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Dictionary of the History of Ideas

Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
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CLASSIFICATION OF THE ARTS
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CLASSIFICATION OF THE ARTS

I. ANTIQUITY

The history of the classification of the arts is compli-
cated for several reasons but chiefly because the idea
of art has changed. The classical idea differed from
ours in at least two respects. First, it was concerned
not with the products of art but with the act of pro-
ducing them and in particular the ability to produce
them; e.g., it pointed to the skill of the painter rather
than to the picture. Second, it embraced not only
“artistic” ability but any human ability to produce
things so long as it was a regular production based on
rules. Art was a system of regular methods of making
or doing. The work of an architect or a sculptor an-
swered to this definition, but so did the work of a
carpenter or a weaver, for their activities belonged in
equal measure to the realm of art. Art by definition
was rational and implied knowledge; it did not depend
on inspiration, intuition, or fantasy. This conception
of art found expression in works of Greek and Roman
scholars. Aristotle defined art as the “ability to execute
something with apt comprehension,” and some cen-
turies later Quintilian explained it as based on method
and order (via et ordine). “Art is a system of general
rules” (Ars est systema praeceptorum universalium),
Galen said. Plato stressed the rationality of art: “I do
not call art irrational work,” he said. The Stoics placed
greater stress on a fixed system of rules in the arts and
simply defined art as a system. Aristotle stressed the
idea that knowledge on which art is based is general
knowledge.

This ancient conception of art is not foreign to us,
but it appears today under other names: craft, skill,
or technique. The Greek name for art was technē, and
as a matter of fact our term “technique” suits the
ancient idea of art better than our term “art,” which
is now used as an abbreviation for fine arts. The Greeks
had no name for the latter since they did not recognize
their distinctiveness. They grouped fine arts together
with handicrafts, convinced that the essence of a
sculptor's or a carpenter's work is the same, i.e., skill.
The sculptor and the painter, working in different
media with different tools and applying different tech-
nical methods, have only one thing in common: their
production is based on skill. And so is the production
of a craftsman; therefore a general conception which
embraces fine arts cannot but likewise embrace the
crafts.

The Greeks regarded both sciences and crafts as
belonging to the realm of art. Geometry or grammar
were indeed areas of knowledge, rational systems of
rules, methods of doing or making things, and so they
certainly answered to the Greek meaning of the term
“art.” Cicero divided arts into those which only com-
prehend things (animo cernunt) and those which make
them (Academica II 7, 22); today we consider the first
category as sciences, not as arts.

So “art” in the original meaning of the word em-
braced more than it does in our times, and at the same
time it embraced less: it excluded poetry. Poetry was
supposed to lack the characteristic trait of art: it
seemed not to be governed by rules; on the contrary,
it seemed to be a matter of inspiration, of individual
creativeness. The Greeks saw a kinship between poetry
and prophecy rather than between poetry and art. The
poet is a kind of bard, while the sculptor is a kind
of artisan.


457

The Greeks included music together with poetry in
the sphere of inspiration. First, there was a psychologi-
cal affinity between the two arts; both were compre-
hended as acoustic productions, and both were sup-
posed to have a “manic” character, i.e., to be the
source of rapture. Second, they were practiced jointly
since poetry was sung and music was vocalized, and
since both were essential elements of “mysteries.”

Before the ancient idea of art became modern, two
things were to happen: poetry and music were to be
incorporated into art, while handicrafts and sciences
were to be eliminated from it. The first happened
before the end of antiquity. Poetry and music could
indeed be considered arts as soon as their rules were
discovered. This happened early so far as music is
concerned: since the Pythagoreans found the mathe-
matical laws of acoustic harmony, music has been
considered as a branch of knowledge as well as an art.

It was more difficult to include poetry in the arts.
The initial step was made by Plato: he admitted that
there are two kinds of poetry; the poetry springing
from poetical frenzy and the poetry resulting from
literary skill, in short, “manic” and “technical” poetry.
The second is art, the first is not. Plato however con-
sidered only the first as true poetry. Aristotle made
the next step by supplying so many rules of poetry
that for him and for his successors there could be no
doubt that poetry is an art. It is an imitative art: “the
poet is an imitator just like the painter or other maker
of likenesses,” Aristotle said (Poetics 1460b 8).

On the contrary, crafts and sciences were not ex-
cluded in the classical Greek era from the realm of
the arts. Neither were they in the Hellenistic period,
in the Middle Ages, and in the Renaissance—the early,
classical idea of art survived for more than two thou-
sand years. Our idea of art is a comparatively modern
invention.

In antiquity numerous attempts were made to clas-
sify the arts; all of them classified the arts in the broad-
est sense of the word, by no means the fine arts alone.
The first classification had been originated by the
Sophists. Their work was continued by Plato and
Aristotle and by the thinkers of the Hellenistic and
Roman period.

1. The Sophists distinguished two categories of arts;
arts cultivated for the sake of their utility and those
cultivated for the pleasure they offer. In other words,
they differentiated arts into those which are necessary
in life and those which are a source of entertainment.
This classification was widely accepted. In the Hel-
lenistic epoch it appeared sometimes in a more de-
veloped form; Plutarch supplemented the useful and
pleasurable arts with a third category, that of the arts
cultivated for the sake of perfection. He regarded,
however, as perfect arts, not the fine arts, but the
sciences (e.g., mathematics or astronomy).

2. Plato based his classification on the fact that
different arts are differently related to real objects;
some produce things, as does architecture, and others
imitate them, as does painting. This opposition be-
tween “productive” and “imitative” arts became pop-
ular in antiquity and continued to be so in modern
times. Another Platonic classification distinguished arts
which produce real things, e.g., architecture, and those
which produce only images, e.g., painting. For Plato,
however, this classification was in fact the same as the
former. Imitations of things are no more than images
of them.

Aristotle's classification of the arts differed little from
Plato's; he divided all arts into those which complete
nature and those which imitate it. This was his excellent
formula for the Platonic division.

3. The classification most generally accepted in an-
cient times divided arts into “liberal” and “vulgar.”
It was an invention of the Greeks, though it is known
mainly in the Latin terminology as artes liberales and
artes vulgares. More than any other ancient classifica-
tions it was dependent on social conditions in Greece.
It was based on the fact that certain arts require physi-
cal effort from which others are free, a difference that
to ancient Greeks seemed particularly important. It
was the expression of an aristocratic regime and of the
Greek contempt for physical work and preference for
activities of the mind. The liberal or intellectual arts
were considered not only a distinct but also a superior
group. Note, however, that the Greeks considered
geometry and astronomy as liberal arts, although they
are now considered sciences.

It is doubtful whether it is possible to indicate who
was the inventor of the division of the arts into liberal
and vulgar; we know only the names of some later
thinkers who accepted it; Galen, the famous physician
of the second century A.D., was the one who developed
it most fully. Later the Greeks called the liberal arts
also “encyclic” arts. The word, almost a synonym of
the modern word “encyclopedic,” etymologically
meant “forming a circle” and signified the circle of
arts obligatory for an educated man.

Some ancient scholars added other groups of arts
to liberal and vulgar arts; for instance, Seneca added
those which instruct (pueriles) and those which amuse
(ludicrae). In doing so he fused, in fact, two different
classifications: that of Galen and that of the Sophists;
his fourfold division was more complete, but lacked
unity.

4. Another ancient classification is known from
Quintilian. This Roman rhetorician of the first century
A.D. (inspired by an idea of Aristotle's) divided the arts


458

into three groups. In the first group he included those
arts which consist only in studying things. He called
them “theoretical” arts giving astronomy as an exam-
ple. The second group embraced the arts consisting
solely in an action (actus) of the artist without leaving
a product; Quintilian called them “practical” arts and
gave dance as an example. The third group embraced
the arts producing objects which continue to exist when
the actions of the artist have ended; he called them
“poietic,” which in Greek means “productive”; paint-
ing served him as an example.

This classification had several variants. Dionysius
Thrax, a writer of the Hellenistic epoch, added
“apotelestic” arts, which meant “finished” or “carried
out to its end”: this was, however, only a different name
for “poietic” arts. Lucius Tarrhaeus, the grammarian,
added to the practical and apotelestic arts “organic”
arts, i.e., arts which use instruments or tools (organon
being the Greek name for tool), as playing a flute does.
In this way he enriched the classification but deprived
it of its unity.

5. Cicero used several classifications of the arts, most
of them based on the old Greek tradition, including
the one which seems to be relatively original. Taking
as the basis of the division the importance of the vari-
ous arts, he divided them into major (artes maximae),
median (mediocres), and minor (minores). To the major
arts, according to Cicero, belonged political and mili-
tary arts; to the second class belonged purely intel-
lectual arts, i.e., sciences, but also poetry and elo-
quence; to the third class belonged painting, sculpture,
music, acting, athletics. Thus he considered fine arts
as minor arts.

6. At the end of antiquity Plotinus undertook once
again the task of classifying arts. This most complete
classification distinguished five groups of arts: (1) arts
which produce physical objects, as architecture does;
(2) arts which help nature, like medicine and agricul-
ture; (3) arts which imitate nature, like painting; (4)
arts which improve or ornament human action, like
rhetoric and politics; and (5) purely intellectual arts,
like geometry. This classification, which may seem to
be lacking a principium divisionis (“principle of divi-
sion”) is in fact based on the degree of spirituality in
the arts; it forms a hierarchy, beginning with purely
(as he supposed) material architecture and ending with
purely spiritual geometry.

Let us summarize: Greek and Roman antiquity knew
at least six classifications of the arts, most of them
having several variants: (1) The classifications of the
Sophists were based on the aims of arts; (2) the classifi-
cation of Plato and Aristotle—on the relation between
arts
and reality; (3) the classification of Galen—on
physical effort required by arts; (4) the classification of
Quintilian—on products of the arts; (5) the classification
of Cicero—on value of the arts, and (6) the classifica-
tion of Plotinus—on the degree of their spirituality.

All of these were general divisions of all human skills
and abilities; none being just a division of fine arts.
What is more, none singled out the “fine arts,” and
none divided arts in the broader sense into fine arts
and crafts. On the contrary, fine arts were distributed,
and divided into opposing categories.

(1) Thus, in the classification of the Sophists archi-
tecture was considered a useful art, while painting was
an art cultivated for pleasure's sake. (2) Plato and
Aristotle considered architecture a productive and
painting an imitative art. (3) Liberal (encyclic) arts
embraced music and rhetoric, but did not include
architecture or painting. (4) In Quintilian's classifica-
tion dance and music were “practical” arts, while
architecture and painting were poietic (apotelestic)
arts. (5) None of the liberal arts were considered by
Cicero as major arts; only poetry and rhetoric were
supposed to be median arts, and all other fine arts to
be minor arts. (6) In Plotinus' classification fine arts
were divided between the first and the third groups.

Consequently, antiquity never did face the possi-
bility that fine arts could form a distinct group of arts.
There may be a certain affinity between our notion
of fine arts and the notion of liberal arts, of arts for
entertainment's sake, of imitative arts, of “poietic” art;
however, all these ancient notions were broader than
the notion of fine arts and, at the same time, in some
respects, narrower. Some of the liberal arts, some of
the entertaining arts, and some of the productive arts,
not all of them however, belonged indeed to the group
we call “fine arts.” Neither freedom, nor entertainment,
nor imitation, nor productiveness were the properties
by which arts in the modern, narrower meaning could
be defined; imitation came relatively nearest to being
such a property. The historian is tempted to believe
that the ancients faced all reasonable possibilities of
classifying the arts except the division into fine arts
and handicrafts.

II. THE MIDDLE AGES

The Middle Ages inherited the ancient idea of art
and made use of it theoretically and practically. Art
was considered as a habitus of the practical reason.
Thomas Aquinas defined art as an “ordering of reason”
and Duns Scotus as “the right idea of what is to be
produced” (ars est recta ratio factibilium, Col. I, n. 19),
or as “the ability to produce based on real principles”
(ars est habitus cum vera ratione factivus; Opus
Oxoniense,
I, d. 38, n. 5). Medieval art was indeed
governed by fixed canons and by rules of the guilds.
Hugh of Saint Victor said: “Art can be said to be a


459

knowledge which consists in rules and regulations” (ars
dici potest scientia, quae praeceptis regulisque consistit;
Didascalicon,
II). This medieval idea of art embraced
handicrafts and sciences as well as fine arts. Liberal
arts were now considered as the arts par excellence,
the arts proper; “art” without an adjective meant:
liberal art. The seven liberal arts were logic, rhetoric,
grammar, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music
(including acoustics); they were—according to our
understanding—sciences, not arts.

However, the Middle Ages were interested in non-
liberal arts as well; they did not depreciate them any
longer by calling them “vulgar” but called them “me-
chanical arts.” Since the twelfth century Scholastics
had tried to classify these arts and made a point of
distinguishing seven of them, in symmetry with the
seven traditional liberal arts, as did Radulphus Ardens
in his “Speculum Universale” (see Grabmann). So also
did Hugh of Saint Victor, who divided the mechanical
arts into lanificium (supplying men with wearing ap-
parel), armatura (supplying men with shelter and tools),
agricultura, venatio (both supplying food), navigatio,
medicina, theatrica.
This was the major contribution
of the Middle Ages to the classification of the arts. Two
of those seven arts were similar to modern “fine” arts,
namely armatura, which embraced architecture, and
theatrica or the art of entertainment (a peculiar medi-
eval concept).

Music was considered a liberal art, being based on
mathematics. Poetry was a kind of philosophy or
prophecy, or prayer or confession, and by no means
an art. Painting and sculpture were never listed as arts,
either liberal or mechanical. Still they certainly were
arts, after all, as abilities based on rules; why then were
they never mentioned? It was because they could have
been classified only as mechanical arts, appreciated
only when useful; the utility of painting and sculpture
seemed insignificant. This shows the great change
which has taken place since; these arts which we con-
sider as arts in the strict sense, the scholastics did not
think worthy of being mentioned at all.

III. THE RENAISSANCE

The classical idea of art and the traditional classifi-
cations of the arts were retained in the Renaissance.
The philosopher Ramus, as well as the lexicographer
Goclenius, repeated Galen's definition of art verbatim.
Benedetto Varchi, a major authority on classification
of the arts, in his Della Maggioranza delle arti (1549),
divided the arts, as did the Sophists, into those which
are produced by necessity, for utility, and for enter-
tainment (per necessità, per utilità e per dilettazione);
like Galen, into liberali e volgari; like Quintilian, into
theoretical and practical (fattive e attive); like Seneca,
into entertaining, jocose, and instructing youth (ludicre,
giocose e puerili
); like Plato, into those which make
use of nature and those which do not; like Cicero, into
major (architettoniche) and minor (subalternate) arts.

However, the status of architecture, sculpture,
painting, music, and poetry changed greatly: these arts
were now so much more appreciated than other arts,
that to single them out conceptually became a matter
of course. In order to achieve this, it was necessary
to realize not only what separates the arts from handi-
crafts and from sciences, but also what binds them
together. This became a major achievement of the
Renaissance: it was not a proper classification, but a
preparatory operation, the integration of fine arts. It
had to be carried out on several conceptual levels.

1. First, general ideas of particular arts had to be
formed. Neither a general idea nor a general term of
sculpture existed at the beginning of the Renaissance.
The term “sculpture” had a narrower meaning, it
meant only sculpture in wood. To denote those, whom
we call “sculptors,” Poliziano had to use five terms;
statuarii, caelatores, sculptores, fictores, and encausti,
meaning those who used, respectively, stone, metal,
wood, clay, and wax. After 1500 the term “sculptor”
already embraced all five of them. A similar integration
occurred in painting and architecture.

2. A general idea of plastic art was also lacking. In
antiquity and the Middle Ages architecture was con-
sidered rather a mechanical and utilitarian art and
seemed to be unrelated to sculpture and painting. In
the sixteenth century it was first noticed that all three
of them are similarly based on drawing (disegno): G.
Vasari as well as V. Danti started to consider them as
one group and called them the arti del disegno (“arts
of drawing”).

3. A further integration was necessary to classify
“arts of drawing” together with music and poetry. A
general idea which would embrace all of them did not
exist. The integration began in the fifteenth century,
but it took time before the result was satisfactory. The
affinity of those arts seemed certain, but the principle
that would include all of them and exclude the crafts
was lacking; since the Quattrocento diverse principles
were suggested to fill this gap.

Ingenious Arts. The Florentine humanist of the
fifteenth century, C. G. Manetti, suggested calling them
ingenious arts because they are produced by the spirit
(ingenium) and for the spirit. This suggestion did not,
however, add very much to the traditional opposition
of liberal and mechanical arts.

Musical Arts. Marsilio Ficino, the leader of the
Florentine Academy, wrote: “It is music that inspires
the works of all creators; orators, poets, painters,
sculptors, architects.” He continued to call those arts


460

liberal arts, though in accordance with his idea the
proper name would have been “musical arts.” His idea
was never published but only expressed in letters and
therefore it never won a more general recognition.

Noble Arts. G. P. Capriano in his De vera poetica
(1555) singled out the same group of arts, but applied
a different principle; their nobility. They are “noble
arts,” he said, as they are the object of our noblest
senses and because their products are durable.

Commemorative Arts. L. Castelvetro in his Poetica
d'Aristotele vulgarizzata
(1570) contrasted crafts with
arts on a different basis. While crafts produce useful
and necessary objects, the function of painting, sculp-
ture, and poetry is to keep things in human memory.

Metaphorical Arts. On the other hand E. Tesauro,
in Cannochiale Aristotelico (1655) tried to convince his
readers that metaphorical speech, parlare figurato,
constitutes the essence of these arts and distinguishes
them from crafts. This was a point of view peculiar
to the manneristic trend in aesthetics of the seven-
teenth century.

Figurative Arts. Some theoreticians of the seven-
teenth century supposed that the peculiarity of this
group of arts consists rather in their figurative, pictorial
character, since even poetry is ut pictura. Especially
C. F. Menestrier in his Philosophie des images (1682),
stressed that all these arts—poetry not less than paint-
ing and sculpture—travaillent en images (“work in
images”).

Fine Arts. The idea that such arts as poetry, painting,
and music are distinguished by beauty was very seldom
uttered before the eighteenth century (e.g., in the
sixteenth century by Francesco de Hollanda, who
called them boas artes). As the traditional idea of
beauty was very broad, successful works of industry
and handicraft were also called beautiful. However,
the narrower meaning of the work permitted one to
separate poetry, music, dance, painting, sculpture, and
architecture as a peculiar group of beaux arts, “fine
arts.” This is often believed to be an achievement of
the eighteenth century. But as early as 1675 the out-
standing French architect F. Blondel, in his Cours
d'architecture
said that what these arts, called by earlier
writers “noble,” “commemorative,” “metaphorical,”
etc., have in common is harmony.

Although harmony meant certainly the same as
beauty, Blondel failed to call those arts beautiful. On
the other hand, C. Batteux in his Beaux arts réduits
à un seul principe
(1747), used this term and included
it in the title of his book. This was conclusive; the
principle of beauty and the name “fine arts” were now
generally adopted (though Batteux himself saw the
common link of those arts not so much in their concern
with beauty, as in the fact that their purpose is pleasure
and their method is imitation). However, a proper
name came to be as important as a proper concept
for the progress of aesthetic theory.

Elegant and Agreeable Arts. A few years earlier
different names were proposed for beautiful arts. In
1744 G. B. Vico suggested “agreeable arts” and in the
same year J. Harris recommended “elegant arts.”

However, Batteux's terminology has prevailed. The
“system of fine arts” was established, embracing poetry,
music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, and archi-
tecture. Since the fifteenth century it had seemed cer-
tain that these arts formed a peculiar group of arts.
However, it took centuries before what unites this
group and what separates it from crafts and science
was made clear (see P. O. Kristeller [1951-52]). Para-
doxically Batteux contributed to the acceptance of the
“System of the arts” although his own system was
different: he divided arts (in the broad, old sense) into
mechanical arts, fine arts, and intermediate arts (archi-
tecture and oratory).

IV. MODERN TIMES

In about the second half of the eighteenth century
there was only one major controversy (chiefly in Ger-
many) concerning the arts: whether or not poetry
belongs to the fine arts. Some writers contrasted beaux
arts
with belles lettres, considering them as two differ-
ent fields of human endeavor. Still, Moses Mendelssohn
in 1757 called for a common theory of both. This was
done first by J. G. Sulzer in his Allgemeine Theorie der
schönen Künste
(1771-74). The agreement was not
general. Goethe in his review of Sulzer's book (1772)
ridiculed the linking of two things which, for Goethe,
were very different (Kristeller [1951-52]).

By now new problems of classification arose and had
to be solved. First, how is all human activity to be
classified and what place do fine arts occupy in it? The
classical solution was prepared by Francis Hutcheson
and the Scottish thinkers such as James Beattie and
David Hume, and eventually formulated in 1790 by
Kant: there are three major human activities: the cog-
nitive, the moral, and the aesthetic; fine art is the
product of aesthetic activity.

The second problem was how to classify the nar-
rower field of fine arts. Let us again take Kant as an
example; he suggested that there are as many kinds
of fine arts as there are ways of expressing and trans-
mitting thoughts and feelings. There are three different
ways, he said, and likewise there are three fine arts:
using words, plastic images, or tones. The first way is
used by poetry and oratory, the second by architecture,
sculpture, and painting, the third by music. Kant sug-
gested other classifications as well: he distinguished
(following Plato) the arts of truth and the arts of ap-


461

pearance, architecture being an art of truth and paint-
ing an art of appearances. On the other hand, he
divided fine arts into those which, like sculpture, deal
with objects existing in nature and those which, like
architecture, deal with objects possible only through
art.

Classifications of the arts were continued in the
nineteenth century. While the ancients attempted to
classify arts in the broad sense of the word, the nine-
teenth century classified only fine arts. It did this in
various and ingenious ways. It distinguished not only
“free” and “reproductive” arts, but also “figurative”
and “nonfigurative”; arts of motion and motionless arts;
spatial and temporal arts; arts which require a per-
former (like music) and those which do not (like paint-
ing); arts evoking determinate associations (as painting
or poetry do) and evoking indeterminate associations
(as do music or architecture). These different principles
lead after all to a similar classification of the arts. This
result is demonstrated in Max Dessoir's table (1905):

     
Spatial arts
Motionless arts
Arts dealing
with images 
Temporal arts
Arts of motions
Arts dealing
with gestures
and sounds 
SCULPTURE
PAINTING 
POETRY
DANCE 
Reproductive arts
Figurative arts
Arts with
determinate
associations 
ARCHITEC-
TURE  
MUSIC  Free arts
Abstract arts
Arts with
indeterminate
associations 

Dessoir, the most expert aesthetician at the turn of
the twentieth century, ended his review of art classifi-
cation, however, with a pessimistic conclusion: Es
scheint kein System zu geben das allen Ansprüchen
genügte
(“there appears to be no system that satisfies
all claims”).

Hegel's well-known division of the arts into sym-
bolic, classical, and romantic had a different purpose:
it did not differentiate branches of arts, poetry, paint-
ing, music, etc., but diverse styles of poetry, painting,
music, etc. In classifying styles the nineteenth century
was not less ingenious than in classifying arts.

In summary we may say that the meaning of the
classification of arts has changed; in antiquity the clas-
sification of arts was a division of all human abilities;
during the Middle Ages it was a division between
purely intellectual (artes liberales) and mechanical arts;
in the Renaissance attempts were made to divide arts
into “fine arts” and others; since the eighteenth century
it has been a division among fine arts themselves.

The problem seemed to have been settled, but in
the twentieth century unexpected difficulties emerged.
The established classification was based on three as-
sumptions: (1) there exists a closed system of arts; (2)
there is a difference between arts and crafts and sci-
ences; (3) the arts are distinguished by the fact that
they seek and find beauty. It took a long time and much
effort to get this system accepted but eventually it
seemed to be firmly established. However, we must
observe that: (1) new arts were born—photography and
cinema—which had to be included in the system. The
same applied to those arts which have been practiced
before but were not covered by the system, like town
planning. Moreover, the character of arts included in
the system has changed: a new architecture, abstract
painting and sculpture, music in a twelve-tone scale,
and the anti-novel have appeared. (2) Doubts arose
whether one really ought to contrast crafts with arts.
As recently as the end of the nineteenth century
William Morris argued that there can be no nobler
art than good craft. And ought one to contrast science
with art? Indeed, many twentieth-century artists regard
their work as cognitive, similar to science, or even
science itself. (3) Finally, is it correct to assume that
seeking beauty is essential in art and represents its
differentia specifica? Is not the concept of beauty too
vague to be useful in defining art? One can say of many
works of art that beauty was not their objective. What
one can say of them rather is that the reason for their
creation was the artist's need of expression or his desire
to excite and move other men.

Everything seems to speak for the need to define
anew the concept of art. And, consequently, for the
need to start afresh the classification of arts.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The most important though indirect contribution to the
history of the classification of the arts is: P. O. Kristeller,
“The Modern System of the Arts: A Study in the History
of Aesthetics,” Journal of the History of Ideas, 12, 4 (1951),
496-527, and 13, 1 (1952), 17-46. W. Tatarkiewicz dealt
with the subject in The History of Aesthetics, 3 vols. (Polish
ed., Wroclaw, 1960-67; English ed., The Hague, 1970);
idem, “Art and Poetry, a Contribution to the History of
Ancient Aesthetics,” Studia Philosophica, 2 (1939); idem,
“Classification of the Arts in Antiquity,” Journal of the
History of Ideas,
24, 2 (1963), 231-40.

Classical and medieval sources are: Radulphus Ardens,
in M. Grabmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode,
(1909), 1, 254. Aristotle, Poetics, passim, and Physica, 199a


462

15. Bekker, Anecdota Graeca, II, 654 (670). Cicero, De
oratore,
III, 7, 26. Galen, Protrepticus, 14, (Marquardt, 129).
Isocrates, Panegiricus, 40. Plato, Republic, 601D; Sophist,
219A, 235D. Plotinus, Enneads, IV, 4, 31; V, 9, 11. Quin-
tilian, Institutio oratoria, II, 18, 1. Hugh of Saint Victor,
Didascalicon, II, in Migne, 176, cols. 751, 760. Seneca,
Epistolae, 88, 21.

References for modern classification of the arts: C. Bat-
teux, Les beaux arts réduits à un seul principe (1747). F.
Blondel, Cours d'architecture (1675), pp. 169, 783. G. P.
Capriano, De vera poetica (1555). L. Castelvetro, Poetica
d'Aristotele vulgarizzata
(1570); Correzione d'alcune cose del
dialogo della lingua de B. Varchi
(1572), p. 72. V. Danti,
Trattato della perfetta proporzione, (1567), in P. Barocchi,
Trattati d'arte del Cinquecento, Vol. 1 (Bari, 1960).
D'Alembert, Oeuvres (1853), p. 99. M. Dessoir, Ästhetik und
allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft
(Stuttgart, 1906). M. Ficino,
Commentarium in Convivium (1561). J. W. Goethe, review
of Sulzer's paper, Werke, (Weimar, 1896), 37, 206. J. Harris,
Three Treatises (1744), p. 25. G. W. F. Hegel, “Vorlesungen
über die Ästhetik,” Heidelberg Lectures, 1818-29 (East
Berlin, 1955). J. Hippisley, The Polite Arts or a Dissertation
on Poetry, Painting, Musick, Architecture, and Eloquence

(London, 1749), Ch. 2. I. Kant, Kritik der Urteilskraft (1790),
p. 51. G. Manetti, De dignitate et excellentia hominis, (1532),
3, 131. M. Mendelssohn, Betrachtungen über die Quellen
der schönen Künste und Wissenschaften
(1757). F. Menes-
trier, Philosophie des images (1683). A. Poliziano, Panepiste-
mon
(1491). J. G. Sulzer, Allgemeine Theorie der schönen
Künste
(1771, 1774). E. Tesauro, Canocchiale aristotelico
(1655), p. 74. B. Varchi, Della maggioranza delle Arti (1549),
reprinted in P. Barocchi, Trattati d'arte del Cinquecento, Vol.
1 (Bari, 1960). C. Vasari, Le vite, ed. G. Milanesi (Florence,
1878, 1906), 1, 168. G. B. Vico, Scienza nuova (1744), p.
25. B. Weinberg, A History of Literary Criticism in the
Italian Renaissance
(Chicago, 1961), contains important
references on the sixteenth century.

W. TATARKIEWICZ

[See also Classicism in Literature; Classification of the
Sciences;
Education; Mimesis; Music and Science; Music
as a Divine Art; Naturalism in Art; Platonism; Renaissance
Humanism; Rhetoric; Style; Ut pictura poesis.]