Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art, Volume 1
G. W. F. Hegel
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This is the first of two volumes of the only English edition of Hegel's Aesthetics, the work in which he gives full expression to his seminal theory of art. The substantial Introduction is his best exposition of his general philosophy of art. In Part I he considers the general nature of art as a spiritual experience, distinguishes the beauty of art and the beauty of nature, and examines artistic genius and originality. Part II surveys the history of art from the ancient world through to the end of the eighteenth century, probing the meaning and significance of major works. Part III (in the second volume) deals individually with architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and literature; a rich array of examples makes vivid his exposition of his theory.
the gods seem to bring about what is alien to man and yet actually accomplish only what constitutes the substance of his inner heart. In the Iliad, e.g., when Achilles in a quarrel is about to draw his sword against Agamemnon, Athene comes up behind him, and, visible to him alone, grasps his flaxen hair. Hera, concerned equally for Achilles and Agamemnon, sends Athene from Olympus, and her appearance seems to be quite independent of the heart of Achilles. But on the other hand, it is easy to
the luminous clarity of colour there is nothing but a smudge. The like demand is to be raised too in connection with the sound of notes. In the case of strings, e.g., whether of metal or catgut, it is the vibration of this material which produces the sound, and specifically the vibration of a string of definite tension and length; if the tension is slackened or if the string struck is not of the right length, the note no longer possesses this simple determinateness and rings false, since it
After praising him from whom the whole world of the pure emanates, the Parsi must next turn in prayer to particular things according to their level of majesty, dignity, and perfection; for, says the Parsi, so far as they are good and unalloyed, Ormuzd is in them and loves them as his pure sons in whom he takes pleasure as at the beginning of creation, since everything proceeded by his agency new and pure. So prayer is directed first to the Amshaspands as the nearest antitypes of Ormuzd, as the
man thereto has therefore also an aspect accruing to the individual and his own behaviour and action. Thereby in his righteousness and adherence to the law he finds at the same time an affirmative relation to God, and has in general to connect the external positive or negative situation of his existence—prosperity, pleasure, satisfaction, or grief, misfortune, oppression—with his inner obedience to or stubbornness against the law, and therein accept well-being and reward or trial and punishment.
of the character of what is supposed to be imitated, but only of the V correctness of the imitation. The object and content of the beautiful is regarded as a matter of complete indifference. Even if, apart from this, we speak of a difference between beauty and ugliness in relation to animals, men, localities, actions, or characters, yet according to that principle this remains a difference which does not properly belong to art, to which we have left nothing but imitation pure and simple. So that