Abstraction and the Classical Ideal, 1760-1920

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Associated University Presse, 2006 - 182 Seiten
This study traces an important but largely overlooked conception of abstraction in art from its roots in eighteenth-century empirical epistemology to its application in the pursuit of ideal form from Joshua Reynolds to Piet Mondrian. Theorized by Enlightenment philosophy as a means of discovering ideal essence by purging natural form of its accidental and contingent qualities abstraction was a major focus of philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic discourse for more than one hundred fifty years, serving as the nucleus of fundamental debates about the philosophy of mind, the relationship between the Ancients and the Moderns, the nature of human racial and functional variety, the nature of God's creative ideas, the use of brushwork in painting, the validity of abstraction in art, and the visual appearance of ideal truth and beauty.

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Inhalt

Introduction
3
Classicism and Generalization
28
Techniques of Generalization
41
The Practice of Generalization
59
Reductio ad Absurdum
84
Symbolism and Classicism
106
Mondrian and the End of Classicism
126
Conclusion
139
Notes
147
Works Cited
163
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