Art and Social Life
2 in stock
The first of the three works included, Letters Without Address, deals with the origins of art. Plekhanov shows how the paintings, songs and dances of primitive peoples, as well as the ornaments with which they adorned their bodies, arose from their communal system of production. Aesthetic standards are conditioned by economic activity.
In class-divided society, art reflects the social position and interests of different classes. Plekhanov’s essay on French Dramatic Art and French Eighteenth Century Painting is a masterly study of French drama and painting in the period leading up to and including the Great Revolution. He traces the rise and fall of aristocratic “classicism”, and then shows how the radical bourgeoisie once more revived the “classical” tradition in art, giving it an entirely new, revolutionary content. Full of interest are the passaged dealing with the attack on Boucher’s school of painting by the Encyclopaedists headed by Denis diderot, and then with the artistic views of the sans culottes during the revolutionary dictatorship.
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