Art Studies

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Art Studies


in a broad sense, the complex of social sciences dealing with art. The discipline is concerned with the artistic culture of society as a whole, as well as the various types of art and their specific characters, relationships to reality, origins, laws of development, roles in the history of social consciousness, and interdependences with social life and with other cultural phenomena. The entire complex of problems concerning the content and form of works of art is also examined. The discipline embraces the study of literature (more frequently classified among the philological sciences), music, the theater, and the cinema, as well as the study of art in the more narrow and popular sense—the plastic, or spatial, arts (architecture, painting, sculpture, graphic art, and decorative applied art). Thus, art studies proper is devoted to the fine arts and to many aspects of architecture, design, and decorative applied art. A number of special sociological and technical problems, extending beyond the limits of art studies, are also encountered in several of its branches (for example, architecture and industrial design).

Art studies essentially resolves the same general problems in the plastic arts that appear in other types of art. The three fundamental aspects of art studies are theory, history, and criticism. Although these aspects interact closely, each has its own specific aims. Art theory develops sociological and philosophical views of society, as well as general ideas about art which have been formulated by aesthetics, as they apply to the various forms of plastic art. It is also concerned with a wide range of artistic problems, including ideological content, artistic form and method, modes of expression, technical and technological aspects, and specific types and genres of art. The interaction of these problems is also examined. Art theory studies the general laws and objective logic of art’s development, as well as art’s relationship with society and its impact on the collective and the individual.

Art history describes and studies the development of art as a whole (the universal history of art), art in a particular country, or art during a specific era. The discipline analyzes the evolution of a particular type or genre of art, as well as the evolution of the work of a particular artist or artistic current.

In art criticism, the phenomena of contemporary art are discussed, analyzed, and evaluated. Art critics examine the trends, types, and genres of modern art. The tendencies of individual artists and specific works of art are evaluated. Art criticism relates artistic phenomena to life and to ideals of the period as a whole and of the various social classes. These tasks determine the principal approaches and literary genres used by art scholars, which include theoretical treatises, art manuals, general studies, monographs, articles or reports devoted to a theoretical or historical problem, and critical surveys or studies concerning current artistic problems.

Art studies, as a science seeking to achieve objectivity and exactness of its conclusions, uses methods of the social sciences and of a number of exact sciences. At the same time, because its objective is artistic creations, it is based on a system of aesthetic evaluations and judgments of taste, which reflect the aesthetic views and tastes of a particular epoch or social class, as well as the individual aim of the investigating art scholar related to them. Art theory, history, and criticism are interrelated and are also related to aesthetic theory. Although the theory and history of art are based on specific scientific methods, they incorporate and are dependent upon current critical judgments and aesthetic values. In its turn, art criticism, the aim of which is judgment and evaluation, often uses scientific methods to arrive at broad theoretical and historical conclusions, treating contemporary artistic processes as phases in the history of art and as manifestations of art’s general laws.

In all branches of art studies, a method of analysis is applied to uncover distinctive features of content and form and to determine the character of the union of these two elements. The analysis also reveals the objective basis of a particular aesthetic evaluation. The compilation, thorough processing, and generalization of facts of art history is extensive and varied. These activities encompass the discovery of artistic monuments by means of excavations and expeditions (in this, as in the processing of the discovered materials, art studies is closely related to archaeology and ethnology); various types of restoration; the identification (attribution), recording, and systematization of monuments; the gathering of information about artists and their works; the compilation of scholarly museum and exhibition catalogues, biographies, and other reference literature; and the publication of the literary legacy of artists—their memoirs, letters, and articles. Art studies is dependent upon a number of auxiliary disciplines concerned with museum maintenance, the preservation and restoration of works of art, the technology of art, artistic iconology, and the geographic and topographic distribution of works of art. Art studies also draws upon a number of historical disciplines, including chronology, epigraphy, paleography, numismatics, heraldry, and sphragistics.

The social significance of art studies is based on the scholarly value of conclusions, on its role in the propaganda and popularization of art (through scholarly and popular science literature, lectures, and excursions), and on its capability to introduce a great many people to art appreciation. The aesthetic views and tastes that are reflected in the selection of an object of research and exposition and in the nature of its analysis, evaluations, and conclusions are further developed at the same time. An art critic addresses his evaluations, support, or condemnation of a work of art not only to the public at large but also to the artist. Thus, art critics exert direct and active influence on the development of contemporary art. However, the theory and history of art, by establishing a system of evaluation within the framework of modern aesthetic principles and artistic heritage, also profoundly influence contemporary artistic processes.

History. Art studies was established as an independent discipline over the period of the 16th through 19th centuries. Previously, its elements were either included in philosophical, religious, and other disciplines or consisted of individual reviews or recommendations.

The earliest literary fragments about art studies known to man were written in ancient Greece, where many important principles concerning the theory and history of art were formulated. Aesthetic theory of the fourth century B.C. defined art as the imitation of nature. Aristotle viewed art as the creative, generalized apprehension of the world. According to Plato, art is a pale copy of objects that are themselves copies of eternal ideas. The treatises of the sculptor Polyclitus (fifth century B.C.) and of the painters Euphranor, Apelles, and Pamphilus (fourth century B.C.), which are no longer extant, dealt with problems of stylistics, iconography, and technique. Ancient Greek theory of numbers determined the modules and scale in architecture and the proportions of the human body in sculpture. A great deal of information has been handed down by historians such as Herodotus (fifth century B.C.). The earliest art historians, such as Duris (fourth century B.C.) and Xenocrates (third century B.C.), based their work upon the aesthetics of Aristotle. Xenocrates described the evolution of Greek painting and sculpture as the logical development of technique and style, bringing art closer to nature. Later, rhetorical expositions concerning the subject matter of works of art (Lucian and Philostratus, second century A.D.) and systematic descriptions, or travelers’ periegeses, of Greek sanctuaries and artistic monuments predominated (Polemon, at the turn of the second century B.C.; Pausanias, second century A.D.).

In ancient Rome there was an attraction toward ancient Greek culture. The denial of progress in art was expressed by Cicero (first century B.C.) and Quintilian (first century A.D.). Dion Chrysostomus (first century A.D.), in a spiritualistic moment, apprehended art as a sensual embodiment of ideas. Vitruvius (first century B.C.) systematically studied the unity of the artistic, functional, and technical problems of construction. Pliny the Elder (first century A.D.) compiled an extensive collection of the historical information concerning ancient Greek and Roman art to which he had access.

Since the first century A.D. the architectural and art treatises of Asian countries have been the most integral and universal in character. They contain detailed recommendations to builders and artists; religious and mythological legends; philosophical, ethical, and cosmogonic concepts; and information on art history.

Accounts of the varied experience of ancient and medieval Indian art appear in the treatises Chitralakshana (the first centuries A.D.), Shilpashastra (fifth-12th century), and Manasara (11th century). The Chinese medieval treatises by Hsieh Ho (fifth century), Wang Wei (eighth century), and Kuo Hsi (11th century) are characterized by attention to the philosophical and aesthetic problems in the apprehension of nature, pantheistic views of the beauty of the universe, subtle observations, and valuable historical information. In the Middle East during the medieval period, the treatises of Sultan Ali Mashhadi and Dost Muhammad (16th century), Kadi Ahmad (late 16th century), and Sadiqi-bey Afshar (the outset of the 17th century) combined legends, historical excursuses, practical recommendations to miniaturists and calligraphers, Islamic dogma, and enlightened humanist tendencies. In Japan the treatises of Nishikawa Sukenobu, Shiba Kokana, and Keisaya Eishen reflect the transition to a fully realistic disposition in Japanese art at the outset of the 19th century.

In medieval Europe the theory of art was an integral part of the theological world view. Whereas the aesthetics of the early medieval period acknowledged the sinful beauty of the world and the skill of the artist (St. Augustine, fifth and sixth centuries), as well as the embodiment of divine ideas, the later, more mature, feudal society attempted to subordinate aesthetic thought fully to church didactics and to the dogma of the fusion of the good, the true, and the beautiful in god (Thomas Aquinas, 13th century). In Byzantium the state and the church regulated architectural and artistic activities with maximum strictness. The decrees of the Second Council of Nicaea (787) and the imperial laws on construction are examples of Byzantine regulation of the arts. In the spirit of this regulation, John of Damascus and Theodore Studites (eighth and ninth centuries) viewed art as the material representation of the heavenly world. The predominant genres of literature about art included technological treatises and descriptions of cities (primarily Constantinople and Rome), monasteries, and churches. The treatise of Theophilus (Germany, 12th century) on the fine and decorative arts was compiled with encyclopedic thoroughness. The abbot Suger (France, 12th century) wrote polemically against ascetic denials of art. Villard de Honnecourt’s attempts (France, 13th century) to find the proportions and devices in the representation of the human body anticipated the scope of Renaissance interests. The Polish scholar Vitelo (Italy, 13th century) wrote a treatise concerning perspective. These three men demonstrated stimulating, inquisitive thinking in their work.

In Rus’ information and views concerning art first appeared in church sermons (Metropolitan Ilarion, 11th century), chronicles, lives of saints, and travel journals. Particularly significant was the letter of Epiphanes (early 15th century), which described the work of Theophanes the Greek. The polemic message of Joseph of Volokolamsk (15th century), which vindicated traditional icon painting, and the treatises of Iosif Vladimirov and Simon Ushakov (17th century), which defended the individuality of the artist and his right to execute realistic paintings, were also important.

The period of the Renaissance was the most important stage in the evolution of art studies into an independent discipline. From the 14th to the 16th century, along with the trend toward humanism and realism, there was a desire to discover the scientific basis of art, viewing it from a historical and critical standpoint. New criteria arose for the evaluation of works of art, based on the liberation of science and art from ascetic ecclesiastical standards, on the assertion of the value of the real world, and on the artist’s personality.

In Italy, the Renaissance concepts of the rebirth of ancient Greek and Roman artistic principles, the imitation of nature, and the role of the imagination in the creative process were outlined in Filippo Villani’s biographies of Florentine artists and in Cennino Cennini’s treatise (14th century). During the 15th century there emerged a doctrine of realistic art devoted to man, which presumably had flourished in antiquity and perished during the barbaric Middle Ages. Its development required a scientific understanding of natural laws. The theory and history of the plastic arts, the practical aspects of the natural sciences (particularly optics), the theory of proportions, and the rules of perspective were discussed in numerous treatises, including Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Commentaries (combining history and theory), L. B. Alberti’s theoretical writings about painting, architecture, and sculpture, Filarete’s writings on urban construction, Francesco di Giorgio’s work on architectural proportions, and Piero della Francesca’s writings on perspective.

During the High Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci expressed profound ideas concerning painting, its scientific bases, and its role of reflecting man’s inner life. In Germany at the beginning of the 16th century, A. Diirer affirmed that beauty manifested itself in a variety of ways in nature and painting. He developed a theory of proportions, anticipating methods of anthropometry. In Venice, P. Aretino’s pioneering art criticism addressed both the artist and the public at large. In an informal tone, he advocated in painting the full representation of the sensations of life, freedom from all canons, and the primacy of color. During the last years of the Renaissance, G. Vasari in his biographies of artists of the 14th through 16th centuries (he was the first to define that period as the Renaissance) arrived at an understanding of art studies as a historical discipline. He pointed out each artist’s basic tendencies and built his essays around a general concept, the comparison of the development of art to the life of man.

Art treatises that were written during the second half of the 16th century expressed the sense of crisis in Renaissance art, and they sought to revive spiritualism in art. G. P. Lomazzo was an ideologist of mannerism. The treatises of S. Serlio, G. da Vignola, D. Barbaro, and A. Palladio reflected the study and interpretation of the anciertt Greek and Roman order system on the basis of Vitruvius’s works and on the measurement of classical monuments. A number of French, German, Spanish, and Dutch architects also wrote treatises on these subjects. At the outset of the 17th century, under the influence of Vasari, Karel van Mander wrote biographies of Dutch painters.

In Europe during the 17th century a great deal of literature was written about art (treatises, manuals, reviews of Italian and European art, travel guides of Italy and its provinces, biographies of artists, and art newsletters). Although this literature did express an interest in the contemporary artistic culture, for the most part it limited its attention to classical and academic European art and to the polemics concerning classicism. Expounders of the rational aesthetics of classicism included G. P. Bellori (a historian who systematized the various schools and styles of art) and A. F. Baldinucci (the author of the first dictionary of art terms) in Italy, and A. Felibien (in the field of painting) and N.-F. Blondel (in architecture) in France.

Elements of opposition to the dogmatism of classicism are revealed by the interest in the richness and freedom in painting of M. Boschini in Italy and R. de Piles in France. In France, de Piles initiated the argument of the Rubenists, who advocated colorism and realism and opposed the dogmatism of the Poussinists. The creative apprehension of order expressed in C. Per-rault’s architectural treatise reflected opposition to classicism. The Italian scholar G. Mancini, who was ahead of his time, introduced the problem of distinctive national features of art. He related art to the historical situation and the ideology of an epoch. Mancini also studied the art of particular schools and masters. The German scholar J. von Sandrart, who compiled valuable information on collections and German artists, included in his work the first description in Europe of Oriental painting.

During the Enlightenment in the 18th century, art studies gradually acquired a firm foundation both philosophically and historically, to the extent that aesthetics and archaeology became scientific. At the same time, art studies became an independent discipline in each of its three branches. Criteria of feeling and taste were established as a result of the development of critical and social thought in French literature (J. B. Dubos). Critical reviews of exhibitions (Lafont de Saint-Yenne) were published. Diderot’s salons, with their firmly stated convictions and vividly expressed perceptions of the works of art, led to the creation of the genre of the critical study and to the program of the struggle for social activity, ideological commitment, and realism of art. In Germany, G. E. Lessing was a theorist of realism. Upon introduction of the term “visual arts,” he proceeded to analyze its elements. English art theory (W. Hogarth and J. Reynolds) attempted to find a compromise between realism and the artistic traditions of the Renaissance and the baroque period.

Ideas concerning the historical development of art and the value of original artistic works were expounded in Italy by G. Vico and in Germany by J. G. von Herder (a proponent of folk-based principles and national traditions) and J. W. von Goethe (who particularly understood the beauty of German Gothic architecture). J. Christ applied philological methods for the study of artistic monuments in his research on inscriptions and documents. The founder of the discipline of art history was J. J. Winckelmann. He explained the development of ancient Greek and Roman art as a unified process of changing artistic styles that was related to the evolution of the society and state. Winckelmann’s theory that the flowering of Greek art was related to democracy greatly influenced European classicism. In Italy, L. Lanzi’s biographies marked the peak of the tradition of the description of the history of Italian painting. Studies in architecture introduced the ancient Greek masterpieces in Italy, in addition to the ancient Roman monuments. The constructive principles of ancient Greek and Roman architecture were illuminated, and the need for rationality, naturalness, and closeness to nature were expressed. In France, J.-L. de Cordemoy, G.-G. Boffrand, and the abbot Laugier were involved in the study of architecture. The Venetian scholar C. Lodoli, anticipating 20th-century ideas, saw architectural beauty in a building’s functional usefulness and in its correspondence to the materials of construction.

In Russia during the 18th century, the treatises of Vitruvius, da Vignola, Palladio, Fèlibien, and de Piles were translated. Original works were also written. P. M. Eropkin, I. K. Koro-bov, and M. G. Zemtsov wrote a treatise on architecture. P. P. Chekalevskii and I. F. Urvanov were the authors of theoretical works on the fine arts. Chekalevskii was influenced by Winckelmann. The influences of Diderot and Lessing were evident in the treatise of D. A. Golitsyn. The ideas of A. N. Radishchev and N. I. Novikov were reflected in the theories of V. I. Bazhenov.

In the 19th century, art studies conclusively became a discipline, systematically embracing an extremely wide range of artistic problems from all countries and epochs. It had its own methodology and was supported by the development of philosophical and aesthetic thought, the progress of the social and exact sciences, and the powerful social movements and ideological struggles. During the first half of the 19th century, the ideas of the Great French Revolution and the aesthetic conceptions of I. Kant, F. W. von Schelling, A. W. von Schlegel, K. W. F. von Schlegel, and, particularly, F. Hegel made the inception of an integral philosophy of art possible, although only on an idealistic basis. This philosophy was permeated with ideas of historical development and of the interrelationship of social and cultural phenomena.

The rapid formation of the professional discipline of art history was facilitated by the wide scope of archaeological research, the accumulation of facts concerning the development of art, and the opening of public art museums. Art criticism, developing in an atmosphere of stormy social life and as a result of the success of art exhibitions and publications, helped further the development of art and educated the public in terms of their artistic views and tastes. Art theory, history, and criticism reflected the struggle of social ideas and directions to an unprecedented degree. During the Great French Revolution, classicist art theory rose to a high level of civic-mindedness, anticipating the 20th-century rationalistic discoveries of E.-L. Boulée and C.-N. Ledoux in architecture and urban construction. Later, classicist theory, as expounded by G. Meyer in Germany and A. K Quatremère de Quency in France, became a dogmatic doctrine that affirmed standards of good taste.

With emergent romanticism, these standards were denied, and attention was given to folk art, medieval art and early Renaissance art (J. Boisserée and M. Boisserée in Germany, T. B. Emeric-David in France, and T. Rickman in Great Britain). Many of the historical and critical judgments of Stendhal in France and of J. Constable in Great Britain, in their affirmation of vitality and creative freedom in art, were ahead of their time, as were the fundamental investigations of K. F. Rumohr in Germany, which designated stylistic analysis as the foundation of the scientific study of art. From 1820 to 1850, alongside the stagnant academic criticism of the French salons, there appeared brilliant, free, and romantic criticism by E. Delacroix, G. Planche, H. Heine, and C. Baudelaire. Criticism substantiating democratic realist art began to appear under the leadership of T. Thoré.

In Russia, beginning in the early 19th century, interest began to grow in the history of national art (I. A. Akimov, P. P. Svin’in, and I. M. Snegirev) and in its civic program (A. Kh. Vostokov and A. A. Pisarev). Academic theory and criticism (I. I. Vien, A. N. Olenin, and V. I. Grigorovich) that absorbed conservative elements of romantic theories in the 1830’s (P. P. Kamenskii, N. V. Kukol’nik, and S. P. Shevyrev) were counterbalanced by the critical essays of K. N. Batiushkov, N. I. Gne-dich, and V. K. Kiichelbecker, based on personal contact with artistic works, and also by the views of A. S. Pushkin, N. V. Gogol, and N. I. Nadezhdin, which affirmed the philosophical significance, the vitality, and the folk spirit of art. V. G. Belin-skii, A. I. Herzen, and N. P. Ogarev, overcoming idealistic methodology, assigned to Russian art an extremely well-grounded realist program. The influence of this program was reflected in articles written by V. P. Botkin, V. N. Maikov, and A. P. Balasoglo. A number of statements concerning the nature and goals of architecture that were progressive for their time were made by I. I. Sviiazev and A. K. Krasovskii.

K. Marx and F. Engels, by revealing the nature of artistic apprehension of reality and art’s relationship to the socioeconomic structure of society and to class struggle, equipped art studies with a scientific world view. Supporting realistic art, they substantiated its historical progressiveness and provided examples of analyzing and interpreting art within a definite historical framework (ancient Greek and Roman art, Renaissance art, and classicism). In Russia the revolutionary-democratic aesthetics of N. G. Chernyshevskii and N. A. Dobroliubov was the basis of V. V. Stasov’s passionate and militant critical opinions and of articles by M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, I. N. Kramskoi, and M. I. Mikhailov that were concerned with pressing problems and espoused the participation of art in the ideological struggle for the people’s rights. Marxist literature of the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century (G. V. Plekhanov, P. Lafargue, J. Mering, K. Liebknecht, R. Luxemburg, and C. Zetkin) provided a materialist explanation of the origin and development of art and emphasized its active role in social struggle.

After 1850 there was a rapid development of the sciences, including archaeology, ethnology, philology, cultural history, and the study of archives. The study of artistic masterpieces, particularly their typology, inconography, and attribution, also flourished during this period. These developments made possible in Germany the first attempts to write a general history of art. F. Kugler approached the history of art factually and systematically, K. Schnaase based it on the Hegelian philosophy of history, and A. Springer applied to it the methods of iconography and philology. E. Kolorf (German), A. Michiels (Belgian), and J. Burkhardt (Swiss) sought to discover the logic of art’s development and the relationship of art to the intellectual and material culture of society. E. E. Viollet-le-Duc and F. A. Choisy (French), as well as G. Semper (German), greatly contributed to the theoretical and historical analysis of architecture and the decorative arts.

Art criticism became a powerful social force. Its evaluative judgments also extended to the history of art. Alongside idealistic subjectivism (John Ruskin in Great Britain; T. Gautier, E. de Goncourt, and J. de Goncourt in France), which was divorced from life, and positivism (P. J. Proudhon and H. Taine in France), there developed an artistic direction that substantiated and propagandized materialist aesthetics and realist art (Champfleury, J. A. Castagnary, and E. Zola in France). Associated with this new direction was a penetrating evaluation of art from the 15th to the beginning of the 19th century (Thoré, Baudelaire, and E. Fromentin in France).

Beginning in the last quarter of the 19th century, scientific methods of the stylistic analysis of art were consistently and thoroughly worked out in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. However, these methods were primarily based neither on cultural and historical methods (A. Schmarsow) nor on historical and psychological methods (F. Wickhoff—the founder of the Viennese school). They were based on idealistic concepts, such as the immanent self-development of artistic form (A. Hilden-brand, H. Wölfflin, P. Frankl, and A. E. Brinckmann), artistic volition (A. Riegl and H. Tietze), and spiritual history (M. Dvořák, W. Weisbach, and K. Tolnai). These bases gave rise to C. Gurlitt’s concepts that were tinted with nationalism, I. Strzygowski’s idea of the opposition of the East and the West, W. Pinder’s irrationalism, and W. Worringer’s subjectivist theories of empathy and abstraction.

From the end of the 19th to the second third of the 20th century, the systematic research of classical art was made possible by connoisseurship (G. Waagen in Germany, and G. B. Cavalcaselle and G. Morelli in Italy) and by the scientific methods of the cultural historical school (E. Müntz in France, C. Justi in Germany) that were combined with stylistic analysis. Systematic research was conducted in ancient Greek and Roman art (M. Collignon in France, W. Deonna in Switzerland, A. Furtwängler and L. Kurzius in Germany, and J. Lange in Denmark), medieval art (M. Dvořák; L. Brehier, J. Millet, and E. Mâle in France), Renaissance and baroque art (H. Wölfflin and A. Schmarsow, as well as the new breed of connoisseurs— A. Venturi in Italy; W. von Bode, M. Friedländer, and W. R. Valentiner in Germany; B. Berenson in the USA; and C. Hofstede de Groot in the Netherlands), modern art (J. Meier-Graefe in Germany and L. Rosenthal in France), and Asian art (G. Mi-geon in France, F. von Sarre in Germany, and E. Diez in Austria).

The development of art studies during the modern period is summarized in the general histories of art first published (at the outset of the 20th century) by K. Woermann and later edited by A. Michel, as well as by F. Burger and A. E. Brinckmann (during the first third of the 20th century). Its development is also discussed in the history of art Propilei (second quarter of the 20th century) and in the biographical reference books by U. Thieme and F. Becker (first half of the 20th century) and by H. Follmer (mid-20th century). At the outset of the 20th century, the conceptual and terminological tools of art studies (E. Grosse) and of general art studies (E. Cassirer) were established.

In Russia during the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, D. A. Rovinskii, N. P. Sobko, A. I. Somov, A. V. Prakhov, F. I. Buslaev, I. E. Zabelin, N. P. Likhachev, and A. I. Uspenskii collected and systematized materials concerning the history of Russian art. N. V. Sultanov, L. V. Dal’, V. V. Suslov, P. P. Pokryshkin, A. M. Pavlinov, F. F. Gornos-taev, and G. G. Pavlutskii were involved in the study of Russian architecture. At the beginning of the 20th century an increased interest in stylistic analysis was reflected in works concerning Russian art, particularly those by I. E. Grabar’. The broadening of the scope of monuments under study was reflected in the works of G. K. Lukomskii, S. P. Iaremich, V. Ia. Adariukov, and the historians of architecture I. A. Fomin, V. Ia. Kurbatov, and B. N. Eding. The achievements of the Russian school of Byzantine studies and Christian iconography are associated with the names of N. P. Kondakov, E. K. Redin, D. V. Ainalov, Ia. I. Smirnov, and F. I. Shmit. A great role in the study of the general history of art was played by the Russian scholars I. V. Tsvetaev, B. V. Farmakovskii, V. K. Mal’mberg, P. P. Seme-nov, N. I. Romanov, M. I. Rostovtsev, A. N. Benois, and N. Ia. Marr. At the turn of the 20th century, the activities of a number of art critics and historians were based on the subjectivist principles of “pure art” (A. L. Volynskii, D. V. Filosofov, and S. K. Makovskii).

V. I. Lenin’s teachings about the two cultures in every national culture, about art being the reflection of social reality, about the partiinost’ (party-mindedness) of art, and about the causes of the decadence of bourgeois culture were the bases of pre-revolutionary Marxist criticism (V. V. Vorovskii, M. S. Ol’-minskii, and A. V. Lunacharskii) and of the development of Soviet art studies. Under the guidance of the Communist Party and supported by its program and resolutions on problems concerning art, Soviet art scholars have conducted extensive work in developing Marxist-Leninist principles of the theory and history of art, in the substantiation of the artistic method of socialist realism, and in the denunciation of bourgeois idealistic theories.

In the USSR, art studies is highly developed and systematically carried out. It combines the scholarly forces of the entire country, including archaeological and ethnological approaches to art, museum activities, the restoration and attribution of works of art, and the publication of reference books, catalogues, archive documents, letters, and memoirs. In cooperation with archaeologists and ethnologists, Soviet art scholars have participated in the discovery and investigation of previously unknown artistic cultures. They have studied and helped in the development of the national art of many peoples, including the peoples of countries that were underdeveloped at the time.

A great deal of new data has essentially shed new light on the history of the art of the peoples of the USSR. The complete history of world art has been scientifically interpreted in the light of the Marxist-Leninist world view. Fundamental works concerning the history of world art, the history of world architecture, the art of the peoples of the USSR, and the history of Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Azerbaijani, Estonian, and Uzbek art have been and are presently being published. Reference books devoted to the arts of the people and countries of the world and to the arts of the nationalities of the USSR, as well as scholarly works by museums, scientific research institutes, and other educational institutions, are also published.

After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the most important goals of Soviet art studies included the creation of a socialist culture geared toward the masses; the development of revolutionary realistic art; the denunciation of the idealistic concepts and the formalistic, naturalistic art of bourgeois society; and the affirmation of art’s class nature, dependence on social and economic conditions, and active role in social and political struggle. A great deal of concern was given to the protection of works of art, the construction of museums, the study and preservation of artistic heritages and folk art, and the fostering of folk crafts.

In the 1920’s there were numerous debates concerning art studies. Among those who were active in those discussions were B. I. Arvatov, A. V. Bakushinskii, A. V. Lunacharskii, I. L. Matsa, N. G. Mashkovtsev, A. I. Mikhailov, N. N. Punin, A. A. Sidorov, A. N. Tikhomirov, la. A. Tugendkhol’d, A. A. Fedorov-Davydov, V. M. Friche, N. M. Shchekotov, and A. M. Efros. During this period, along with the productive development of the theory of architecture, the fine arts, and applied art, there appeared nihilistic views of culture and attempts to reduce art to a mere expression of mercenary class interests. Aided by the instruction of V. I. Lenin and the criticism of A. V. Lunacharskii, these faulty views were overcome in the 1930’s. This was also the result of the affirmation of the objective nature of the reflection of reality in art and of the importance of an artistic heritage (V. S. Kemenov and M. A. Lifshits).

The primary elements of Soviet art studies in the 1930’s included the theory of socialist realism, the struggle for the life-affirming ideals of the socialist era, the problems of the classical heritage, the portrayal of man in realistic art, and the humanist principles in architecture and the decorative arts (M. V. Al-patov, D. E. Arkin, N. I. Brunov, Iu. D. Kolpinskii, V. N. Lazarev, N. I. Sokolova, and B. N. Ternovets).

At the same time, a number of authors had a one-sided understanding of the structure of artistic works. Their occasional attempts to oppose artistic methods to the world outlook incurred criticism.

During the war and the early postwar years, greater attention was given to the problems of national art and heritage, the expression of patriotic ideas in art, and the characteristics of the multinational artistic culture of the USSR. From the late 1950’s to the early 1970’s, discussions were held concerning the development of Soviet artistic culture. The discussions resulted in the rejection of a narrow, dogmatic understanding of realism and the introduction of problems concerning relevance in art, the diversity of quests within socialist realist art, socialist realism’s opposition to modernism, and artistic integrity (N. A. Dmitrieva, V. M. Zimenko, A. A. Kamenskii, M. A. Lifshits, and G. A. Nedoshivin).

Central to the attention of Soviet art studies are the problems of partiinost’, communist ideological commitment, and narodnost’ (folk-based principles) in art. Equally important to Soviet art scholars are questions concerning art’s many ties to life and its impact on society, the diversity of socialist realism and its progressive development, the struggle against bourgeois and revisionist views and against formalism and naturalism in art, and the struggle against various types of alien conceptions—for example, racist, Eurocentric, or Pan-Islamic concepts.

As was indicated in 1972 in the decree On Literary and Artistic Criticism of the Central Committee of the CPSU, criticism in its present state does not yet fully meet the demands resulting from the growing role of artistic culture in socialist construction. The decree emphasizes that the duty of criticism is to analyze thoroughly the phenomena, tendencies, and laws of artistic progress; to further to the utmost the Leninist principles of partiinost’ and narodnost’; to struggle for high ideological and aesthetic standards in Soviet art; and to speak out consistently against bourgeois ideology (Kommunist, 1972, no. 2, pp. 14—16).

As a multinational group, Soviet art historians, having uncovered new layers of ancient and medieval cultures, have also thoroughly researched problems concerning primitive art and the origin of art in general (A. S. Gushchin and A. P. Okladnikov), the artistic cultures of Transcaucasia and the Caucasus from ancient to modern times (Sh. Ia. Amiranashvili, R. G. Drampian, I. A. Orbeli, B. B. Piotrovskii, A. V. Salamzade, T. Toramanian, K. V. Trever, M. A. Useinov, and G. N. Chubinashvili), and the history of the artistic culture of Middle Asia (B. V. Veimarn, G. A. Pugachenkova, and L. I. Rempel’).

Soviet archaeologists and ethnologists have made great contributions to the study of the art of the peoples of the USSR. New light was shed on the history of ancient Greek and Roman art, particularly in the Northern Black Sea Shore (V. D. Blavatskii, 0. F. Val’dgauer, and M. I. Maksimova); the history of Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian art (M. V. Alpatov, Iu. S. Aseev, G. K. Vagner, N. N. Voronin, M. A. Il’in, M. K. Karger, E. D. Kvitnitskaia, V. N. Lazarev, P. N. Maksimov, B. A. Rybakov, N. P. Sychev, and V. A. Chanturiia); the history of contemporary art (E. N. Atsarkina, A. V. Bunin, G. G. Grimm, N. N. Kovalenskaia, P. E. Kornilov, A. K. Lebedev, O. A. Liaskovskaia, V. I. Piliavskii, A. N. Savinov, and A. A. Fedorov-Davydov); and the history of the art of the Baltic republics (B. M. Bernshtein, V. Ia. Vaga, Iu. M. Vasil’ev, R. V. Lace, and J. M. Jurginis).

The successful discovery and restoration of medieval monuments in Russia is associated with the work of I. E. Grabar’, A. D. Varganov, N. N. Pomerantsev, and other art scholars. Histories of Soviet fine arts and architecture have been written (N. V. Baranov, B. S. Butnik-Siverskii, Ia. P. Zatenatskii, P. I. Lebedev, M. L. Neiman, B. M. Nikiforov, and A. A. Sidorov). There has been research in many fields of decorative applied arts and folk art (V. M. Vasilenko, V. S. Voronov, P. K. Galaune, M. M. Postnikova, A. B. Saltykov, S. M. Temerin, A. K. Chekalov, B. A. Shelkovnikov, and L. I. Iakunina). Research has also been conducted in the fields of graphic art, book illustration, and poster art.

Significant research has been conducted by Soviet art scholars studying foreign art, including the art of the ancient Orient (M. E. Mat’e, V. V. Pavlov, and N. D. Flittner); Europe (M. V. Alpatov, A. V. Bank, B. R. Vipper, A. G. Gabrichevskii, N. M. Gershenzon-Chegodaeva, A. A. Guber, M. V. Dobroklonskii, A. N. Izergina, V. N. Lazarev, V. F. Levinson-Lessing, A. D. Chegodaev, and N. V. Iavorskaia); and Asia, Africa, and America (O. N. Glukhareva, L. T. Guizal’ian, B. P. Denike, R. V. Kinzhalov, and S. I. Tiuliaev).

A great deal of research has been devoted to the views of art expressed by K. Marx, F. Engels, and V. I. Lenin; revolutionary art in Russia and abroad; and the progressive democratic and socialist artistic movements in capitalist countries. The theory of art was the subject of works by several Soviet architects and artists, including A. A. Vesnin, V. A. Vesnin, M. Ia. Ginzburg, 1. V. Zholtovskii, A. S. Golubkina, B. V. Ioganson, V. I. Mukhina, V. A. Favorskii, and K. F. Iuon.

Contemporary world art studies has not only systematically studied European art, including ancient Greek and Roman art (C. Picard, G. Richter, F. Matz, and J. D. Beazley); medieval art (D. Talbot Rice, H. Sedlmayr, A. Grabar, and O. Demus); and Renaissance, baroque, and contemporary art (L. Venturi, R. Fry, R. Longhi, R. Haman, and O. Benesch). It has also studied the artistic cultures of Asia (E. Kühnel, A. U. Pope, A. Coomaraswamy, R. Ghirshman, O. Siren, and G. Tucci), Africa (C. Diehl and U. Beier), and America (H. R. Hitchcock and M. Covarrubias).

Issues concerning architecture have been dealt with in the works of N. Pevsner, L. Hautecoeur, S. Giedion and B. Zevi, as well as in the statements by prominent architects, such as F. L. Wright, W. Gropius, and Le Corbusier. The most influential directions of contemporary art studies include iconology, the study of the philosophical meaning of iconographic motifs (A. Warburg and E. Panofsky). Another influential contemporary direction is the study of the structure of monuments (P. Francastel), which is sometimes related to the psychology of creation (E. Gombrich) or to psychoanalysis (E. Kris). In addition to the scientific archaeological methods (G. Kubler) which have become a part of art studies, the interlacing of art history with idealistic theory and essayistic criticism has become widespread (H. Read, C. Zervos, G. C. Argan, and M. Ragon).

Around 1950 in the art studies of capitalist countries, an important place was held by militant idealistic views and the vindication of decadent, antipopular elements in art. Revisionist theories also were formulated (R. Garaudy and E. Fisher). At the same time, partly under the influence of Marxism and Soviet art studies, the role of sociological research of art increased (F. Antal and A. Hauser).

The forces of Marxist art studies became stronger (R. Bian-chi-Bandinelli and S. Finkelstein). Art studies in socialist countries achieved great success, developing in the German Democratic Republic (L. Justi and J. Jahn), Poland (J. Bialos-tocki and J. Zachwatowicz), Hungary (M. Major and L. Vayer), Rumania (G. Oprescu and G. Ionescu), Bulgaria (N. Mav-rodinov and A. Obretrenov), Czechoslovakia (A. Matejček and J. Pešina), and Yugoslavia (D. Bošković and S. Radojčić).


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References in classic literature ?
Sitting in front of this picture, and staring gloomily at it, as being the only thing which he could stare at, was a small sallow-faced boy with a large head, who in the intervals of his art studies munched sedately at an apple.
Extensive and interesting reports, which reflected the cooperation of the Composers Union with the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, were made by the Union Secretary, Honored Art Worker Sardar Farajov ("About "The World of Uzeyir" project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation"), Honored Art Worker, Doctor of Philosophy in Art History Suray Agayeva ("Work in the "Mugam Encyclopedia" project", published in Russian), Doctor of Art History, Professor Jamila Hasanova ("About the "World of Mugham International Music Festival" project"), Doctor of Philosophy in Art Studies Saadat Tahmirazgizi ("About the "Top of Fikrat" project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation").
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He also announced to include visual performing art studies in school curriculum and said that free trainers would be provided by Arts Council in this regard.
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Chloe won a large selection of art materials and, although she isn't taking her art studies further, she will continue to enjoy art as a hobby in her spare time.
Born in 1951 in Doha, al-Mulla completed his art studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Baghdad and was an active and leading member of the Qatar Fine Arts Society.