more from Clive Bell

Single Idea 23926

[catalogued under 21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 4. Emotion in Art]

Full Idea

The characteristic of a work of art is its power of provoking aesthetic emotion; the expression of emotion is what gives it its power. ...Rightness of form is invariably a consequence of rightness of emotion.

Gist of Idea

Art is distinguished by its aesthetic emotion, which produces appropriate form


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

Book Reference

Bell,Clive: 'Art' [nk 2010], p.23

A Reaction

Bell doesn't dig very deep, because the obvious next question, not really addressed, is what makes the emotion 'right'. He suggests that significant form reveals reality, but why would an emotion do that? Does each work have a distinct emotion?

Related Idea

Idea 20390 Defining art as representation or expression or form were all undermined by the avant-garde [Davies,S]