Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson - Art Summary & Analysis

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Art Summary and Analysis

Art gives us a new experience of reality as evidenced through the artist's personality, according to Emerson. All art, however new and contemporary, evolves from art created previously as the concentric circles of artistry and consciousness expand. It is the function of art to open our eyes to beauty in all of its manifestations—the beauty in the world around us that most people never notice, Emerson says. This newness within some kind of tradition combined with art's evolution of new forms, is what causes art to be regarded at times as scandalous and shocking. But in reality, all good art seeks a higher form of simplicity as the most direct route to the soul and mind of the viewer. The capacity of art to distill the essence of experience into something priceless and universal, while omitting the mundane details...

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This section contains 205 words
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Buy the Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson Study Guide
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