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. but also in the essays he wrote on cultural and religious subjects. In the usual understanding of the words, how-ever, "bad art" means something closer to "non-art" or "weak art." , Tolstoy fell into a state of insufferable existential despair. From a privileged aristocrat, he became a Christian anarchist arguing against the State and propagating non-violence. The clearness of the feeling transmitted: the clearness of expression assists the transition of feelings and increases the pleasure derived from art. Tolstoy encapsulates his definition of art in the following passages: “To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling – this is the activity of 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. After traveling Europe and witnessing the suffering and cruelty of the world, Tolstoy was transformed. In reality, the canon is nothing more than the artworks appreciated by the upper classes. It concerns the identification of a piece of art as expressing a particular emotion. But what does Tolstoy exactly mean when he says that something is good or bad art? 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 … If people lacked this capacity to receive the thoughts conceived by the men who preceded them and to pass on to others their own thoughts, men would be like wild beasts… And if men lacked this other capacity of being infected by art, people might be almost more savage still, and, above all, more separated from, and more hostile to, one another. In fact, the definition of religious perception is so wide, that it describes ideology in general. Tolstoy requires 32 Hospers, “The Concept of Artistic Expression,” p. 158. Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them. Leo Tolstoy in a Pink Armchair, Ilya Repin, 1909, The Leo Tolstoy State Museum. Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands 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. 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. All works of art take rank of merit according to the degree in which they fulfill the first, the second, and the third of these conditions. In art, someone transmits a feeling and “infects” others with what he/she feels. Tolstoy. 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 With time, art evolves rendering accessible the experience of humanity for humanity’s sake. This function of art is not only useful but also necessary for the progress and wellbeing of humanity. Tolstoy s Aesthetics - Summary What Is Art - What Is Art. —. Infectiousness, however, is not a mere binary quality. Go here. 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. Tolstoy is best known for his two longest works, War and Peace (1865–69) and Anna Karenina (1875–77), which are commonly regarded as among the finest novels ever written. Tolstoy thinks that both cases lead to subjective definitions of beauty and in turn to subjective definitions of art. Before anything, we need to question if a work of art is moral. Tolstoy defies the academy’s intellectualizations of art: Portrait of Leo Tolstoy, Ilya Repin, 1912, Penaty Estate Museum of Ilya Repin. If this labor has enlarged and enriched your own life this year, please consider aiding its sustenance with a one-time or loyal donation. And however poetical, realistic, effectful, or interesting a work may be, it is not a work of art if it does not evoke that feeling (quite distinct from all other feelings) of joy and of spiritual union with another (the author) and with others (those who are also infected by it). War and Peace in In contrast, it is real if it possesses all three. 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. What Is Art… Is Art Leo Tolstoy What Is Art Leo Tolstoy Thank you very much for reading what is art leo tolstoy. 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. Although it relates to religion, religious perception is not the same with religious cult. In this freeing of our personality from its separation and isolation, in this uniting of it with others, lies the chief characteristic and the great attractive force of art. To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling — this is the activity of art. Antonis is an archaeologist with a passion for museums and heritage and a keen interest in aesthetics and the reception of classical art. You can also become a spontaneous supporter with a one-time donation in any amount: Partial to Bitcoin? And what is the nature of the morality he uses for his artistic judgments? Tolstoy’s theory has a lot of charming aspects. “Men would be like beasts”, says Tolstoy, and even goes as far as to claim that without art, mankind could not exist. And the reason of this is that the conception of art has been based on the conception of beauty.”. 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. 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. But most of all is the degree of infectiousness of art increased by the degree of sincerity in the artist. pp. Course. what is art summary. For Tolstoy, the religious perception of his time is found in Christianity. — In psychology of art, the relationship between art and emotion has newly been the subject of extensive study thanks to the intervention of esteemed art historian Alexander Nemerov. The power behind lithography is the relationship between water and oil. The turn of the 12th century BC in the Eastern Mediterranean was a turbulent time, to say the least. In 1851 he joined the tsarist army to pay off his accumulated debt but quickly regretted this decision. Tolstoy has several considerations before formulating this definition. Personally, I do not approach Tolstoy’s theory as a set of laws for understanding 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. It is this movement forward in humanity that is emphasized by Tolstoy. If the spectators or auditors can grasp the emotions felt by the artist, it is art. By gaining awareness of each other’s feelings we can successfully practice empathy and … 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. Although he takes a clear stance in favor of Christianity as a valid foundation for morality, his definition of religious perception is flexible. War and Peace is preeminent. The sincerity of the artist: the force with which the artist feels the emotion he/she transmits through his/her art. Tolstoy's aesthetics is a classic formulation of the expressive theory of art. This core quality of art Tolstoy calls its “infectiousness,” and upon the artist’s ability to “infect” others depends the very recognition of something as art: If only the spectators or auditors are infected by the feelings which the author has felt, it is art. He offers three conditions that determine the degree of infectiousness: The stronger the infection, the better is the art as art, speaking now apart from its subject matter, i.e., not considering the quality of the feelings it transmits. 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According to Tolstoy good art is able to allow people to perceive the intended meaning, whereas bad art can not be understood. Even a boy telling the story of how he met a wolf can be art. This rationale leads Tolstoy to a very bizarre idea. Tolstoy s Aesthetics - Summary What Is Art - What Is Art. Charmed by the faith of the common people, he turned to Christianity. What is authentic art and what is good art? Tolstoy's aesthetics is a classic formulation of the expressive theory of art. This is especially the case in our time where many question art’s importance and see it as a source of confusion and division. Upon completing his masterpiece. Explain Tolstoy's theory in as much detail as you can. If a society lives, there must be a religious perception indicating the direction in which, more or less consciously, all its members tend. These theories are made to justify the existing art canon which covers anything from Greek art to Shakespeare and Beethoven. Tolstoy provides five simple, clear, touching examples of art which elicit familial sentiments that form an emotional bond which all can experience. In its essence, art is a means of union among men brought together by commonly experienced feelings. Tolstoy wrote “What is art?” in 1897. 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. Art is about the expression of feelings and the joining of people together in shared experience of those emotions. Published September 9, 2013 If it is not moral, it is bad. Privacy policy. 12 that the recipient experience the same emotion as the artist in a very strong sense of identifying with the artist (see above). Examining works of other philosophers and artists, he notices that they usually assume that beauty is art’s foundation. For Tolstoy, art was a means of communication between people which expressed feelings. Eventually, he left the army right after the end of the Crimean War in 1856. Good art is the ability for the audience or viewer to … For them beauty is either that which provides a certain kind of pleasure or that which is perfect according to objective, universal laws. Tolstoy requires 32 Hospers, “The Concept of Artistic Expression,” p. 158. Therefore, real art removes the barrier between Subject and Object, and between receiver and sender of an artistic impression. 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. 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