Art criticism

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The art critic describes, analyzes and assesses art of fine arts from the presence of an art-loving audience . But it also subjects works of older date, e.g. B. the classical art , critical re-evaluation. Art criticism is interrelated with the art market , which creates a “need for expertise ” about the works of art sold by the art trade.

Publication media

Art critics make it their business to use reviews and essays to evaluate and classify works of the fine arts according to aesthetic and formal criteria . Her art reviews have been and will be published in relevant specialist journals and exhibition catalogs , in book and brochure form as monographs and also in the feature sections of newspapers and in art magazines.


Art criticism (in the broader sense of art theory) was already familiar to the Greeks and Romans . For them, the artists were the “first art critics”; B. Polyklet with his famous canon . In the Renaissance , too, it was artists who wrote the most important treatises on art, such as Leon Battista Alberti with his treatise on painting (1436), who still influenced the Florentine painters in the late 15th century, and Giorgio Vasari , who wrote his biography ( Viten ) the artist (1550) prefaced a treatise on art.


It was not until the public exhibitions of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in the Paris Salon of the 17th and 18th centuries that professional art criticism by non-artists (so-called lay criticism) prevailed against the monopoly of assessment claimed by academy members. The writers Étienne La Font de Saint-Yenne and Denis Diderot were among the earliest art critics . La Font des Saint-Yenne wrote a detailed review of the salon list from 1746, which appeared anonymously as a separate brochure a year later in The Hague. Between 1759 and 1781 Diderot wrote a total of nine salon reports for the Correspondance littéraire , a handwritten journal published by his friend Friedrich Melchior Grimm every two weeks, which was obtained in particular by aristocratic circles.

A hundred years later, the avant-garde lyricist Charles Baudelaire, as a young writer from 1845 onwards, also wrote several reviews of the Paris salons with clear support for romantic painting and a rejection of realistic and open-air painting.


In Germany, art criticism arose in the Age of Enlightenment as a cultural transfer of the French art discourse, particularly promoted by the founding of Johann Christoph Gottsched's magazines in the Leipzig book printing and book trade center . In Gottsched's review journals (from 1747) literature was the main focus, but the visual arts were increasingly thematized in the form of reviews of art theoretical writings and translations of lectures from the Parisian Académie royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres ; but only in exceptional cases did they refer directly to works of art. During the Nazi dictatorship, Joseph Goebbels banned art criticism. The involuntary trigger for the ban was August Haußleiter , who had previously attacked a favorite of Julius Streicher's criticism .

Contemporary art criticism

Since the end of the 20th century, contemporary art criticism has been perceived as a genre in crisis.


See also


Web links

Commons : Art critics  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Niklas Luhmann: The art of society , p. 135.
  2. ^ Albert Dresdner: The emergence of art criticism , p. 18.
  3. ^ Lionello Venturi: History of Art Criticism , p. 95.
  4. Margrit Vogt: Of artificial words and values. The emergence of German art criticism in the Enlightenment . De Gruyter, Berlin 2010, p. 35f.
  5. Margrit Vogt: Of artificial words and values. The emergence of German art criticism in the Enlightenment . De Gruyter, Berlin 2010, p. 40.
  6. August Haußleiter : Bayerische Rätsel - A page for August Haußleiter , brief biographical information under a picture of him in Haußleiter's guest article in Der Spiegel of October 11, 1947, online at .
  7. ^ Walther Müller-Jentsch: Art criticism as a literary genre. Social conditions of their creation, development and crisis . In: Berliner Journal für Soziologie , Vol. 22 (2012), Issue 4, pp. 559ff.
  8. ( Memento of the original from October 12, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /