‘The aesthetic relation of art to reality’

Celestial Fireworks: Into Star Cluster Westerlund 2

‘As the illustrative animation begins, the greater Gum 29 nebula fills the screen, with the young cluster of bright stars visible in the centre. Stars zip past you as you approach the cluster. Soon your imaginary ship pivots and you pass over light-year long pillars of interstellar gas and dust. Strong winds and radiation from massive young stars destroy all but the densest nearby dust clumps, leaving these pillars in their shadows – many pointing back toward the cluster centre. Last, you pass into the top of the star cluster and survey hundreds of the most massive stars known.’

Source

‘Defence of reality as against fantasy, the endeavour to prove that works of art cannot possibly stand comparison with living reality – such is the essence of this essay. But does not what the author says degrade art? Yes, if showing that art stands lower than real life in the artistic perfection of its works means degrading art. But protesting against panegyrics does not mean disparagement. Science does not claim to stand higher than reality, but it has nothing to be ashamed of in that. Art, too, must not claim to stand higher than reality; that would not be degrading for it. Science is not ashamed to say that its aim is to understand and explain reality and then to use its explanation for the benefit of man. Let not art be ashamed to admit that its aim is to compensate man in case of absence of opportunity to enjoy the full aesthetic pleasure afforded by reality by, as far as possible, reproducing this precious reality, and by explaining it for the benefit of man.’

N.G. Chernyshevsky, ‘The Aesthetic Relation of Art to Reality’, MA thesis, 1855, in Selected Philosophical Essays, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1953, 379

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Hokusai paints to a gentle bossa

Hydrangea and Swallow, Katsushika Hokusai, n.d., Guimet Museum, Paris

Hydrangea and Swallow, Katsushika Hokusai, n.d., Guimet Museum, Paris

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Image source

Birds in bamboo

Birds Flying Through Bamboo, Shr Han, silk brocade mat, n.d.

Birds Flying Through Bamboo, Shr Han, silk brocade mat, n.d.

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Image source

A little study

Routeburn Track, New Zealand

Routeburn Track, New Zealand

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For Zindy

Evening LIght, Lake Manapouri, New Zealand

Evening Light, Lake Manapouri, New Zealand

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Five Russian souls 4

Filipp Maliavin, Peasant Women, 1904. Oil on canvas, The Russian Museum

Filipp Maliavin, Peasant Women, 1904. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum

Konstantin Somov, Portrait of Anna Ostroumova, 1901. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum

Konstantin Somov, Portrait of Anna Ostroumova, 1901. Oil on canvas. The Russian Museum

Konstantin Korovin, Portrait of Nikolai Chichagov, 1902. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery

Konstantin Korovin, Portrait of Nikolai Chichagov, 1902. Oil on canvas. The Tretyakov Gallery

Alexander Yakovlev, Portrait of Nikolai Radlov, 1912. Sanguine on paper. The V. Andreyev Collection

Alexander Yakovlev, Portrait of Nikolai Radlov, 1912. Sanguine on paper. The V. Andreyev Collection

Source: Russian Portrait of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, I. Pruzhan, V. Kniazeva, Izobrazitelnoye Iskusstvo Publishers, Moscow, 1980

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Art and social life: the Russian Revolution and the creative power of idealism 13

Sergei Chekhonin, The Union of Art Workers Aids the Starving. Poster, 1921. ‘In 1921 the Volga region was hit by a terrible famine - the result of an unprecedented drought. Posters, slogans, and newspaper articles called on people to help the starving and to share their last crust of bread with them. People did everything they could and more.’

Sergei Chekhonin, The Union of Art Workers Aids the Starving. Poster, 1921. ‘In 1921 the Volga region was hit by a terrible famine – the result of an unprecedented drought. Posters, slogans, and newspaper articles called on people to help the starving and to share their last crust of bread with them. People did everything they could and more.’

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Image: Art of the October Revolution, Compiler, Mikhail Guerman, Trans., W.Freeman, D.Saunders, C.Binns, Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1986

Form and content – 3

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

Hoya

Hoya

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Form and content – 2

'All that is solid melts into air...'

‘All that is solid melts into air…’

Form and content7

Form and content8Form and content9

 

 

 

 

 

Newnes NSW

Newnes NSW

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Form and content – 1

Form and content1

Form and content2

Form and content3

Form and content4

Form and content5

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