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Ideas of Johann Winckelmann, by Text

[German, 1717 - 1768, Librarian. Classical scholar. A founder of both archaeology and art history.]

1764 History of Ancient Art
p.93 Art aims only at beauty, of form, of idea, and (above all) of expression
     Full Idea: According to Winckelmann, the law and aim of all art is beauty, independent of goodness. The three kinds of beauty are of form, of idea, and of expression (the highest aim, attainable only when the other two are present).
     From: report of Johann Winckelmann (History of Ancient Art [1764]) by Leo Tolstoy - What is Art? Ch.3
     A reaction: This sounds very like 'art for art's sake', but a hundred years earlier. This is quite a good distinction, and I particularly like the 'beauty of idea', which is often overlooked.