more from Clive Bell

Single Idea 23925

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 2. Copies of Art]

Full Idea

A literal copy is seldom reckoned even by its owner a work of art. Its forms are not significant. Yet if it were an absolutely exact copy, clearly it would be as moving as the original, and a photographic reproduction of a drawing often is.

Gist of Idea

Mere copies of pictures are not significant - unless the copies are very exact


Clive Bell (Art [1913], I.III)

Book Reference

Bell,Clive: 'Art' [nk 2010], p.22

A Reaction

What if the original artist made the copy? In 1913, Bell begins to spot this modern problem. He undermines his own theory of significant form here, if the form only becomes significant once we have checked it is an original.