Free The Invention of Art Essay Sample

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In her book "The Invention of Art: A Cultural History," Shiner manages to bring out the gender and prejudice that characterized the perception of Art in the eighteenth century. There was a clear distinction between the nature of art that women could engage in and the nature of art that men could engage in. The general perception was that women were not creative enough to conceive the genius that characterized the creativity in art. According to (Shiner, 2001), "The new idea of genius in the eighteenth century seemed to set before women the choice of being a genius or being a woman. The social order condemned women to the types of art that were considered sub-ordinate and feminine such as tapestry and needlework. Shiner outlines that creativity was usual associated with physical strength of which women were known not to posses. Even the women who defied the social barriers were not given the recognition they deserved. Shiner provides the example of Sophie La Roche who was an accomplished German novelist but who according to Christoph Wieland, the person who wrote the preface to her fast novel, critics to her work were supposed to address their views to Christoph rather than to La Roche. This is because according to Christoph, La Roche "...never intended to write for the world or to create a work of art." It was surprising that the ones who entertained the prejudice most were fellow artists who knew that creativity knew no gender. Shine outline that French writer such as "Diderot and Rousseau" constantly stated that women had not creativity genius for art. Women were always given the roles or artisans rather than artists. Shiner writes that due to the assumption that women did not possess the artistic genius, they were provided by drawing manuals from which to copy from. However, as Mary Wollstonecraft outlined, if artistic genius was associated with masculinity then what motivated the creativity of women of the century?

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