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Art (Large Print Edition) [Large Print] [Paperback]

Clive Bell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.01
Price: 15.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Mar 2007
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife; large type edition edition (23 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434604624
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434604620
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,923,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bloomsbury critic 18 Feb 2011
Clive Bell was one of the Bloomsbury set and knew Virginia Woolf and her painting sister Vanessa Bell well. He wrote about the changing artistic norms and styles of the turn-of-the-century in early twentieth century. Unlike many writers on aesthetics, he is clear and interesting. R. Jenkins
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4.0 out of 5 stars Core thesis is Seminal 16 Aug 2013
By Marcolorenzo TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is a lot of flowery inflated nonsense in this work, but the core thesis is seminal. The basic idea which makes this book worth reading, is that the basic essence of art lies in its ability to express through artistic means, what he calls "significant form". Significant form is the formal relationship inherent in a work of art which reflects "the thing in itself" of Kant or in other words the Ultimate Reality behind the physical reality, this together with the emotional response the artist feels as he witnesses this ultimate reality and manifests it in the work is what according to Bell makes a work ART. The author's use of "significant form" comes from Aristotle's use of the same term, who used it to mean the "anima" or soul of a substance. Bell pretty much means the same thing in a geometrical graphic sense. The compositonal form's significant form expresses the underlying soul or essence of reality (perhaps God Himself) and is what makes a masterpiece as masterpiece. If you've ever wondered why people pay hundreds of million of pounds for a canvas of Picasso etc., you may now understand why. It would be according to the author like having the soul of the cosmos present for you to gaze at in the privacy of your own domain. His thesis goes almost as far as saying that Art is the most important activity of man ( the goal of understanding ultimate reality and God himself) and is capable of effecting man's salvation. He explains that the artist is able to see this reality because he sees the physical as an end in itself and not a means to anything, an idea which is connected to seeing the world through the eyes of love and arriving at seeing God's fingerprint in His creation. As a result Art becomes an index of the spiritual condition of an age and of humanity. Read more ›
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars witty but rather flippant 20 Aug 2013
By Simon Mauer - Published on Amazon.com
This book presents Bells one-sided view of what makes a painting or other art object "Art". I think there is some validity in his assertion that the formal aspect of painting (color and shape)is all important and the content (subject matter)is irrelevant. But this, I would contend, is only from the strictly aesthetic and theoretical perspective. He completely discounts any other aspect of visual art as irrelevant or detrimental to true Art. He claims to be uninfluenced at all by any content in so far as he is moved to a state of aesthetic "ecstasy". I find this difficult to believe since he also claims to find primitive art and Cezanne so moving and this art has rather strong content; how can we, or he himself, be sure that there is no influence of content there? He does claim to be move to aesthetic ecstasy by Persian carpets and pottery as well, and I imagine that he would soon be swooning over the non-objective art arriving the same year that his book was published, but I can't help doubting that when content is present he is unaffected by it in any way other than negatively. Be that as it may, if he is so completely able to remain abstract in his visual perception I envy his sensitivity but also pity it. He is ignoring the many other riches that come with feeling the content of art intermingling with the abstract form of art.
I suspect that he is not immune to such feelings but rather, like many a critic before and after his time,he is out to defend his taste and his brilliant new theoretical discovery about what constitutes real Art. Like most philosophical writing that is worth reading (with the possible exception of Aristotle?) his book is full of outrageous claims and self-contradictions. Bell presents his theory with much wit and in spite of being a rather narrow definition of Art, he makes a point well worth considering.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Past 11 July 2012
By yonder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Clive Bell, born in England in 1881 and was considered a very important art critic, he married Vanessa Stephen who was the sister of Virgina Woolf, the writer who is one of my favorite writers. Clive Bell's Hypothesis on art is very alive today and I cherish his book, "Art" was printed in 1913. He believed in one of the theories of Kant, that is the form of art work is the essence of art and it forms the basis of aesthetics. The appreciation of Art is not dependent on the subject matter nor what the artist had in his mind at the time of conception. He relates art to itself and aesthetics of art can be found in all cultures.

This is an excellent historical rendition of the art period during his lifetime and as it continues to be very relevant today. In order for this book to be appreciated it is important to read about the group which includes the following:

Vanessa Bell -The Painter-Sister of Virginia Woolf-Wife of Clive Bell
Leoanrd Woolf-Publisher- Husband of Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf-Writer and sister of Vanessa Bell- The Fridays Club was formed with a few other people by Virginia Woolf
Roger Fry
Duncan Grant


Vanessa Bell
Selected Letters Vanessa Bell
Roger Fry: A Biography
The Hidden Houses of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars for people who want to know what a bad elitist really looks like. 3 Nov 2010
By Daniel J. Plaat - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is good for understanding what goes on under the hood of art critics, not all, but Bell represents the type of Brit, who thinks overly high of himself right before the great war. That aside, he makes a good starting point for looking at art(mostly painting) but leaves one wanting as he never gets to what really makes a painting good.(says the best art comes from 600 CE) And yes that is what hes talking about, just painting. This book, short and fast only makes me, and perhaps you want to look at other points in other books, which is the point of the course I read it for does.

Overall he suffers from "missing the point" I'm curious if he changes his tune during the rest of his life over that next 40 years.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a kid 1 Mar 2009
By P.S. Woods - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bell wrote this when he was very young. In the preface he even hints at embarrassment over its overambitious breadth. His later "What Is Painting?" is MUCH better.
4.0 out of 5 stars Brush up on art history without losing weighr 4 Mar 2014
By shelby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a good way to review various art movements, focus on the ones you're interested in and skim over the others. Reading it on an E book was the perfect way to read a big heavy history book.
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