Theory of Modern Art

Matisse- Notes of a painter

Matisse tries to expose the fact that art cannot be clearly expressed in its pictorial form, without essentially encompassing the artist’s thoughts (in its entirety)1.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

In other words, it is increasingly difficult for him to express all his inner thoughts in a painting. In this context, he says, “But the thoughts of a painter must not be considered separate from his pictorial means, for a thought is not worth more than their expressions, by the means which must be more complete”2.

From this point of view, we establish that it is quite difficult to represent everything an artist tries to depict in a painting because Matisse implies that complete paintings do not encompass what a painter had in mind; in spite of the fact that paintings should actually do so. This is an argument against naturalism in the sense that naturalism demands that authors should express a detailed realistic and factual expressions of their works.

The relation of this concept with Matisse’s work is observed when he explains that his paintings (or the works of similar authors) are not expressive of the author’s thoughts, and in this manner, they are not realistic of the authors’ thoughts.

Matisse also goes ahead to explain that the works of painters never really concur with each other and it is from this basis that he expresses fear of the fact that he may be misunderstood when making reference to other painter’s works3.

In other words, it is clear that the works of various painters fail to follow a given sequence of similarity, meaning that different pieces of art cannot be factual as naturalism demands. This is true because factual expressions follow a given sequence of similarity.

Roger Fry – An Essay on Aesthetics

Roger Fry reiterates the same sentiments (explained by Matisse) in Notes of a Painter; only that he represents the same explanation with reference to graphic arts. He says that graphic arts is a pigmentation of the painter’s thoughts on a piece of flat surface, and from this shallow representation, he notes that there is normally an unnecessary fuss about graphical arts, because to him, graphic arts only leaves the viewers in extreme perplexity4.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

According to Roger therefore, graphic arts fails to capture the painter’s feelings, and from this point of view, graphic art is shallow in its true meaning. In the same manner Matisse argues against naturalism (with regards to its realistic nature);

Roger’s works can be scrutinized in the same way. In this light, it is proper to observe that Roger depicts graphic work as shallow and unrealistic in the manner it is meant to capture the author’s sentiments. It is also because of this reason that he asks:

“Can we arrive at any conclusions as to the nature of graphic arts, which will at all explain our feelings towards them, which will at least put them in some kind of relation with other arts, and not leave us in the extreme perplexity, engendered by any theory of mere imitation?”5

Clive Bell: The Aesthetic Hypothesis

Bell explains that works of art normally appeal to a given human emotion6. He particularly expressed these sentiments with the aim of building on Roger’s works, and with the aim of coming up with a more comprehensive theory of visual arts7.

He however explains that these emotions are not exactly similar in all human contexts, although they may follow a given pattern8. This is an argument against naturalism because naturalism is centered on facts and realism, which denotes a more scientific way of analyzing art.

From a more critical point of view, we can say that Bell affirms that works of art normally have an aesthetic value which strongly appeals to its fans9. This fact leads him to conclude that anyone with feelings can relate to art in a deeper sense10.

From such kind of representation, it is correct to note that Bell introduces an argument against naturalistic art because he advocates for a more philosophical representation of art and acknowledges the fact that the art is developed to appeal to human feelings and emotions, as opposed to concepts and facts which are advocated by the naturalistic concept.

We will write a custom
essays
specifically
for you!
Get your first paper with
15% OFF
Learn More

This fact can be affirmed by his assertion that “In each lines and colors combined in a particular way, certain forms and relation of forms stir our aesthetic emotions”11.

From this point of view, we can conclude that Bell strongly holds the point of view that art is meant to stir human emotion. This appeals more to the aesthetic side of art as opposed to the scientific recourse to art (as explained by the naturalism concept).

An appeal of art to the human emotion, feelings (as advocated by Bell) is therefore more representative of the spiritual and supernatural side of man which attracts people to art. This is a breakaway from the naturalism way of analyzing art.

Bibliography

Harrison, Charles. Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea. London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Footnotes

  1. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 69.
  2. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 69.
  3. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 69.
  4. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 75.
  5. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 69.
  6. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 107.
  7. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 107.
  8. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 107.
  9. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 107.
  10. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 107.
  11. Charles Harrison, Art in Theory 1900-2000: An Anthology of Changing Idea (London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), 107.
Print Сite this

Cite this paper

Select style

Reference

StudyCorgi. (2020, September 23). Theory of Modern Art. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/theory-of-modern-art/

Work Cited

"Theory of Modern Art." StudyCorgi, 23 Sept. 2020, studycorgi.com/theory-of-modern-art/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Theory of Modern Art." September 23, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/theory-of-modern-art/.


Bibliography


StudyCorgi. "Theory of Modern Art." September 23, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/theory-of-modern-art/.

References

StudyCorgi. 2020. "Theory of Modern Art." September 23, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/theory-of-modern-art/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Theory of Modern Art'. 23 September.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.