Marx's Lost Aesthetic

Marx's Lost Aesthetic : Karl Marx and the Visual Arts

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This book offers an original and challenging study of Marx's contact with the visual arts, aesthetic theories, and art policies in nineteenth-century Europe. It differs from previous discussions of Marxist aesthetic theory in looking at Marx's views from an art-historical rather than from a literary perspective, and in placing those views in the context of the art practices, theories, and policies of Marx's own time. Dr Rose begins her work by discussing Marx's planned treatise on Romantic art of 1842 against the background of the philosophical debates, cultural policies, and art practices of the 1840s, and looks in particular at the patronage given to the group of German artists known as the 'Nazarenes' in those years, who are discussed in relation to both the English Pre-Raphaelites, popular in the London known to Marx, and to the Russian Social Realists of the 1860s. The author goes on to consider claims of twentieth-century Marxist art theories and practices to have represented Marx's own views on art. The book the conflicting claims made on Marx's views by the Soviet avant-garde Constructivists of the 1920s and of the Socialist Realists who followed them are considered, and are related back to the aesthetic theories and practices discussed in the earlier chapters.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 226 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 21mm | 510g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521256666
  • 9780521256667

Table of contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Visual Art and Aesthetic Theory in Marx's Early Years: 1. Hellenes vs. Nazarenes; 2. Feuerbach and the 'Nazarene' madonna; 3. Marx's lost aesthetic: the early years under Friedrich Wilhelm IV; 4. Marx's Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts and the development of a 'productivist' aesthetic; 5. Towards an outline of artistic production, or the 'charm' of a materialist aesthetic; Part II. The Russian Saint-Simon: The Artist as Producer in Russia from the 1830s to the 1930s and Beyond: 6. Saint-Simonists and Realists; 7. The Constructivists of the 1920s and the concept of avant-garde; 8. Avant-garde vs. 'Agroculture': problems of the avant-garde - from Lenin to Stalin and after; Conclusion; Notes; Select Bibliography; Index.
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