A New Romantic Theory of Expression

Jenefer Robinson

in Deeper than Reason

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199263653
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603211 | DOI:
A New Romantic Theory of Expression

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Artistic expression ‘is an activity of an artist that consists, roughly speaking, in the manifestation and elucidation of an emotional state of a persona in the expressive character of a poem, a painting, a piece of music, etc., such that the work provides evidence for the emotional state of the persona and the persona's emotional state is communicated to other people (and also the artist himself) through the character of the work.’ (p. 270) Different works of art articulate emotion by emphasizing different elements in the emotion process. Representational paintings and poems can articulate the way the world appears to someone in the throes of an emotion, as in Caspar David Friedrich's Large Enclosure at Dresden or Keats' Ode to a Nightingale, or they can articulate more directly the thoughts and desires of a person in a particular emotional state. Paintings can also express emotions by the (e.g., violent or passionate) way in which they are painted or seem to have been painted. In addition, works of music and dance can enact the gestures, action tendencies, and behavior characteristic of a particular emotion.

Keywords: artistic expression; romantic theory; persona; articulation; representational art; painting; poetry

Chapter.  14138 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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