Otakar Zich: Aesthetic and Artistic Evaluation, Parts 2 & 3

Estetika 47 (1):71-95 (2010)
In this important article, first published in 1917, the Czech aesthetician, musicologist, and composer Otakar Zich (1879–1934) distinguishes between two kinds of evaluation of a work of art: aesthetic evaluation and artistic evaluation. He bases this differentiation on two possible attitudes that a perceiver may have towards a work of art. The first originates solely in the perceiver’s experience of the work and his or her search for a feeling of pleasure. It reflects only the subjective preferences of the individual; Zich terms the corresponding value ‘relative aesthetic value’. Above the relative value of an emotional effect there is an evaluation of a higher order, which consists in ‘comprehending’ a work of art. It is to this evaluation that artistic value corresponds. According to Zich, however, this objective value is grounded not in the work itself, but in the distinctive ‘personal value’ of the artist. In artistic evaluation, the work of art is therefore evaluated as a manifestation of strong artistic individuality. The first part of the article was published in the previous issue.
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