Artistic Style as the Expression of IdealsSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
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What is artistic style? In the literature one answer to this question has proved influential: the view that artistic style is the expression of personality. In what follows we elaborate upon and evaluatively compare the two most plausible versions of this view with a new proposal—that style is the expression of the artist’s ideals for her art. We proceed by comparing the views’ answers to certain questions we think a theory of individual artistic style should address: Are there limits on what range of features can figure in a style? Can flaws be stylistic? Are there limits on the range of art forms across which a given style can be exhibited? To what extent is a style a kind of unity, and why? What makes style an artistic achievement? Why do we care about style? By considering the different views' answers to these questions we argue that our proposal is a workable theory of individual style and suggest that it fares better on the whole than both versions of the influential and widely accepted view.