The Art of Hegel's Aesthetics

Philosophy and the Perspectives of Art History

Series: 

This volume explores Hegel’s 1820s »Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik«. The objective is two-fold: first, to ask how Hegel’s work might illuminate specific periods and artworks in light of contemporary art historical discussions; and second, to explore how art history might help us to make better sense (and use) of Hegelian aesthetics.
Given the recent resurgence of interest in ›global‹ art history, and calls for more comparative approaches to »visual culture«, the volume asks what role Hegel has played or could play within the field. What can a historical treatment of art accomplish? How should we explain the »need« for certain artistic forms at different historical junctures? Has art history been »Hegelian« without fully acknowledging the fact? Indeed, in what ways have art historians shirked the fundamental questions that Hegel raised?
This volume explores one of modernity’s most profound and far-reaching philosophies of art: the Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik, delivered by Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel in the 1820s. The book has two overriding objectives: first, to ask how Hegel’s work illuminates specific periods and artworks in light of contemporary art-historical discussions; second, to explore how art history helps us make better sense and use of Hegelian aesthetics.
In bringing together a range of internationally acclaimed critical voices, the volume establishes an important disciplinary bridge between aesthetics and art history. Given the recent resurgence of interest in ‘global’ art history, and calls for more comparative approaches to ‘visual culture’, contributors ask what role Hegel has played within the field – and what role he could play in the future. What can a historical treatment of art accomplish? How should we explain the ‘need’ for certain artistic forms at different historical junctures? Has art history been ‘Hegelian’ without fully acknowledging it? Indeed, have art historians shirked some of the fundamental questions that Hegel raised?

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