The definition of art is controversial in contemporary philosophy. The very idea of art has also been a matter of controversy. The philosophical usefulness of a definition of art has also been debated on. Contemporary definitions are of two main sorts. One distinctively modern, conventionalist, sort of definition focuses on art's institutional features, emphasizing the way in which art changes over time, modern works that appear to break radically with all traditional art, and the relational properties of artworks that depend on the works' relations to art history, art genres, etc. The less conventionalist sort of contemporary definition makes use of a broader, more traditional concept of aesthetic properties that includes more than art-relational ones, and focuses on art's pan-cultural and trans-historical characteristics. 2.1. Painting
According to Encyclopedia Britannica, painting is the expression of ideas and emotions, with the creation of certain aesthetic qualities, in a two dimensional visual language. The elements of this language —its shapes, lines, colours, tones, and textures—are used in various ways to produce sensations of volume, space, movement, and light on a flat surface. Earliest art
”The oldest art in England can be dated to the Neolithic period, including the large ritual landscapes such as Stonehenge from c. 2600 BC. From around 2150 BC, the Beaker people learned how to make bronze, and use both tin and gold. They became skilled in metal refining and works of art placed in graves or sacrificial pits have survived. In the Iron Age, a new art style arrived as Celtic culture spread across the British isles. Though metalwork, especially gold ornaments, was still important, stone and most likely wood was also used. This style continued into the Roman period, beginning in the 1st century BC, and would find a renaissance in the Medieval period. The arrival of the Romans brought the Classical style of which many monuments have survived, especially funerary monuments, statues and busts. They also brought glasswork and mosaics. In the 4th century, a new element was introduced as the first Christian art was made in Britain. Several mosaics with Christian symbols and pictures have been preserved. The style of Romano-British art follows that of the continent, there are some local specialities, influenced by Celtic art; the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan is one example.”( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_art#Earliest_art) The Romantic period (in the second half of the 18th century in Europe) produced the very diverse talents of William Blake, J. M. W. Turner, John Constable and Samuel Palmer. The Victorian period saw a great diversity of art, and a far larger quantity created than before. In the 19th century publicly displayed religious art once again became popular, after a virtual absence since the Reformation ( the English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church). „What happens to the imagination in a society that distrusts images? What do artists do when their work has been outlawed? In the immediate aftermath of the Reformation painters and sculptors became refugees. Their main employer, the Church had dispensed with their services and their visions of dread and consolation had been exorcized. Now they would have to put the imagination to other uses and find other places in which to express it. They would have to adapt to new circumstances and find new opportunities if their skills and their capacity for dreming were to persist. Looking at British art of this period is like watching a house at night. Lights go out in some rooms and come on in others, sometimes where you least expect them.” ( A History of British Art, Andrew Graham-Dixon, published by BBC Worldwide Limited, 1999). The British contribution to...
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