CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

New Viewpoints on Art Criticism in the Nineteenth Century

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Twenty Years

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For the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of Sociétés & Représentations, we have divided this special issue into two parts. The first section brings together recent work on the practice of the criticism of the fine arts and music of the nineteenth century. The authors, coming from different disciplines, share the concern of studying criticism—both the critics themselves and their texts and their impact—from original perspectives aimed at going beyond an illustrative vision of criticism that focuses on its use as a source for art history, or often considers it from a solely monographic angle. They see the gradual emergence of criticism as a specific and legitimate journalistic discourse, separate from that of dealers, experts, or art historians. They also tackle the question of the “right to criticize” and the complex and paradoxical relationship between critics and artists during the nineteenth century. Finally, they propose returning to the cases where criticism has been a performative or prescriptive “creator,” in particular in its confrontation with innovative artistic practices. In the second part of this special issue, the usual columns have been replaced with a “twentieth anniversary special” section, which recalls the topics dealt with by the review, its development, and its place within the field of the humanities and social sciences as well as at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. The editorial committee has asked the best specialists in representations, who for the most part have been involved with Sociétés & Représentations since its creation, to explain in what way they understand representations, what meanings they give to the term, and what obstacles or aporia they have come up against.
Plural in its subject matter and pluralist with respect to suggested approaches, this transdisciplinary journal wants to be open to questions encountered by contemporary society in the familiarity of its forms while participating in a renewed way of thinking. Read more...
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