“The value and rank of every art is in proportion to the mental labor employed in it, or the mental pleasure produced by it” declared the very erudite 18th century portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds with respect to the particular branch of painting learned by the students who formed his then auditory, nevertheless managing to encompass the whole spectrum of activities men generally practice in their attempt at self-expression, writing included.
Still, what amount of truth conveys the affirmation?
A great deal.
In literature as in sculpture or cinematography the only channel through which people receive the intended message is intellectual and therefore all works conceived to deliver certain ideas, share certain moods, illustrate particular visions et cetera must first engage the mind to eventually arouse the senses. An alternative has yet to be devised. Because, indubitably, no artistic feeling can emerge from outside the brain.
Vivid colors may excite our eye’s nerves, beauteous figures might inflame our hearts and ingeniously depicted passages of books equally brilliant could easily stimulate vicarious delights but never without the impulse generated by mental perception. This organ inside our skull weighting under 2 kilos gives rise to the entire range of pleasures tasted while reading, watching movies, listening to music and so on. We are deprived of the lushest bliss if incapable to put it to use.
Thus, having resolved the genuine worth of an art piece is contingent upon the cerebral satisfaction it provides, what masterpiece so enraptured your mind that you want to share in a comment below?
Patricia Beykrat – the Roving Aesthete