Karl Rosenkranz’s Aesthetics of Ugliness (1853), a plea for a ‘dialectical leap’ away from classical canons of beauty to excess, imbalance and deformity, intriguingly casts Hogarth as the great British master of caricature and the grotesque, rivalled only by William Shakespeare. Rosenkranz’s essay bears witness to the German appropriation of Hogarth as the icon of anti-classicism, an artist whose work was nurtured by transgression, limitlessness and an aspiration to give the ‘critical notion of taste’ body and flesh. Oscillating between Germany and Great Britain, this essay assesses the aesthetic sympathy between the theorists of ‘disorder’ and randomness in taste, such as Lessing and (closer to Hogarth) Edmund Burke. It shows how the ‘curve of grace’ resonates with Burke’s ‘feminine forms’, while the ‘line of beauty’ engages with a dynamic and de-canonized perception of taste. The British artist is thus captured in his wariness of French aesthetics and in an on-going conversation with the breakers of rules and arch-challengers of rhetorical authority above all in Germany.

Aesthetic variations on the line of beauty / E. Franzini (CULTURAL INTERACTIONS: STUDIES IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ARTS). - In: Enduring Presence : William Hogarth's British and European Afterlives. 1: Aesthetic, Visual and Performative Cultures / [a cura di] C. Patey, C.E. Roman, G. Letissier. - Prima edizione. - [s.l] : Peter Lang, 2021. - ISBN 9781800791558. - pp. 55-66

Aesthetic variations on the line of beauty

E. Franzini
2021

Abstract

Karl Rosenkranz’s Aesthetics of Ugliness (1853), a plea for a ‘dialectical leap’ away from classical canons of beauty to excess, imbalance and deformity, intriguingly casts Hogarth as the great British master of caricature and the grotesque, rivalled only by William Shakespeare. Rosenkranz’s essay bears witness to the German appropriation of Hogarth as the icon of anti-classicism, an artist whose work was nurtured by transgression, limitlessness and an aspiration to give the ‘critical notion of taste’ body and flesh. Oscillating between Germany and Great Britain, this essay assesses the aesthetic sympathy between the theorists of ‘disorder’ and randomness in taste, such as Lessing and (closer to Hogarth) Edmund Burke. It shows how the ‘curve of grace’ resonates with Burke’s ‘feminine forms’, while the ‘line of beauty’ engages with a dynamic and de-canonized perception of taste. The British artist is thus captured in his wariness of French aesthetics and in an on-going conversation with the breakers of rules and arch-challengers of rhetorical authority above all in Germany.
Settore M-FIL/04 - Estetica
Dipartimenti di Eccellenza 2018-2022 - Dipartimento di FILOSOFIA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/863714
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