Reprinted from the journal of aesthetics and art criticism xxxiv i fall 1975printed in usa gary r jahn the aesthetic theory of leo tolstoys what is art since its first appearance near the turn of the century tolstoys what is art. Aestheticism was a late 19th century european movement based on the idea that art exists for the sake of its beauty alone the movement began in reaction to prevailing utilitarian social philosophies and to what was perceived as the ugliness and philistinism of the industrial age. Examples of aesthetic theories of art include imitationalism formalism emotionalism and instrumentalism these four theories are commonly used to set the criteria that is used to evaluate a work of art imitationalism is applied when art looks realistic the goal of imitationalism is to make a
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