Paolo D'Angelo

Hegel and Greek Art

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Keywords: Hegel, Classicism, Greek Art, Sculpture, Death of Art.

The celebration of Greek Art is expanded in Germany throughout the Goethezeit, as the writings of Winckelmann, Schiller, Hölderlin, Meyer and many others prove. Hegel shares this enthusiasm for ancient Greece, but in his Lectures on Aesthetics there are some features that prevent us from interpreting his artistic theory as a traditional classicistic point of view. The present paper first examines the exaltation of Greek Art at the dawn of German Idealism; then it focusses on the development of Hegel’s ideas on ancient art; finally, it analyses the section on classical art in the Lectures on Aesthetics, with special attention devoted to the interpretation of Greek sculpture. Two aspects in particular mark Hegel’s distance from traditional classicism: firstly, Hegel relativizes Classic Art by inserting it in a line of evolution passing through Symbolic, Classic and Romantic Art; secondly, he confines classic ideal in the past.

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