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Art History – The science of the study of painting, sculpture, architecture

Art History – The science of the study of painting, sculpture, architecture

Art History

Art history

Art History, the science of the study of painting, sculpture, architecture, crafts. This science studies objects that can both be regarded as historical documents from a particular era and as aesthetic objects in our own contemporary culture. Artworks are both remains of their contemporary and adventure objects for today’s people. These two aspects cannot be detached from one another without sacrificing art history.

As long as images were used exclusively, such as the medieval alter images, the aspect of the image was overall. In the 14th century, an elite community in Florence began to consider painting and sculpture not only from the function but also because of the image quality. It was no longer sufficient that a painting filled the function it was intended. It also had qualities that one first sought to capture by concepts such as beauty and Grazie, since through the term art. Art then became all the objects that were carried by what was called in the 18th-century beauty. Art manifested itself in a special experience among the viewers, namely the desirable pleasure. When they looked at the function and information of the objects and considered them as aesthetic experiences, it was possible to collect a variety of objects. These objects include (painting and sculpture, cups and vessels, cult status and bronze castings) common concept of art.

The modern art

Modern art

The establishment of this modern art concept resulted in the art institutions founded in the 18th century. The modern art includes the art academy, the art museum, the exhibition, the art criticism and the philosophy of art. These were the prerequisites for the art history of art being established in the early 1800s. It was the modern concept of art that made it possible to consider such a different material as today’s art history, as a unified research field. The research object of art history is seen in an aesthetic perspective. And the subject has a dual character as both historical and aesthetic science.

As historical science, art history is concerned with objects’ source value, dating and attribution, style and historical significance. A prerequisite for this is to reconstruct the work’s original context – physically, functionally and ideologically. Different methods were developed for this, the most famous was developed by Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968). All historical reconstruction of the past has its clear limits because reconstruction takes place by means of a conceptual device that is different from what the past itself had. Thus, the former object appears in a different way to the researcher than it did in his present time. This is called hermeneutic or interpreting problem.

The concept of art

The concept of art

Art history is also an aesthetic science that sees the research objects through the concept of art – an open term that still changes the meaning. The art concept that forms the basis for the researcher’s work will determine the nature of the object. You can see a work of art as an expression of the author’s feelings, experiences, and sensations (expression theory) or as an interpretation of what is considered reality (imitation theory). Some will emphasize the object’s ability to elicit performances (experience theory), while others will emphasize the work itself, the constellation of form, material, and color (formalism). These basic theories can be combined and expanded into new theories.

The history of art history shows that it has been difficult to hold on to the subject’s dual character of historical and aesthetic science – the subject has also twisted between the two poles. Positivism from the 19th century and Marxism from the 1970s accentuated, in various ways, the historical character of the research object. Formalism in the early 20th century gave the aesthetic and ahistorical aspect the main role, under alternating theoretical disguises.

TheĀ aesthetic science

Different weighting has consequences for the subject’s self-understanding. Formalism regarded the form as a bearer of the aesthetic qualities and made the art history of style history. This makes it easy to draw boundaries to adjacent subjects and develop own explanatory and understanding models. Certain modern directions, however, see art as a socio-cultural phenomenon that can not be fully explained in the context of art history. It requires interdisciplinary activities and makes the subject dependent on external factors to a degree that seems to threaten the independence of the subject. However, the threat is only apparent because art history, like all other humanities, is not primarily a theoretical system that will collapse if the theories are replaced. It is based on established research practices that can be developed and modified.


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