A revived interest in Hegel has been a noteworthy philosophical occurrence in recent decades. Yet in this revival a peculiar lacuna exists, in that Hegel's views on art seem to have suffered a certain neglect. This indeed is surprising, and it marks not only the recent revival but also tends to characterize older commentary. Full length studies of Hegel's aesthetics in the English-speaking philosophical world have been few. 1 This is puzzling because Hegel's Lectures on Aesthetics have a wide accessibility with an appeal not confined to the professional philosopher. Moreover, they reveal the falseness of the common stock impression of Hegel as the paradigm of the turgid, Germanic professor. As even a cursory glance at the Lectures on Aesthetics reveals, the scope of Hegel's aesthetic culture was astonishing. His work on these lectures was one of the chief labors of his later years, so one ought not to be surprised to discover them drawing deep from the resources of Hegel's own philosophical maturity. Indeed, the reception of these lectures by his audience did much to confirm and enhance Hegel's intellectual eminence at that time. 2 These often neglected riches call for our renewed attention.
Perhaps one reason why the commentators have not always given full due to Hegel's teachings on art springs from the professional philosopher's caution about art itself: art, after all, might not be serious enough, might not have all the sombre weight of pure logic. Even were there some justice in this debatable attitude, it cannot be seen as a compelling objection in the case of Hegel. Hegel's devotion to logic is well-known, even to the point of his sometimes being