A New Romantic Theory of
from outward forms to win
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.
S. T. Coleridge, 'Dejection: An Ode'
In ordinary life, an expression of emotion is a piece of behaviour that manifests or reveals that emotion in such a way that we can not only infer from the behaviour to the emotion but also perceive the emotion in the behaviour. I believe that an artistic expression is just the same: it manifests emotion in such a way that we can infer from the expression to someone's having that emotion and we can perceive the emotion in the expression. It is because artistic expression has the same basic structure as ordinary expression that the Expression Theorists and their contemporary descendants identify artistic expression as expression (rather than, for example, the arousal of emotion or the possession of expressive qualities). However, as we have seen, artistic expression also differs from ordinary expression in various ways. In particular, what is expressed is an emotional or other state in an implied author or persona rather than the real author.
In a 1986 article, Bruce Vermazen develops a theory of 'Expression as Expression', in which he explains expression in art as the same general kind of phenomenon as expression in ordinary behaviour,