Download On art and artists : an anthology of Diderot's aesthetic by Denis Diderot PDF

By Denis Diderot

Probability ordained that Denis Diderot (1713-1784) used to be not just a thinker, playwright and author, but additionally a salonnier. In different phrases, an paintings critic. In 1759, his pal Grimm entrusted him with a venture that compelled him to procure 'thoughtful notions touching on portray and sculpture' and to refine 'art phrases, so commonplace in his phrases but so obscure in his mind'. Diderot wrote inventive studies of exhibitions - Read more...


Compiled and awarded by means of Jean Szenec, this anthology is helping the modern reader to familiarize himself with Diderot's aesthetic suggestion in all its greatness. It contains 8 illustrations and Read more...

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Example text

Sir, that there are few actors who can accomplish such a test and that the details into which I can delve would be humiliating for most of them. However I more enjoy of speaking to you about the trap into which everyone around me fell when they saw my tears fall at the sad parts continuing to keep my ears plugged. Then they all gave up and the less curious struck up a question to which I answered “that everyone should have their way of listening and that mine was to plug my ears to better listen”; laughing to myself concerning the bizarreness that my apparent or real behavior caused and when more so of the foolishness of some of the younger crowd who also placed their fingers in their ears to listen in my way, and who were astounded that it did not have any success.

To judge is one thing and to do so is another. Here is the block of marble, the figure is in it; one must bring it out. Here is the canvas it is flat and onto it one must create. It is necessary that the image comes out, advances, takes relief; when I turn around it and if it is not me then it is my eye; it must be alive. But you add – painted or modeled… Alright… And the modeled one must be alive, without any of the resources that are on the palette which give it life. However of these resources, is it easy to use them?

Greatly inferior and worst hewn, without a doubt than these formless logs of wood which the carpenter has made more or less a nose, some eyes, a mouth, some feet and hands and in front of which the people of our villages say their prayers. Well then, my friend, count the temples, the cottages and the gods will stay in this miserable state until there is some great public calamity; a war, a famine, a plague, the public’s wish, the consequences of which you will see an arc de triomphe raised to the victor, a great stone enterprise consecrated to the gods.

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