Chapter Three

Insight in Art

Art's craft

Samuel Johnson once said that it is a mark of a civilisation how it spends its leisure time. The early Victorian expansion of art galleries, by private philanthropists, associations and public institutions, was driven by the assumption that opening up art to all would educate, ennoble and civilise. Even in our sceptical age we spend large amounts of public and private money on art galleries, exhibitions and installations and people flock to many of them. Why? The pleasures beauty affords are not to be underestimated, but many other activities afford as much pleasure and involve less time, effort and money. So what motivates the high regard in which we hold good or great art? Looking at art tests us, stretches us, deepens our inner lives and cultivates insight into both ourselves and the world. Paul Auster's novel Moon Palace in part relates the struggles of a painter, Effing, to grasp how he fits into the world and understand his own nature. In a central scene he's painting

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Revealing Art
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Originality and Artistic Expression 6
  • Chapter Two - Beauty Resurrected 47
  • Chapter Three - Insight in Art 99
  • Chapter Four - Art and Morality 148
  • Chapter Five - The Truth in Humanism 205
  • Notes 256
  • Bibliography and Suggested Reading 263
  • Index 273
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