chapter  XII
7 Pages

From The Liberation Of Art To The Negation Of Art

The essential impression from a survey of the whole body of art is that its manifestations are acquiring certain coldness. The process, like the social revolution itself, has two culminating-points, the first and second revolutions. In the first there is conscious effort to realize the sublime, and also to free the arts, all the arts, from 'heteronomous' fetters. In the second revolution this position is reversed—and yet there is a profound connection between these apparently contradictory trends. In the agents process the various nations play different parts. Those that shape the first phase are England, Northern Germany, and also, yes even at that date, America and Russia. The main weight of the second phase is in Southern Germany and Austria. The third, reactionary phase that led in the shaping of the late Baroque developed in Germany and France. In the fourth phase England ceases to play any part.