On Art and Artists: An Anthology of Diderot's Aesthetic Thought / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook

Overview

Chance ordained that Denis Diderot (1713-1784) was not only a philosopher, playwright and writer, but also a salonnier. In other words, an art critic. In 1759, his friend Grimm entrusted him with a project that forced him to acquire "thoughtful notions concerning painting and sculpture" and to refine "art terms, so familiar in his words yet so vague in his mind".

Diderot wrote artistic reviews of exhibitions – Salons – that were organized bi-annually at the Louvre by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. These reviews, published in the Correspondence Littéraire, were Diderot’s unique contribution to art criticism in France. He fulfilled his task of salonnier on nine occasions, despite occasional dips in his enthusiasm and self-confidence.

Compiled and presented by Jean Szenec, this anthology helps the contemporary reader to familiarize himself with Diderot’s aesthetic thought in all its greatness. It includes eight illustrations and is followed by texts from Jean Starobinski, Michel Delon, and Arthur Cohen.

‘On Art and Artists’ is translated by John Glaus, professor of French and an amateur expert of the XVIIIth century.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789400700611
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 12/13/2010
  • Edition description: 2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 191
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface.- Introduction; Jean Seznec.- Definitions.- Beauty.- Genius and inspiration.- Views on sculpture.- Views on architecture.- The conditions of art.- Emulation and the virtue of public exhibitions.- Luxury.- The collectors.- Climate and costume.- The positive philosophical intellect.- The ruin of the state.- Criticism.- Can a literary person be an art critic?.- The idea and the way to do it. Diderot purveyor of subjects.- Qualities of a critic.- Opinion and posterity.- History.- The great style.- Paganism and Christianity.- Modern history.- Allegory.- The process of description.- The countryside.- The qualities of a landscape artist.- Artificial nature: Boucher.- Nature and history.- Battles, ruins and shipwrecks.- The portrait.- The state and appearance.- Portraits and models.- The portrait and history.- The downfall of the portrait.- The type.- True subjects.- Feigned and true moral painting.- The type and history.- Still life.- Chardin.- Ideal and technique.- Diderot in the painter’s space; Jean Starobinski.- The averted Look; Michel Delon.- Composition according to Diderot; Arthur Cohen.- Bibliography.- Index.- Glossary.

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