The ideas of some of the most influential artists, writers and thinkers of our times about 19th century art are collected in this vast collection of essays. Collectively they tackle difficult issues like the definition of Modern art and tracing the history of aesthetics. Schopenhauer addresses originality and genius, Karl Marx tackles the modern condition, Sir William Newton and Charles Baudelaire struggle with the new notion of photography as art. An 1881 essay by Juis-Karl Huysmans in which he writes of Degas's Little Dancer as "the only genuinely modern experiment in sculpture that I have yet encountered" is a notable inclusion in this volume which includes literally hundreds of texts (many of them translated into English in order to be included in the anthology) that address the artistic issues of the era as well as the social, historical and cultural elements that impacted it. The editors are noted art historians and philosophers who do an excellent job of introducing each chapter as well as the individual pieces of writing where necessary. Art in Theory
is an essential reference for students of art as well as anyone interested in the cultural development of the 19th century.
‘… an enormous contribution to the field and a triumph of editorial endeavour.’ Journal of Art & Design Education
"The volume provides the most wide-ranging and comprehensive collection of documents ever assembled on nineteenth-century theories of art. Like its highly successful companion volume Art in Theory 1900-1990, it is edited by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood, this time with an additional editor, Jason Gaiger. Its primary aim is to provide students and teachers with the documentary material for informed and up-to-date study. Its two hundred and sixty texts, clear organisation and considerable editorial content combine to provide a vivid and indispensable introduction to the history of the art of the period. The Anthology is also invaluable to anyone interested in the wider cultural debates of the nineteenth century, and in the development of modern aesthetic theories." Bollettino Del Publications