Beauty, Emotion, and Globalization: How Images Came to be Ruled by Words

By Mario Minichiello and Colin Gale.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: December 30, 2014 $US5.00

In the West, beauty has always been seen as a major endeavour of the arts. The intellectual and spiritual status of beauty reached new heights in the nineteenth century, according to the writings of the Romantic poet and philosopher Coleridge: "Believe me, you must master the essence, the natura naturans, which presupposes a bond between nature in the higher sense and the soul of man" (Coleridge, 1818). The binding of Philosophy to Art over a period of four or more centuries was a highly influential outcome of Western creative and intellectual discourse. During the twentieth century, the consequence of this would be that when Philosophy changed its mind about beauty, Art would do so, as would Design. As we enter the twentieth century, it is possible to review and think that perhaps Philosophy had too much influence on Art and Design, that it distorted aesthetic vocabularies and creative objectives alike, that artists and designers had not been thinking for themselves. That they do not need to compete within philosophy, but the aesthetics of postmodernity, the cultures of the subjective, the ironic and conceptual that so strongly influence Western art now, are clearly attributable to the demise of a belief in transcendent and universal beauty.

Keywords: Beauty, Emotion, Globalization

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 10, Issue 1, March 2015, pp.7-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: December 30, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 522.680KB)).

Prof. Mario Minichiello

Professor of Design Communication, Faculty of Science, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Prof. Colin Gale

Director of Postgraduate Design and Fashion, Birmingham, UK