Only the aesthetes still assert that art is superior to life and to reality.’, Chernyshevski sums up by stating that it is the essential function of art ‘to reproduce everything that interests man in life’. Leon Trotsky: from Literature and Revolution 1922-23. While rejecting the escape into pure art in the name of morals, he made his art the handmaid of an even baser form of escape, the escape of insincerity.  It is essential also in scientific perception. But in reproducing life, the artist also, consciously or unconsciously, expresses his opinion of it, and it is by virtue of this that ‘art becomes a moral activity of man.’. André Breton: from the First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924. Francis Klingender: 'Content and Form in Art' 1935. Lest any Fabian should be crude enough to suspect that the lecturer was referring to ordinary human beings, when he spoke of ‘life’, he hastened to explain: ‘And here let me try to say what I mean by life as contrasted with art. True, such conclusions and ideas are much less complete and universal than life. For in art the particular becomes the general, the general reveals itself in the particular, and it is the unity of the particular and the general, expressed in the unity of content and form, which makes art an inexhaustible source of significant experience. His final views are expressed in a letter which he wrote in 1924 to the Poet Laureate Robert Bridges: ‘I very early became convinced that our emotions before works of art were of many kinds and that we failed as a rule to distinguish the nature of the mixture and I set to work by introspection to discover what the different elements of these compound emotions might be and to try to get at the most constant, unchanging, and therefore I suppose fundamental emotion. Hence it would seem that to obtain an inspiring and significant image the artist should endeavour to create an authentic, documentary image of the living reality before him. Their purpose is to prepare us for the reading of the original sources and later to provide an occasional reference. But to deny that the general is more significant than the particular does not imply the reverse proposition that the particular as such is what matters in art. listeners cannot directly identify. I conceived the form and the emotion which it conveyed as being inextricably bound together in the aesthetic whole.’ . I also conceived that the spectator in contemplating the form must inevitably travel in the opposite direction along the same road which the artist had taken, and himself feel the original emotion. Harrison and Wood, 437. ‘What matters in art is the contemplation of form’ and ‘in proportion as art gets purer, the number of people to whom it appeals gets less’, say the formalists. But he immediately points out: ‘Perfection of form (unity of idea and form) is not a characteristic of art in the aesthetic sense of the term “fine art” only. Francis Klingender: 'Content and Form in Art' 1935. Posted on May 17, 2017 in Faculty Picks. Of all the critics who have helped to mould our present standards of appreciation none can equal the influence of Roger Fry, the founder of British post-impressionism. ‘To paint a face beautifully’ is quite distinct from ‘painting a beautiful face’. His mother, also British, was Florence Hoette (Klingender) (d. 1944). 11. In Art and Form Rose engages mainly with fellow authors in Nonsite, notably Todd Cronan and Patrick McCreless, noting intentionalist assumptions malgré eux, but his thesis is more strongly indebted to Michael Baxandall, Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Explanation of Pictures (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985). These theories are not, however, the products of perverse reasoning – they merely reflect what has actually been happening in English art since about 1910. . It is therefore necessary to amplify the previous definition of the function of form in art – the complete expression of the artist’s aim – by stating: to paint, model, write, compose, act, film, etc., beautifully means so to express the particular that it attains general significance. Science does not claim to be anything else, nor do the poets in their cursory remarks about the essence of their work. Thus, according to Chernyshevski, the significance of a work of art is proportional to the comprehensiveness and truthfulness with which it faces and attempts to solve the problems set by life. It is scarcely necessary to point out that this profound idea is utterly incompatible with the formalism of Roger Fry. But it is easy to exaggerate the difference between these two conceptions of art. He even compared them favourably with those of the thirteenth century, although he regarded the latter period as more artistic. 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