New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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"ARTISTIC TRUTH"                                    57
nature and any worthy artistic product by saying that the latter has "style"; it bears the "imprint," in Mr. Morey's words, "o a point of view/'
If we agree upon the existence of the creative imagination in the making of all art objects and upon the resultant contrast between these objects and their models in nature, we shall decideeven without considering the many "formal," "plastic," or "esthetic" elements by means of which the artist transforms his material into works of artthat truth interpreted scientifically is of slight importance in any sensible esthetic system. We shall probably agree with Hegel (who of course claimed that the function of art is to reveal a very different kind of truth) that art qua imitation is (i) superfluous labor, (ii) inferior to nature, (iii) boring or repellent, (iv) destructive of taste and beauty, and (v) impossible in architecture, music, and poetry. And we shall thus conclude that the scientific mode of truth, while immensely useful to scientists and philosophers, is, when applied to artistic creation and judged by Reid's criteria of a good definition, neither "convenient/' "useful/' nor "conformable to established usage."
(C) "Truth" as Artistic Sincerity
According to another and very different interpretation of "truth," art and truth are closely wedded. Thus for Stace, true concepts "form the main content of art";104 and for Colling-wood, "Art is not indifferent to truth; it is essentially the pursuit of truth." 105 These remarks agree, then, in regarding truth as something decidedly significant for art. But what, exactly, is meant by this sort of truth? The likely answer, I shall try to show, is "sincerity."
In discussing Stace's account of beauty, we observed the im-
104.  The Meaning of Beauty, p. 223.
105.  The Principles of Art, p. 288.