James Whistler

12:43pm

Thu February 23, 2012
Arts & Culture

“Art for art’s sake” and the movement that created it

John Spencer Stanhope, Love and the Maiden, 1877. Tempera, gold paint and gold leaf on canvas.
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Perhaps you’ve been to an art gallery or museum exhibit where you didn’t... fully understand the artist’s intentions. You know: “My kindergartener could do that” syndrome. Scottish philosopher David Hume put it this way: “When objects of any kind are first presented to the eye or imagination, the sentiment, which attends them, is obscure and confused; and the mind is, in a great measure, incapable of pronouncing, concerning their merits or defects.” [Of the Standard of Taste, 1757] 

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