Critically analyse the role genius plays in Kant’s theory of fine art.
Usually, genius means people with extraordinary intelligence or creativity or really skilled at something in general.
While in philosophy, Kant defines genius as follow,
‘Genius is the talent (natural gift) that gives the rule to art [...] Genius is the inborn predisposition of the mind through which nature gives the rule to art’; ‘Beautiful art must necessarily be considered as art of genius’. (§46)
To Kant, it is like beautiful art cannot live without genius, because beautiful art is the art of genius. As Kant mentioned, genius cannot be imitated, it is a special ability that cannot be taught or learnt by someone. Genius is a natural gift that born with the artist.
While there is no imitation while using the genius to create beautiful art, the beautiful art is pure and original. Kant concern most about the purity and originality because they are the most important parts in genius.
An art piece can be soulless when the art piece is just imitating. An art piece has a soul when the creator is with genius. Kant refers to the more inspired and animated works as having spirit. Spirit is what artistic genius adds to make the art alive. Genius is the key thing in creating fine art. If there is no genius, then fine art cannot exist. Also, the nature of genius does not prescribe to science. Imitation, to Kant is the process of learning, which genius cannot be learnt by any methods. Science can be taught by step by steps, while the originality of an art piece cannot be imitated. If an art piece is imitated, then, that art piece no longer has any originality, it will be just imitating. The fine arts are the domain of the genius. Though, Kant notes that there are no fine arts which do not have some form of mechanical conditions.. This implies that the genius of fine and beautiful art contains everything that