Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist, and Society

Overview

This fourth volume of Professor Meyer Schapiro's Selected Papers contains his mostimportant writings--some well-known and others previously unpublished - on the theory and philosophy of art. Schapiro's highly lucid arguments, graceful prose, and extraordinary erudition guide readers through a rich variety of fields and issues: the roles in society of the artist and art, of the critic and criticism; the relationships between patron and artist, psychoanalysis and art, and philosophy and art. Adapting critical ...
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Overview

This fourth volume of Professor Meyer Schapiro's Selected Papers contains his mostimportant writings--some well-known and others previously unpublished - on the theory and philosophy of art. Schapiro's highly lucid arguments, graceful prose, and extraordinary erudition guide readers through a rich variety of fields and issues: the roles in society of the artist and art, of the critic and criticism; the relationships between patron and artist, psychoanalysis and art, and philosophy and art. Adapting critical methods from such wide-ranging fields as anthropology, linguistics, philosophy, biology, and other sciences, Schapiro appraises fundamental semantic terms such as "organic style," "pictorial style", "field and vehicle," and "form and content"; he elucidates eclipsed intent in a well-known text by Freud on Leonardo da Vinci, in another by Heidegger on Vincent van Gogh. He reflects on the critical methodology of Bernard Berenson, and on the social philosophy of art in the writings of both Diderot and the nineteenth century French artist/historian Eugene Fromentin. Throughout all of his writings, Meyer Schapiro provides us with a means of ordering our past that is reasoned and passionate, methodical and inventive. In so doing, he revitalizes our faith in the unsurpassed importance of both critical thinking and creative independence.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This fourth installment of Columbia professor emeritus Schapiro's selected writings reveals an erudite art historian of the first rank wrestling with basic issues. Sweeping from archaic art to classical, baroque, impressionist and modernist modes, he presents an analysis of artistic style as an embodiment of a whole culture. He brings a historical perspective to concepts of perfection, unity and beauty, and applies semiotics, the science of signs, to a discussion of figure-ground relationships from Stone Age cave paintings to Degas. Schapiro punches holes in Freud's interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, arguing that psychoanalysis gives too little attention to the social situation in which an artwork is created. More specialized essays include a rebuttal of Martin Heidegger's analysis of a Van Gogh painting, a retracing of French critic-painter Eugene Fromentin's 1870s tour of Holland and Belgium, and a pointed critique of Bernard Berenson's shortcomings as art critic. Illustrated. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807613573
  • Publisher: Braziller, George Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1998
  • Series: Selected Papers Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 253
  • Sales rank: 1,059,369
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
On Some Problems in the Semiotics of Visual Art: Field and Vehicle in Image-Signs 1
On Perfection, Coherence, and Unity of Form and Content 33
Style (with bibliography) 51
Eugene Fromentin as Critic 103
The Still Life as a Personal Object - A Note on Heidegger and van Gogh 135
Further Notes on Heidegger and van Gogh 143
Freud and Leonardo: An Art Historical Study 153
Further Notes on Freud and Leonardo 193
Diderot on the Artist and Society 201
Mr. Berenson's Values 209
On the Relation of Patron and Artist: Comments on a Proposed Model for the Scientist 227
List of Illustrations 239
Index 243
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