate, Nikolai Ge, 1890, State Tretyakov Gallery. Because we have forgotten, or never knew, the meaning of art, we have dubbed art as “an activity producing pleasure.” The presence in various degrees of these three conditions — individuality, clearness, and sincerity — decides the merit of a work of art as art, apart from subject matter. Leo Tolstoy answered these questions in “What is Art?” (1897), his most comprehensive essay on the theory of art. In addition, it removes the barrier between the receivers who experience unity through a common feeling. In that case, it only remains to judge whether this real artwork is good or bad, more or less successful. He believes that art is a means of communicating emotion, with the aim of promoting mutual understanding. Tolstoy thinks that both cases lead to subjective definitions of beauty and in turn to subjective definitions of art. This means that evil cannot be fought with evil means and one should neither accept nor resist it. with Tolstoy’s timeless Calendar of Wisdom and this rare recording of the author reading from the latter in English shortly before his death. Leo Tolstoy - From the Emotion category: Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously by means of certain signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that others are infected by those feelings and experience them. You can also become a spontaneous supporter with a one-time donation in any amount: Partial to Bitcoin? Even a boy telling the story of how he met a wolf can be art. At one point in his essay, he states that Shakespeare’s. He holds an MSc in Museum Studies from the University of Glasgow and a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Athens (NKUA). Furthermore, Tolstoy firmly denies that pleasure is art’s sole purpose. Need to cancel a recurring donation? Tolstoy puts forth a sentiment Susan Sontag would come to echo decades later in asserting that “art is a form of consciousness,” and frames the essential role of art as a vehicle of communication and empathy: In order correctly to define art, it is necessary, first of all, to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and to consider it as one of the conditions of human life. For them beauty is either that which provides a certain kind of pleasure or that which is perfect according to objective, universal laws. Subscribe to this free midweek pick-me-up for heart, mind, and spirit below — it is separate from the standard Sunday digest of new pieces: By 1897, Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828–November 20, 1910) was already a literary legend of worldwide acclaim and a man deeply invested in his ultimate quest to unravel the most important wisdom on life. Upon completing his masterpiece. In his essay “What is Art?” Leo Tolstoy, the author of War and Peace, defines art as a way to communicate emotion with the ultimate goal of uniting humanity. Like? Relating to an artwork is the key to great art. Tolstoy's aesthetics is a classic formulation of the expressive theory of art. For Tolstoy, art was a means of communication between people which expressed feelings. Tolstoy in peasant clothing, Ilya Repin, 1901, State Russian Museum. No matter how poetical, realistic, effectful, or interesting it is, it must meet these conditions to succeed. but also in the essays he wrote on cultural and religious subjects. He believes that art is a means of communicating emotion, with the aim of promoting mutual understanding. You can beam some bit-love my way: 197usDS6AsL9wDKxtGM6xaWjmR5ejgqem7. Most of the paintings used for this article were drawn by realist painter Ilya Repin. The individuality of the feeling transmitted: the more specific to a person the feeling, the more successful the artwork. Some label his a communication theory of art But Tolstoy speaks more strongly - he repeatedly uses the metaphor of infection So his is really a contagion theory The key emotion passes from one person (the artist) to others (the audience) like an infection or disease Eventually, he dismissed the Russian Church and every other Church as corrupted and looked for his own answers. Art is about the expression of feelings and the joining of people together in shared experience of those emotions. University. The... Cubist art emerged within the first decade of the twentieth century, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In What Is Art?, [1] Tolstoy details the social purpose to art. Since 2006, I have been spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars each month to keep Brain Pickings going. "Music is the shorthand of emotion." He frequently publishes articles about art, history, and philosophy, while writing for TheCollector. This can be compared with the direction of a flowing river: If the river flows at all, it must have a direction. But he shocked the world when he published What Is Art? On what might be called the full-blown version of expression theory — instances of which were held by Leo Tolstoy and by Clive Bell — expression is understood as a matter of the communication or transmission of emotion or feeling from artist to audience via the work of art. This rationale leads Tolstoy to a very bizarre idea. And what is the nature of the morality he uses for his artistic judgments? This is a bold declaration, which recalls the Nietzschean aphorism that human existence is justified only as an aesthetic phenomenon. Leo Tolstoy (Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy) was born in 1828 in his family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, some 200km from Moscow. And as each man is different from everyone else, his feeling will be individual for everyone else; and the more individual it is — the more the artist has drawn it from the depths of his nature — the more sympathetic and sincere will it be. It is safe to say that more than a century after Tolstoy’s death, “What is Art?” retains its appeal. More than a bridge from person to person, he argues, art is a bridge across eras, cultures, and lifetimes — a kind of immortality: As, thanks to man’s capacity to express thoughts by words, every man may know all that has been done for him in the realms of thought by all humanity before his day, and can in the present, thanks to this capacity to understand the thoughts of others, become a sharer in their activity and can himself hand on to his contemporaries and descendants the thoughts he has assimilated from others, as well as those which have arisen within himself; so, thanks to man’s capacity to be infected with the feelings of others by means of art, all that is being lived through by his contemporaries is accessible to him, as well as the feelings experienced by men thousands of years ago, and he has also the possibility of transmitting his own feelings to others. In reality, the canon is nothing more than the artworks appreciated by the upper classes. Having rejected the use of beauty in definitions of art (see aesthetic theory), Tolstoy conceptualises art as anything that communicates emotion: "Art begins when a man, with the purpose of communicating to other people a feeling he once experienced, calls it up again … The Entombment of Christ by Greco, El Greco, 1570-1576, National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum. In this process, the receiver of the artistic impression becomes so united with the artist’s experience, that he/she feels like the artwork is his/her own. 12 that the recipient experience the same emotion as the artist in a very strong sense of identifying with the artist (see above). In 1851 he joined the tsarist army to pay off his accumulated debt but quickly regretted this decision. If a society lives, there must be a religious perception indicating the direction in which, more or less consciously, all its members tend. Tolstoy's aesthetics is a classic formulation of the expressive theory of art. of bad art means that the work satisfies Tolstoy's aesthetic criteria and is art but that its effect on its public is morally bad. Good art is the ability for the audience or viewer to … Tolstoy’s writing made him famous around the world and he is justly considered among the four giants of Russian Literature next to Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Turgenev. His most famous novels are, (1877). To justify new productions that please the elites, new theories that expand and reaffirm the canon are constantly created: The true definition of art, according to Tolstoy, should be based on moral principles. According to Tolstoy good art is able to allow people to perceive the intended meaning, whereas bad art can not be understood. Personally, I do not approach Tolstoy’s theory as a set of laws for understanding art. … And it is upon this capacity of man to receive another man’s expression of feeling and experience those feelings himself, that the activity of art is based. The Russian painter created a series of portraits of Tolstoy, which were exhibited together at the 2019 exhibition “Repin: The Myth of Tolstoy” at the State Museum L.N. was born in 1828 in his family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, some 200km from Moscow. Leo Tolstoy in a Pink Armchair, Ilya Repin, 1909, The Leo Tolstoy State Museum. If it is not moral, it is bad. Throughout this essay, he remains confident that he is the first to provide an exact definition for art: “…however strange it may seem to say so, in spite of the mountains of books written about art, no exact definition of art has been constructed. Eventually, he left the army right after the end of the Crimean War in 1856. translated by Aline Delano. Available at: Jahn, G.R. https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/09/09/leo-tolstoy-what-is-art-infectiousness/ What Is Art… His most famous novels are War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). This is especially the case in our time where many question art’s importance and see it as a source of confusion and division. Tolstoy postulates art’s general purpose Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship both with him who produced, or is producing, the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously, or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression. This is a process of moral realization and results in society becoming kinder and more compassionate. Tolstoy is fighting for the social dimension of art. More information regarding the relationship between Tolstoy and Repin can be found in this, Leo Tolstoy in his Study at Yasnaya Polyana, , Ilya Repin, 1887, The Leo Tolstoy State Museum. However, he also wrote multiple philosophical and theological texts as well as theatrical plays and short stories. Explain Tolstoy's theory in as much detail as you can. Note: this is the famous Russian novelist, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina Towards the end of his life, Tolstoy underwent a religious conversion War and Peace is preeminent. Sketches of Leo Tolstoy, Ilya Repin, 1891, Private Collection. Art-The Language of Emotion LEO TOLSTOY Among the novels written by Count Tolstoy (1828-1910). Privacy policy. StuDocu Summary Library EN. Therefore this third condition — sincerity — is the most important of the three. StuDocu Summary Library EN. Leo Tolstoy in his Study at Yasnaya Polyana, Ilya Repin, 1887, The Leo Tolstoy State Museum. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. 2017/2018 what is art summary. — . Tolstoy requires 32 Hospers, “The Concept of Artistic Expression,” p. 158. According to Tolstoy, what the artist does is communicate his emotions to the people in his audience and in doing so, evoke those same emotions in them. It concerns the identification of a piece of art as expressing a particular emotion. In the usual understanding of the words, how-ever, "bad art" means something closer to "non-art" or "weak art." As you ... For Tolstoy, art was a means of communication between people which expressed feelings. A work about the meaning of art and a fertile foundation on which truly beautiful ideas can flourish. Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hand on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them.”. The chief peculiarity of this feeling is that the receiver of a true artistic impression is so united to the artist that he feels as if the work were his own and not someone else’s — as if what it expresses were just what he had long been wishing to express. Here's an example. Tolstoy defies the academy’s intellectualizations of art: Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing objects; and, above all, it is not pleasure; but it is a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity. Tolstoy’s theory has a lot of charming aspects. To this interpretation leads Tolstoy’s view that, even if a society recognizes no religion, it always has a religious morality. 2017/2018 There is no way of explaining why one thing pleases someone but displeases someone else, he concludes. His theological explorations led to the formulation of his own version of Christianity, which deeply influenced his social vision. Tolstoy’s aesthetic values are based on communication of emotion, which falls in line with Collinwood’s ideas of art, in that art is the release of a pent up emotion. ‘The Aesthetic Theory of Leo Tolstoy’s What Is Art?’. The turn of the 12th century BC in the Eastern Mediterranean was a turbulent time, to say the least. A genuinely good artwork ought to make accessible these good feelings that move humanity closer to its moral completion. Works of art are everywhere, according to this view. 35. Although it relates to religion, religious perception is not the same with religious cult. This was the doctrine that inspired Gandhi and was expressed as non-resistance to evil. Otherwise it is just a counterfeit posing as real art. —. And the reason of this is that the conception of art has been based on the conception of beauty.”. Tolstoy s Aesthetics - Summary What Is Art - What Is Art. Brain Pickings has a free Sunday digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning. Leo Tolstoy compares art to speech by mentioning that art is a form of communication. By gaining awareness of each other’s feelings we can successfully practice empathy and … Leo Tolstoy in the Room with the Arches, Ilya Repin, 1891, State Russian Museum. Leo Tolstoy - From the Emotion category: Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously by means of certain signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that others are infected by those feelings and experience them. “Men would be like beasts”, says Tolstoy, and even goes as far as to claim that without art, mankind could not exist. , Tolstoy fell into a state of insufferable existential despair. But how can we judge what feelings are morally good? Instead, he supports a moral-based art able to appeal to everyone and not just the privileged few. Leo Tolstoy Takes a Rest in the Woods, Ilya Repin, 1891, State Tretyakov Gallery. In contrast, it is real if it possesses all three. Leo Tolstoy created his own definition of art and succeeded in justifying it. Invented in 1796 by Alois Senefelder, lithography is a form of printing. Claim yours: Also: Because Brain Pickings is in its fourteenth year and because I write primarily about ideas of a timeless character, I have decided to plunge into my vast archive every Wednesday and choose from the thousands of essays one worth resurfacing and resavoring. Published September 9, 2013 I have mentioned three conditions of contagiousness in art, but they may be all summed up into one, the last, sincerity, i.e., that the artist should be impelled by an inner need to express his feeling. The communication that Tolstoy writes about in “What Is Art?” is of two types, good and bad. In 2020, I spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars keeping Brain Pickings going. If it is moral, then it is good art. It is always complied with in peasant art, and this explains why such art always acts so powerfully; but it is a condition almost entirely absent from our upper-class art, which is continually produced by artists actuated by personal aims of covetousness or vanity. In fact, the definition of religious perception is so wide, that it describes ideology in general. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. Therefore, real art removes the barrier between Subject and Object, and between receiver and sender of an artistic impression. In reality, the canon is nothing more than the artworks appreciated by the upper classes. Before anything, we need to question if a work of art is moral. The sincerity of the artist: the force with which the artist feels the emotion he/she transmits through his/her art. — Eventually, he left the army right after the end of the Crimean War in 1856. Book title What Is Art; Author. In particular, I think that Aristotle and Leo Tolstoy would have a lot to say about this piece. Thus is art divided from that which is not art, and thus is the quality of art as art decided, independently of its subject matter, i.e., apart from whether the feelings it transmits are good or bad. Tolstoy’s book concerns how art can express ideas of how to act right and what it’s purpose is. Tolstoy argues that, much as in Samuel Delany’s distinction between good writing vs. talented writing, the degree of infectiousness is what separates good art from excellent art. Tolstoy. Before answering the question, the Russian novelist seeks a proper basis for his definition. A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist — not that alone, but also between himself and all whose minds receive this work of art. Tolstoy provides five simple, clear, touching examples of art which elicit familial sentiments that form an emotional bond which all can experience. - Leo Tolstoy quotes from BrainyQuote.com pp. His family belonged in the Russian aristocracy and thus Leo inherited the title of count. If it is not moral, it is bad. In one the individuality of the feeling transmitted may predominate; in another, clearness of expression; in a third, sincerity; while a fourth may have sincerity and individuality but be deficient in clearness; a fifth, individuality and clearness but less sincerity; and so forth, in all possible degrees and combinations. According to Tolstoy, what the artist does is communicate his emotions to the people in his audience and in doing so, evoke those same emotions in them. To justify new productions that please the elites, new theories that expand and reaffirm the canon are constantly created: “No matter what insanities appear in art, when once they find acceptance among the upper classes of our society, a theory is quickly invented to explain and sanction them; just as if there had never been periods in history when certain special circles of people recognized and approved false, deformed, and insensate art which subsequently left no trace and has been utterly forgotten.”. But most of all is the degree of infectiousness of art increased by the degree of sincerity in the artist. “إذا كان العمل جيداً كفن، فإن الإحساس الذي يعبر عنه الفنان سينتقل إلى الناس سواء كان أخلاقياً أم غير أخلاقي، وإذا انتقل الإحساس إلى الناس الآخرين، فإنهم … However, there is a distinction between this expanded art, and art in the limited sense of the word. Go here. but also in the essays he wrote on cultural and religious subjects. Tolstoy believes that art is a means of progress towards perfection. Examining works of other philosophers and artists, he notices that they usually assume that beauty is art’s foundation. The power behind lithography is the relationship between water and oil. The clearness of expression assists infection because the receiver, who mingles in consciousness with the author, is the better satisfied the more clearly the feeling is transmitted, which, as it seems to him, he has long known and felt, and for which he has only now found expression. Art is a means of communicating feelings the same way words transmit thoughts. The activity of art is based on the fact that a man, receiving through his sense of hearing or sight another manʹs expression of feeling, is capable of experiencing the emotion which moved the man who expressed it. Your support makes all the difference. Tolstoy’s writing made him famous around the world and he is justly considered among the four giants of Russian Literature next to Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Turgenev. He concludes the same way words transmit thoughts down his opinions on several art-related issues which elicit familial sentiments form! Heritage and a fertile foundation on which truly beautiful ideas can flourish Brain Pickings going one. Product of this religion understood as brotherhood among all people which he wishes to transmit and man purpose. War and Peace ( 1869 ) and Anna Karenina ( 1877 ) in art, someone transmits a feeling “. Of objectively defining beauty, turn to a Study of taste asking why a thing.... Ability would be a catastrophe view, the leo Tolstoy created his own answers two. A wolf can be found in Christianity evil means and one should neither accept nor resist it published September,. 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