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The Branches of Artistic Creation: The Science of Their System


Reasons for the Existence of Diverse Branches of Art

Art exists in its concrete types: literature, theatre, drawing, painting, sculpture, choreography, music, architecture, applied and decorative arts, circus, art photography, cinema, television. What is the source of this diversity?
Kant identified it as the diversity of the subject's abilities, Hegel explained it by the inner differentiation of the objective idea, the French materialists, by the differences between the art media employed by the musician, poet, artist, etc. Actually, Kant, Hegel and the French materialists reveal not the reason for the division of arts into branches but the consequences of that division. The real reason for the division of arts into branches is the diversity of the different branches of man's social practice in the artistic interpretation of the world which rests on the aesthetic richness of reality. The world historical practice of man has given rise to the richness of the human spirit, developed man's aesthetic sensibilities and his musical ear, and made his eye capable of appreciating the beauty of form and of deriving pleasure from beauty.
But does not the recognition of the objective historic richness of the world lead to the positing of specific musical, visual and other properties in reality? Every type of art gravitates to certain aspects of reality more than to others. As the object of the ear is different from that of the eye, hearing picks out different sides of the object than the eye. "For a musical heart everything is music," said Remain Rolland. But the music is born of the same world as that seen by the painter.
Remain Rolland describes how the musically gifted hero of his novel, Jean Christoph, "listened to the invisible orchestra, the singing round of insects turning frenziedly in the sun rays amidst the odorous pine trees, distinguished the fanfares of midges, the organ-like buzzing of bumblebees, the bells of wild bees vibrating in the tree tops, the divine whisper of the woods, the faint trembling of the leaves in the wind, the tender rustle and swaying of the grass like a whiff sending ripples over a limpid lake, like the rustle of a beloved dress that passes and dies away in the air. All these noises, all these cries, Christoph heard in himself. In the tiniest and greatest of these creatures there flowed the same river of life that washed him. He was of their blood; their joys and sufferings evoked a fraternal echo in him, their force redoubled his – so a river grows from the hundreds of rivulets falling into it."1
While the composer perceives the picture of nature with his hearing, a painter will perceive the same picture with his sight, enjoying not the sounds but the beauty of form, the play of lines, the colours, the soft transitions between light and shade, etc. The painter and the musician perceive the same object – the life of nature, which is near and dear to man and of which he feels himself a part – and reflect it in different branches of art through its different sides and manifestations. Yet in the end what is perceived and reflected is the same reality.
Mankind's artistic evolution involves two opposite processes. The first goes from syncretism (the undivided, fused artistic thought combining elements of dance, song, music, theatre and literature) to the isolation of individual types of art. One aspect of historical progress in art is the far from complete process of emergence and isolation of new types of art (the 20th century saw the emergence of cinema and television as arts). At the same time we witness the opposite process of the synthesis of arts (Laterna Magica in Czechoslovakia combines cinema, theatre, choreography, etc.).
Both the isolation of individual arts and the interaction of different and distinct arts once they have been isolated are fruitful for the development of art. Although the branches of art do reveal a certain tendency to combine and even merge, it is important that each of them should develop its specific features because they introduce something original in the aesthetic perception of the world and the artistic culture of mankind. The diversity of types of art makes it possible to perceive the world aesthetically in all its complexity and richness. There are no main and secondary arts, each possessing its strong and weak sides compared to other types.
The relationship between the arts, their closeness or remoteness from one another, their inner similarities, mutual attraction and rivalries are historically changeable. Hegel, for example, quite rightly predicted the possibility of a closer relationship between painting and music and the gravitation of sculpture to painting: "this magic of reflections may eventually become so prevalent as to make uninteresting the content of images by comparison, and thereby painting in the pure aroma and magic of its tones, in their opposition, mutual penetration and harmony will approach music to the same degree as sculpture in the later development of relief will begin to approximate painting."2 The Hegelian prophesy was realized by the Impressionists whose paintings were a music of light. They departed from literature-oriented plot painting to become more like music.

Applied Art

One of the most ancient and still developing types of art is applied art materialized in everyday utensils made as art objects. These are objects produced not only for their use but also for their beauty possessing an artistic image which expresses their function. The aesthetic impact of applied art affects us daily and even hourly. The objects surrounding us in our daily life and creating our comfort may attain the summits of art.
Applied art is national, being of its very nature born of the customs, habits and beliefs of the people and linked directly with the people's productive activity and life.
Applied art in the ancient world took the form of luxury objects (Ancient Egypt), beautiful and comfortable objects (Ancient Greece), objects marked by a more austere taste (Republican Rome). Medieval asceticism left its own imprint on applied art by making it purely constructive, rationalistically severe and utilitarian. In the later period of the feudal society applied objects combined decorativeness and structure. Furniture, costume and other applied art objects came to borrow the organ-like vertical lines and forms of architecture, and objects were more richly ornamented. The Renaissance epoch gave prominence to the unity of function and beauty. But for a long time yet objects possessed individual charm and uniqueness. They were individually made works reflecting the talent and personality of their maker, the artist and craftsman. The development of production in modern times increasingly erased the imprint of individuality on machine-made objects. But then the artist came into industry and industrial design began to flourish.


The circus is the art of acrobatics, balancing, gymnastics, pantomime, juggling, tricks, clowning, eccentric musical numbers, equestrian displays and animal taming.
The circus confronts the student of aesthetics with a very difficult problem: what kind of art is it? What are its specific features? And is it art? Perhaps it is art but it looks too much like spectacle.... Some students believe that eccentricity is the form of the circus which is as essential for it as rhyme is for poetry. But it would be wrong to determine the nature of the circus from its form. No one would be satisfied with a definition of poetry as rhymed lines. Rhyme is not always a sign of poetry and eccentricity may not be the universal and essential property of the circus. One must identify the specific nature of its content, and to do that we must first consider the aim of a circus performance.
The first thing that strikes anyone who tries to determine the specific nature of the circus is its apparent "aimlessness", the absence of any utilitarian value in the numbers performed.
What is the point of teaching a lion to jump through a hoop? Who needs a dog who can bark as many times as the figure the tamer draws on a board? The lion will never become a fireman and the dog will never become a mathematician.
The clue to the nature of the circus has in principle been found by aestheticians when they developed the theory of applied art. An activity as "useless" as teaching a dog to turn somersaults has long been in existence. It is the manufacture of decorations. What is the utilitarian value of a necklace or a ring? What can be more useless than the jeweller's job? He polishes the diamond and makes it shine. But the diamond does not simply shine, it expresses man's mastery over nature. If man can polish the hardest mineral in the world – diamond – he is master of the whole kingdom of minerals and there is no stone in the world he cannot conquer. The "useless" work of the jeweller has a deep meaning and raison d'etre: the values he creates are perceived as beautiful.
The art of the circus is in a way like that of the jeweller. The circus artiste is a jeweller not only because he must exhibit the same mastery, accuracy and filigree polish in his work but because his work is inherently similar to that of a person polishing a diamond. The tamer makes the king of beasts obey his will and thus demonstrates the boundless power of man over the animal kingdom. His work offers the most vivid, tangible and convincing demonstration of free and complete mastery of the world of living nature. If man can make a lion overcome his age-old instincts and jump through the fire then any animal will obey and serve man. If you can teach a dog to do somersaults, then you can surely make it guard the home or a herd and help you to hunt. The same meaning underlies the work of the acrobat whose dizzying flights celebrate man's mastery of space, his body, balance, etc. The circus artiste accomplishes a difficult task, he stretches the capacity of a thing to its limit and his work follows the laws of the eccentric. If the beautiful is a phenomenon man has complete mastery of, and the exalted is a phenomenon man has not yet masterd completely, the eccentric is the sphere of virtuoso mastery of an object difficult to master.
Eccentrism in the circus is not merely a form but a kind of artistic content revealing the power of man over animals, space, and his own body, his feelings, i.e. illimitable power over the whole world. Marco Polo, a 13th century Venetian traveller, tells how Kublai Khan, the emperor of China, had banished all magicians and acrobats from his country. They were so numerous and so expert with their weapons that they scaled mountains and crossed deserts and conquered distant countries. The only explanation for the popularity of circus art is that it is vitally needed. The circus is a place where real dangers are overcome. The gymnast flies towards the trapeze over a real abyss. Triumph over fear, defying the impossibility which no longer spells death – this is the essence of circus and its difference from theatre.
But to solve a supremely difficult task, to conquer space, exhibit power over the animal world and one's own body is not enough to make a circus number. An athlete setting a record is also accomplishing a difficult task yet he is not a circus artiste even if he performs his act on the arena. The circus artiste does not only achieve almost supernatural results, but he creates an image of a person tackling a supremely difficult task, and gives an artistic performance due to rhythmical and organized nature of his number, the considered sequence of tricks and the communication with his partner. The aerial gymnast ending her number seems to be reluctant to let go of the bar. It may be a deliberate gesture or one prompted by her artistic intuition. But without such a "trifle" a tricky sporting exercise could never become a circus number. A trick becomes artistically expressive only when it acquires the impact of an image.
The circus differs from the theatre in that everything there is for real (real weights are lifted and real barriers are cleared). But both the stage and the circus share image and theatricality.
Circus is not about setting records but about the image of man demonstrating his prowess to spectators.


After man learnt to make working tools his dwelling ceased to be a hole or a nest. It became a utilitarian structure that gradually acquired an aesthetic aspect. Building became architecture.
Architecture is the shaping of reality according to the laws of beauty in the building of houses and structures designed to cater to man's needs for housing and public premises. Architecture creates an enclosed utilitarian-artistic environment distinct from nature, opposing the elemental environment and enabling people to use the humanized space in accordance with their material and cultural requirements. The architectural image is inseparable from the function of the structure and organically expresses its purpose. Defining the specific features of architecture, Lomonosov noted that architecture erects buildings that are comfortable to be lived in, beautiful to the eye and durable. Architecture is instrumental in creating part of the "other nature", the material man-made environment in which he lives and works.
Architecture tends to create ensembles. It is important that works of archite'cture should fit into the natural and urban landscape. For example, the new building of the Moscow University gains artistic expressiveness from the fact that .it stands on the Lenin Hills overlooking Moscow and the wide expanse of the central Russian plain. The building of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, which looks like an open book, also fits in well with the cityscape of Moscow.
The forms of architectural structures depend on geographical and climatic conditions, on the landscape, on the intensity of sunlight, on the likelihood of earthquakes, etc. Architects treat the natural environment differently depending on their tastes and principles of work, which are socially conditioned. The development of architecture depends on the social system, aesthetic ideals, utilitarian and artistic requirements of society. Architecture is linked more closely than other arts with the level of productive forces and technology. It combines art, engineering and construction. Perhaps no other kind of art requires such a concentration of effort and material resources as architecture. St. Isaac's Cathedral, for example, was built by half a million people over a period of forty years. Architectural works are created to last for ages. The people are the authors of the "stone book" and its "readers".
Architecture is a great stone symphony, a powerful creation of humanity and nations like Iliad is a result of combining the forces of a whole historical epoch.
Architecture may be combined with monumental painting, sculpture, decorative and other arts. The architectural composition is based on a three-dimensional structure and organic interconnection of the elements of buildings or ensembles of buildings. The scope of a work goes a long way to determine the character of the artistic image, its monumental or chamber character.
Architecture does not reproduce reality, it is expressive rather than representational. The rhythm of spatial relationships and lines is an important expressive means. A feature of all modern artistic structure is lack of rhythm in rhythm, dissonance in harmony and it is found in the most distinctive modern architectural endeavours such as the ensemble of the new capital of Brazil, Brasilia. Architecture was born in deep antiquity, at the final stage of barbarianism, when people began to build with an eye not only to utility but also to beauty.
In Ancient Egypt they built huge tombs in the shape of pyramids (the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza is 150 metres high) and temples with many powerful columns (each column in the Amon temple in Karnak is 20.4 metres high and 3.4 metres in diameter). This kind of architecture is marked by primitive geometric lines, the absence of joints, the incompatibility of size of the structure with the size of man whose individuality is crippled by the monumentality. These grandiose structures were created not to satisfy the material needs of the people but for religious worship and served to promote social organization of Egyptians under the despotic power of the Pharaoh.
The architecture of Ancient Greece is democratic in character. The shrines (for example, Parthenon) celebrate the beauty, freedom and dignity of the Greek citizen. There appear new types of public buildings – theatres, stadiums and schools. The architects follow the humanistic ideal of beauty formulated by Aristotle: the beautiful should be neither too large nor too small. Man is the footrule by which the beauty and size of buildings are measured. The Greek architects created the order system and other structures that had been seminal for the later development of architecture. The architects of ancient Rome made wide use of arch and vaulted structures made of concrete. They introduced new types of structures such as amphitheatres, forums, and triumphal archs reflecting the idea of the state and of military might.
In the Middle Ages architecture became the leading and most popular type of art. Its images appealed even to illiterate people. However, the people were denied the utilitarian use of the magnificent structures and led a cramped existence in squalid conditions. The lines of the Gothic cathedrals reaching up to the sky expressed the religious striving to reach god and the fervent earthly dream of the people about happiness.
Renaissance architecture developed the principles and forms of antique classics on a new basis. Classicism canonized the compositional devices of antiquity. Between the end of the 16th and the middle of the 18th centuries, the complex period that saw the emergence of nation states and bloody wars, the baroque style was prevalent. That style was marked by heavy ornament, complex articulation and spatial relationships, decorousness, emotional elevation and exaltation and contrasting forms. Some baroque structures served to glorify and assert absolutism (e.g. the Versailles palace) and Catholicism (e.g. the Santa Maria della Vittoria church in Rome).
In the early 18th century the aristocratic tastes produced the style of rococo which originated in France and spread throughout Europe. That style was characterized by elaborate and profuse ornamentation, studiedly asymmetric and complex convoluted lines (the Sans Souci palace in Potsdam). The interiors featured lavish murals and large mirrors creating an illusion that the walls are light and immaterial.
In the second half of the 18th century rococo gave way to the monumental and massive empire style. Empire harked back to the tradition of classicism and the style of the epoch of the Roman emperors. It expressed the military might and grandeur of the state (for example, the grandiose L'arc de triomphe de 1'Etoile in Paris which surpasses similar arcs of antiquity, and the Vendome column, a replica of the Trajan Column in Rome).
Russian architecture occupies a notable place in world architecture. Its high points are marked by the kremlins, ensembles of fortresses, palaces, churches and public buildings. Russian architecture has produced some works of truly national genius (the Bell Tower Ivan the Great, St. Basil's Cathedral). The original Russian national tradition has manifested itself in wooden structures with clear constructive solutions and rich ornamental forms (for example the church at Kizhi). The "Russian baroque" architecture asserted the unity of the Russian state and upsurge of national life (for example, the Winter Palace and the ensembles of the Tsarskoye Selo by Rastrelli). The basic principles of Russian classicism developed in the 18th-19th centuries include clear and expressive image achieved through simple constructive and artistic means.
The 20th century brought new types of buildings: industrial, office, transport structures and multi-storeyed blocks of flats and entire residential areas. Building was industrialized and involved the use of new materials and prefabricated blocks. That changed many aesthetic criteria in architecture and revealed new artistic expressive means. In town-building, the problem arose of giving artistic expressiveness to massive residential areas.
Architecture is described as the chronicle of the world: it speaks long after songs and legends have fallen silent and nothing reminds of a people irrevocably sunk in oblivion. The "stone book" records the periods of mankind's history in its pages.

Decorative Art

Decorative art is the aesthetic mastering of the environment surrounding man. It invades the everyday life of men and provides artistic decoration for the man-made environment: buildings, structures, interiors, squares, streets and roads. It serves to create beauty and convenience in and near residential houses and public buildings. A doorhandle, a fence, a window pane and a lamp can be works of decorative art.
Decorative art draws on the achievements of other branches of art, in particular painting and sculpture. Painting as art proper first existed as wall (cliff) drawing and was, strictly speaking, decorative painting before it evolved into easel painting. The same holds for sculpture. One kind of decorative art is monumental painting on a wall (fresco) which is blended with the architectural image. The name fresco derives from the name of the technique of painting in water colours on wet plaster (al fresco). Many of the greatest world art masterpieces (e.g., the frescoes of Rublyov, Michelangelo and Raphael) belong to the category of monumental decorative art.
Among the remarkable works of decorative art is the Stanza della Segnatura at the Vatican (the room where the Pope used to sign court papers). The ceiling and walls of the room carry paintings by Raphael on theological, legal, philosophical, scientific and poetic themes. The painting called The Athens School shows a meeting of ancient Greek philosophers and comprises almost fifty figures arranged with consummate composition and colouristic skill. The fresco is marked by strict harmony of colours. One of the secrets of its impact is that it forms part of the wall on which it is painted and lives according to the laws of perspective. The composition receding into the depth of the picture achieves striking impact.
Two rows of squares on the floor direct the beholder's eye into the depth of the picture. This unhurried solemn movement takes one up the grand staircase and finishes with a row of receding arches. In the foreground are the sitting and recumbent figures of philosophers. Further away several philosophers are seen walking up the stairs and Diogenes is lying on the steps. This effects a compositional link between the foreground and the background of the fresco. Finally at the centre there are the figures of Plato and Aristotle, the twu towering giants of antique philosophy, shown against a blue sky.
A magnificent building, thought out and "built" by Raphael, organizes the composition and keeps its horizontal, linear plane and visual coherence in spite of the receding perspective. So, the compositional, perspective and colouristic achievements of Renaissance art contributed to monumental decorative art perpetuating the humanistic ideals of the Renaissance.
Decorative art is the art of decoration, but not over-decoration. It helps to create a whole architectural ensemble. Works of decorative art are not dead symbols but a living saga of human deeds, strivings, emotions and plans. They express the style of a historic period to the highest degree. An art student and an archeologist can restore the image of a historical period from a fragment of a doorhandle or a piece of a mural with the same accuracy as paleontologists restore the look of a long extinct animal and its environment from a single tooth.

Painting and Drawing

Painting is the portrayal, in two dimensions, of the real world transformed by the artist's imagination.
The ancient artist did not perceive the beauty of the landscape. Tyior, the English ethnographer and archeologist, pointed out that one area of painting in which modern artists undoubtedly surpass the ancients is landscape painting. In the old days, he writes, no matter how wonderfully the figures were painted, the rugged rustic mountains, woods and houses in the background were still in a state close to ideographic writing, they rather symbolized the external world than depicted it as it was. The attention of the primitive artist-hunter was concentrated on what provided his livelihood. He was a magnifecent animalist.
In ancient painting the relationship between the phenomena portrayed was semantic rather than spatial. An ancient cave on the island of Cham in the Gulf of Carpentaria has a painting, on a white wall in black and red, of kangaroos pursued by thirty-two hunters. The third one is twice as tall as all the rest because he is the chief. Artists in Ancient Egypt too painted the figure of the military commander several times larger than those of his soldiers. Those were the early compositional accents made by artists who did not know linear or spatial perspective.
In the Renaissance period the compositional accents formed into systems of principles. Various arrangements of figures on the picture revealed their mutual relations, characters and interaction. The composition acquires depth.
In antiquity drawing and painting were close to each other and to literature. Ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian art revolves around narrative. A painting was more often than not a sequence of events, a story told through a series of figures. Yet even at that early stage painting makes it possible to express different points of view on the subject in two dimensions. Ancient Egyptian artists painted both eyes on a face shown in profile, and in South Melanesia paintings show planes that are hidden from view: a disc above the head represents the back of the head, or else there is a double face conveying the "all-round view".
Medieval painting presented a conventionally flat picture of the world, the composition being based not on the distance to the object from the observer's eye but on its meaning and significance. These are the features of Russian icon paintings.
In the Renaissance period painting flourished and became the leading art. It seemed to be the best medium for expressing the anti-ascetic, anti-scholastic pathos of the epoch, the rejoicing in the richness of life, its spiritual and sensuous beauty (Botticelli's Spring). Painters came to convey the anatomical difference of people of different ages (the child held by Madonna Litta in Leonardo's painting is not a dwarf but a real child) and the anatomy of the moving human body.
Renaissance artists asserted the universal human relevance of painting which did not, like literature, need translation (Raphael's Madonna). Leonardo da Vinci wrote: "... if the poet serves reason by way of the ear, the artist does so by way of the eye which is more worthy of emotion. I would not wish for more from either of them that a good artist should portray a fierce battle and a poet describe another battle and that the two should be displayed side by side. Then you will see where the spectators would linger more, where they would argue more, where there would be more praise and which picture would be more satisfying. Of course, the painting, being far more useful and beautiful, will be liked more.... Choose a poet who would describe the beauty of a woman to her lover and choose a painter who would paint her and you will see which way nature will incline the enamoured judge."
The Renaissance laid the foundations of colouristic composition which accents attention on the central message of the picture through light and colour (The Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci is a vivid example). Rembrandt in his portraits uses the dark background to accent by light the most expressive parts of man, his face and hands. They seem to project themselves from the darkness that might at any moment engulf the person. Such colouristic composition comes from Rembrandt's deep brooding over the human condition.
The Renaissance discovered the laws of perspective and even, more broadly, the free handling of space. The ideas of the perspective were developed by Brunelleschi and Alberti who taught their pupils to organize the space in a painting like a truncated pyramid of rays coming from the object to our eye. The mastery of space is expressed not only in perspective (for example, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper) but also in "dematerialized" space. In Sistine Madonna Raphael portrays a woman who steps on rubble without looking under her feet. The spatial dematerialization effect is achieved by shifting perspective: two angels facing the spectator are in the foreground in front of the madonna but they look up at her. By all the laws of perspective they cannot be looking at the madonna because she is behind them, but they are living in a dematerialized space and are witnessing a miracle, the appearance of a woman bringing God in her hands, so the impossible is possible.
The 19th century saw a deepening and final division of painting and drawing. Drawing dealt in linear relations. In reproducing the form of objects, it conveys their lighting, the relationship between light and shade, etc. Painting records the real relationships between the colours of the world, it is in colour and through colour that it expresses the essence of objects, their aesthetic value and assesses then social significance and their harmony or disharmony with the surrounding world. The fundamental difference from drawing is readily apparent in impressionist painting. It conveys nothing outside colour, all the linear elements being secondary. Not the outline but the colour relationships between the objects portrayed become the vehicles of the aesthetic message of the paintings. Painting becomes independent of drawing which used to be its main aim. Painting moves towards music and away from literature. Painting has mastered light, it portrays the colour of light and half-light, mist, air, shadow and semi-shadow. The paintings of Claude Monet showing London fogs capture the finest shifts of colour. The very composition in painting becomes colouristic (for example, the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec). In modern painting, according to Picasso, every stroke of the brush has become a precise operation, like the movements of a watchmaker.
For instance, if you paint the beard of a character and the beard is red, the red colour makes you rearrange everything in the ensemble, repaint everything around – it is like a chain reaction. In the 20th century the character of painting changed sharply. The artist's view of the world was influenced by the advent of photography and cinema, the development of technology, the breadth and profusion of impressions and the deepening of the intellectual and psychological world of man. That brings the desire to portray the object in a cinematic way, as if seen from different and moving points of view. The advent of photography and colour photography confronted the artist with new challenges. To simply record an object for memory is something far better done by photography. In the 20th century the subjective element in painting becomes more important and this means the significance of personal vision and individual perception of life (think of March Snow by Grabar).


Auguste Rodin, portraying the hand of God, made it the hand of a sculptor kneading clay. The sculptor's work indeed brings associations with the legends about the creation of the world. Sculpture is a spatial-visual art interpreting the world in plastic images in materials capable of conveying the real-life look of phenomena. Sculpture is cut from marble, granite and other stone, from wood, or moulded from clay. Soft materials are considered to be temporary and it is understood that later on they will be cast in more durable iron or bronze. Modern times have seen the introduction of many new materials suitable for sculpture such as steel, concrete, plastics, etc.
Man is the main though not the only object of sculpture. Animalists sculpt figures of animals. A round sculpture may recreate only details of the environment. Such sculptures as bas-relief and haut-relief have much in common with painting and drawing, and landscape is within their range.
Sculpture always conveys movement. Even complete rest is treated in sculpture as inner movement, as a state that has duration in both space and time. A sculpture of a dead body conveys hidden movement as final peace or the last throes frozen forever. Such is the portrayal of the dead Christ on the lap of the Virgin in Michelangelo's sculpture Pietà. Movement slumbers in the body of God-son drooping from the mother's lap and at the same time seeming to resist that lifeless drooping.
The sculptor can portray only one moment of action, but it carries the imprint of everything that has preceded it and will follow. That lends sculpture dynamic expressiveness. The sculpture is always perceived in time and in a sequence. That helps to portray movement and the sculptor takes advantage of it in the composition. The round view, change of position and angle of vision reveal various sides to the three-dimensional figure. Thus, the dying slave in Michelangelo's work is trying to rise, and the viewer is ready to believe that he will succeed, but that impression is dispelled when one looks at the sculpture from a different angle and sees the listless sinking torso. Another change of angle revives hope. So the slave, doomed to death, tries for ages to rise, but falls again and again.
Monumentality is an organic part of sculpture that ensures its synthesis with architecture. A characteristic example of an ensemble of sculpture and architecture is the Medici tomb in Florence created by Michelangelo. The ensemble includes the figures Morning and Evening.
A male figure symbolizes evening. The man half reclines on one arm, the other arm resting listlessly on his thigh, the right foot is slipping and the head is drooping on the left shoulder. The half-lying female figure depicting morning is lifting herself up on an arm like a person stretching after sleep. The two legs of the still sleepy figure already rest firmly on the bed. A person falling asleep and a person awakening – this is the direct plastic meaning of the figures. But they have a wider implication. It is the awakening and slumbering of the human spirit, its sinking into eternal sleep, dying and rebirth. The generalized, richly symbolic images of Michelangelo represent not only the times of day but the periods of human life and the states of mankind. Sculpture is by its nature capable of broad generalizations. Pushkin noted that painting a sculpture would make it less striking than a monochromatic one by robbing it of its generalized meaning.
The expressive means on which sculpture relies are light and shade. The planes and surfaces of a sculpted figure, by reflecting light and casting shadows, create a play of forms in space exerting a profound aesthetic impact on the spectator. While a bronze sculpture allows of sharp contrasts between light and shade, translucent marble makes it possible to convey the fine play of light and shade. The ancient artists made every skilful use of that quality of marble. The tender rosy and slightly translucent marble in the Venus of Milo conveys the tenderness and resilience of female flesh with amazing skill.
Sculpture is one of the oldest arts. Its early monuments go back to the Paleolithic age. In Ancient Egypt sculpture was closely linked with the cult of the dead. The religious belief that the soul is alive as long as a person's image is preserved led artists to make sculptures from various durable materials (cedar of Lebanon, granite, red porphyry and basalt). Ancient Egyptian sculpture is monumental and prefers simple and static figures. Sculpture reached a high point in Ancient Greece. It is not by chance that Hegel associated the classical (antique) period of art with sculpture. Antique sculpture invariably conveys a sense of inner freedom. The hero is unselfconscious and always keeps his dignity, even suffering does not distort his facial features and does not violate the harmony of the image (for example, Laocoon).
The Middle Ages saw the development of monumental sculptural forms in synthesis with architecture. Gothic sculpture combined naturalistic detail with ornamentation and dynamism expressive of the intense life of the spirit. These are also illusory-phantasmagoric, allegorical images (as the chimeras in the Notre-Dame de Paris). The Renaissance sculptors created a gallery of highly individual sculptures of strong-willed, energetic and active people.
Baroque sculpture (17th century) was pompous and ceremonial, full of the picturesque play of light and shade and riotous, unbridled, swirling masses. The sculpture of classicism, by contrast, was rationalistic, calm, dignified, marked by noble simplicity. In the 18th century sculpture developed an interest in the socio-psychological characteristics of man. In the 19th century realistic forms of sculpture became established and flourished. Sculptors created multifaceted portraits of people. The images acquired historical concreteness and psychological characteristics.
In the 20th century, while maintaining the realistic tradition, sculptors have striven towards a more generalized, sometimes symbolic approach. Sculpture is evolving, but not towards a more accurate depiction of the human body (one cannot do better than the ancient Greeks). The psychological content of the portrayals deepens and their expression of the spiritual life of historical epochs broadens.


Literature aesthetically masters the world through artistic use of language. Its subject has tended to gradually but steadily expand. Today it concerns itself with natural and social phenomena, dramatic social upheavals and popular movements, the spiritual world of the individual and his feelings. Depending on its genres, literature addresses this material through dramatic perception of reality, an epic narrative of events, or lyrical confession.
Hegel noted the unique capacity of literature to involve both thoughts and the external forms of phenomena and thus encompass both exalted philosophy and natural being.
To exercise their impact, the performing arts (music, choreography, theatre) need an artist to convey the images of the creator to the audience. The non-performing arts (sculpture, painting) do not need a creative intermediary between author and audience. In the beginning literature was a performing art as it only existed in its oral form. With the appearance of the written word its performative forms continued (folklore) but the mainstream of literature became non-performative.
Literature is historically changeable. That proposition is often understood to mean the change of the life, philosophies and ideas of its authors, as the emergence of new artistic means, methods and forms. But that is not all. The very nature of literature is a historical phenomenon, all the elements and components of a literary work and the literary process, all the features of literature are constantly changing. Literature is a living artistic system reacting sensitively to changes in life.
The development of literature is the interaction of stability and change, continuity and innovation. The very historical changeability of literature presupposes a "conservative" element. Changes in literature do not destroy its nature nor lead to it being replaced by philosophy, as Hegel predicted. There are eternal elements inherent in the very nature of literature. For example, a person's life in the midst of the people and the life of a people in the world, i.e. man and society in their interaction, are an eternal theme and object of literature. A constant ideal of genuine literature is the happiness of people, the development of society not contrary to or at the expense of the individual but through the individual. And image and beauty are its eternal form.
The word is the eternal building material of the literary image. The word inherently includes image as its element. Language created by the people draws on the whole of its experience to become a form of thought. The historical process of the evolution of language involving transfer of similar features from one phenomenon to another has lent it an associative vision of the world and equipped it for the artistic portrayal of reality.
Hegel described the word as the most pliable material that directly belongs to the human spirit. In the literary work the word is flexible, mobile, changeable and definite in its meaning. Many legends celebrate the power of the poetic word. A Greek myth has it that the bards Orpheus and Amphion tamed wild beasts and moved trees and stones with their songs. Trees followed Orpheus to the desert to become groves. And Amphion made stones build themselves into city walls by his songs.
The flexibility and infinite expressive opportunities of the word place the artistic content of any art within the range of literature. The images of other arts can be translated into the language of literature. Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace creates an almost visual choreographic image when describing the dance of Natasha Rostova, and Victor Hugo in Notre-Dame de Paris reproduces an architectural image.
Literary works sometimes approximate to scientific treatises in verbal form. For example, memoirs of the scope of Herzen's My Past and Thoughts are on the borderline between literature, history and philosophy and contain a philosophy of history. But while a scientific idea can be paraphrased, a literary thought can only be accurately expressed in certain words arranged in a certain sequence. Individual sciences isolate one aspect of the object or phenomenon.
Unlike science fiction literature takes the phenomenon in its entirety, in the real intertwining of its various qualities and features. So, unlike science, every sentence in a fictional work is the only one possible, as it were, and nothing can be changed in it without damage to the expressiveness and message of the work. Literary images reflect phenomena in a fused way, and the finest shades of speech may be all-important. This quality of the literary image accounts for the difficulty of translating literary fiction from one language into another. The verbal form of literature enables it to express not only aesthetic but also socio-political ideas, and to establish intimate links with philosophy, politics, morality and other forms of social consciousness. Literature occupies the leading position in the arts and exerts an essential influence on their evolution.


Theatre is an art that presents the world aesthetically through dramatic action performed by actors before spectators. The basis of theatre is dramaturgy. At the same time it includes painting, sculpture, sometimes architecture (in the sets), and sometimes cinema, music and dance. The synthetic nature of theatrical art makes it a collective art involving the efforts of the playwright, director, set designer, composer and actor.
In the early stages of theatre the dramatist and the performer were often the same person. Subsequently however the ensemble became the main principle of the play. The director assumed the dominant position in the group creating a play. He not only directed the actors but interpreted the dramatist's conception, translated the play into a stage performance and directed its whole course.
The "building material" of the theatre is the living person of the actor. It is through the actor that the playwright and the director realize their conceptions. He involves and confers theatricality on every object on the stage. One can reproduce with absolute accuracy the interior of a room, a landscape, a city street but all the decor would remain a sham unless the actor brings it to life by the truth of his stage behaviour. Indeed, the most perfunctory indications of the environment (which need to be no more than tablets with the words "garden", "steppe" or "palace", as in the Shakespearian theatre) will work if the actor has succeeded in identifying himself with a person in a corresponding setting. The actor's craft demands a specific kind of talent – observation, concentration, a skill in selecting and generalizing life material, imagination, memory, temperament and such expressive tools as good enunciation, intonational range, mime, plastic movement and gestures, etc.
An important feature of the theatre is that the creative act (the creation of the image by the actor) takes place before the eyes of the spectators. That gives the theatre tremendous influence on the minds of the audience. In the cinema the spectator sees the result of the creative process while in the theatre he sees the process itself. This goes a long way to explain the fascination of the theatre. The actor alters every performance of the same role in keeping with his observations on life, his reflections and the reaction of the audience to his previous performances. At the same time the theatre has a smaller audience than the cinema because it cannot multiply its plays in hundreds of copies. A filmed play loses a great deal, particularly contact between actor and audience, the creative act before the audience.
The theatre goes back into deep antiquity. Its key elements were already present in primitive rituals, totemic dances, the imitation of the ways of animals, etc. Theatrical rituals often involved special costumes, masks, tattooing and painting of the body. In the antique world the theatre had a large audience, sometimes as many as fifteen thousand people. The performance in ancient plays unfolded against a natural backgroud remaining, as it were, part of life. That lent a natural and immediate character to ancient theatre.
In the Middle Ages the theatre evolved in two forms: the popular and the official-religious. The latter originated from the liturgical drama performed as part of the church service. In the 13th and 14th centuries there appear church genres independent of church service such as mystery and miracle plays in which popular motives and ideas had some place. The democratic line in the development of the theatre was represented by the independent art of the people pursued by troupes of itinerant actors. The 15th century saw the rise of the most democratic genre of the medieval theatre, farce, which wittily reproduced period life and mores.
The Renaissance saw the appearance of popular forms of theatrical art permeated with the spirit of humanism (the Italian comedy of masks), and the theatre was invested with deep philosophical content. It made comments on the state of the world (Shakespeare) and provided a weapon in the acute social struggle (Lope de Vega). The Classical theatre (17th century) was based on the prescriptive aesthetics of Boileau and rationalistic philosophy (Descartes). It had the benefit of great tragedies (Racine, Corneille) and comedies (Moliere) which sought to create ideal heroes and ridicule human vices. The actor portrayed the human traits of the characters without regard for concrete historical or national features.
In the 18th century Enlightenment ideas (Diderot, Lessing) penetrated art, and theatre became a vehicle for the social struggle of the third estate against feudalism. Actors tried to portray the social position of their characters; the theatre acquired realistic features. In the 19th century the theatre became more democratic and popular forms developed. There appeared theatres for the populace: the "boulevarde" (Paris) and "small" (New York), and the theatres of the suburbs (Vienna). In the first half of the 19th century the romantic theatre became widespread. It was marked by emotionalism, lyricism, a rebellious spirit and sharply delineated characters. In the 1830s critical realism became the prevalent trend on the basis of the plays of Gogol, Ostrovsky, Chekhov, Ibsen, Shaw. The theatre acquired distinctly national features. The Russian stage art of the 19th century was a realistic theatre raising acute social problems, critical of reality to the point of satirical exposure, a theatre of types and psychological analysis of the personality.
The Soviet theatre was heir to the realistic traditions of the classical art. It enriched them with new forms of stage thinking by producing a brilliant galaxy of actors and directors.
Stanislavsky contributed much to the development of stage art. His system offered a pattern of stage behaviour that led to the actor identifying himself with the character totally. By contrast, Meyerhold and Vakhtangov advanced the principle of "alienation" of the actor from his role, the performer and the character did not merge but remained at a distance from one another so that the actor could express his attitude to the character he was playing. Vakhtangov's production of Princess Turandot broke new ground by allowing the actor alternately to merge with the character and to distance himself from it.
Important new developments in the theatre were associated with the names of Pogodin, Lavrenev and Vishnevsky who introduced elements of cinematic thinking in the stage art (rapid succession of episodes, headlong rush of action, mass scenes reflecting the role of the people in the historical process, etc.).
The art of representation and the art of impersonation are the two principles of stage acting. The former is, today, primarily associated with intellectual theatre and the latter with domestic drama and, most important, the psychological theatre. Pushkin saw the main feature of the psychological theatre in the truth of passion, and the authenticity of feelings in the circumstances offered.
There exist different types of rockets: air to air, ground to air, air to ground. In these names the first word denotes where the flight begins and the second its direction. In the same way, one could denote different types of theatre as feeling – feeling (the plays of Blok), feeling-thought (the drama of Chekhov and Stanislavsky's directorial principles), thought – thought (the principles of Brecht's epic drama) and thought – feeling (the plays of Albert Camus).
In Chekhov's drama, which has its classic analogue in the Stanislavsky system, action evokes feeling, and feeling provokes thought. The feeling experienced by the actor must be vivid and emotionally infect the spectator, it must evoke an echo in his heart, awaken "similar affections", to use Aristotle's words. The spectator must feel in a way similar to the way the actor feels (empathy). Directing the spectator's emotions in a certain way, the theatre directs his thought.
Brecht's epic theatre is built on the rationalistic principles of the enlightenment theatre of Diderot as set out in his Paradox of the Actor. To Diderot, the actor is a great pretender who sheds tears not with the help of feeling but by an effort of the mind. He must be a cold and calm vehicle of the dramatist's thought. Thought guides everything, including the feelings.
In his poem about the "Quotidian Theatre" addressed to actors, Brecht thus set out the principles of acting in epic theatre:

...The imitator
Never completely dissolves himself in what he imitates. He never
Quite transforms himself into him whom he imitates. Always
He remains a demonstrator and not an embodiment. The person
being embodied
Has not fused with him – he, the imitator,
Shares neither his feelings,
Nor his views. He knows
But little about him. In his imitation
No third thing appears, consisting, as it were, of him and
Another and yet another – a third with
A single heart and
A single brain.
Keeping all his feelings to himself,
He stands before you imitating and demonstrating to you
a person alien to him.

The epic theatre, Brecht noted, makes the spectator take decisions, confront him with the event, makes him study, and appeals to reason.
Paradoxically, the cinema brought back theatre to the theatre by closing the road to naturalistic imitation of reality, the photographic decor and stage behaviour. The theatre cannot rival the cinema in the authenticity of reproduction and so creative search on the stage must turn in a different direction, namely, intellectual analysis of life, philosophical reflection over the state of the world, and profound generalization about human nature.


Music appeared at the lower stages of social development when its role was primarily utilitarian: a tune was suggested by the rhythm of work movements facilitating them and helping to make work more productive; rhythm united people in a single process. Music consolidates and develops the function of sound communication through human speech.
At first music developed in close association with literature. A poetic work was intoned with melody, it was sung. Music formed a similar synthesis with dance.
The art of music creates a special kind of sound that is not to be found in nature and outside music. Where do these sounds come from? Dubos noted that just like a painter imitates the forms and colours of nature so the musician imitates the sounds, intonations, sighs, modulations of the voice, in short all the sounds with the help of which nature expresses feelings and passions. Herbert Spencer also asserts that music originates from passionate, excited speech. The musical sound is of a kind with intonation. The voice was the first musical instrument. The basis of music is rhythm and harmony which blend to produce a melody. The first musical generalization of speech intonation was accomplished in folk tunes which were created and polished over centuries. The intonations of human speech that lie at the basis of the musical image are always emotionally charged. This leaves an imprint on the art of music, which talks to its audience in the "direct language of the soul", stirs the feelings of joy, sorrow, grief and the whole range of emotions and their shades. The musical image is woven of human feelings.
Music also includes onomatopoeia and representational elements, but neither is its inherent feature. The musical image lacks the visual impact of painting and the concrete sense of the word. It does not convey precise concepts nor does it create visually tangible pictures or recount events. Music not so much portrays the world of objects as reflects human feelings and thoughts. And thought, as Asafiev stressed, becomes intonational in order to be expressible in sound. Music is inherently dynamic. It consists not only of a special kind of sounds but also of the movement of these sounds, their flow in time expressing the whole gamut of human emotions. It is "the poetry of Sound" (L. Stokowski).
Music expresses the essential processes of life through its sound images. The music of Beethoven carries the echoes of fierce battles, grand campaigns and victories, the intonations and rhythms of revolutionary marches. This is true of the finale of his Fifth Symphony. Romain Rolland described this music as an epic of glory, the music of battles and grandiose triumphs.
Music, being the most complex type of art, whose images do not have a pronounced representational function, provided the basis for intuitivist aesthetic conceptions. Rationalism (Leibnitz) defined music as the hidden arithmetical exercise of the mind. Schopenhauer considered music to be a secret metaphysical exercise of the soul about which it cannot philosophize, an immediate image of the blind, unconscious and ubiquitous will. According to Schopenhauer, music has nothing to do with the cognition of the visual world because it is independent of it and could exist even if the world did not exist, which cannot be said of other arts. Spengler, on the contrary, considered music to be the supreme form of human cognition. However, neither the exaggeration nor the denial of music's cognitive potential, neither rationalistic nor intuitivist conceptions can fully reveal its nature. Emotional experience and the idea imbued with feeling expressed through a special kind of sound based on the intonations of human speech – such is the nature of music.
The key elements and expressive means of the musical idiom are the melodic-intonation structure, composition, harmony, orchestration, rhythm, timbre and dynamics.
Music is akin to architecture in that both depend heavily on rhythm and have a form of images remote from life, both are far removed from the concrete life material which enters the image in a "resolved" shape, and finally, both have particular potential for reflecting not individual aspects or incidentals of life, but its core, its spirit.


Dance is an echo of music, a melodious and rhythmic sound translated into melodious and rhythmic movement of the human body revealing the characters of people, their feelings and thoughts about the world. The choreographic image arises from musically rhythmical expressive movements sometimes supplemented with pantomime, special costume, and military, domestic and work objects (weapons, kerchiefs, kitchen utensils, etc.)
A person's emotional state is expressed not only in the voice, but also in gesticulation and the movement. Even a person's gait can be brisk, joyful or sad. A person's movements in daily life and at work are always emotionally intoned, expressive and follow a certain rhythm. The dance has for centuries polished and generalized these expressive movements to produce a whole choreographic system, its own artistic language whose medium is the moving human body. The dance is national, for it gives general expression to national character.
Like music, dance was initially a creative and a performative art at the same time (the author was also the performer). As these arts became more complicated, the composer (choreographer) became separated from the performer (musician and dancer).
Noverre, the founder of the ballet theatre, wrote that our inborn love of music leads to love of dance. The two arts are inseparable brothers. The gentle and harmonious intonations of one cause the pleasant and expressive movements of the other and between them they present enticing pictures to the eye and the ear. The harmonious merger of the arts conquers the viewer and makes him experience the most exquisite of delights.
Dance appeared far back in antiquity, in primitive society, as the artistic representation of hunting and work processes. In primitive society the dance brought people together. For example, Australian tribes marked by dance any important social occasion that involved collective action, the gathering of fruits, the beginning of a hunt, initiation of youths and a war march.
In Ancient India a number of styles and schools of dance were evolved featuring different facial expressions and movements. In Ancient Egypt the dance was part of the religious ritual. With the ancient Greeks, too, the dance was part of religious worship (extatic dances to honour Dionysus and flowing and solemn dances to honour Appolo). There were also Pyrrhic (military) and athletic dances which served the purpose of harmonious developing the youth. In Ancient Rome the dance had state and national significance; the elite also had entertainment (including erotic) dances.
In the Middle Ages the art of choreography was officially persecuted but the popular dance continued to develop. During the Renaissance period dance again became popular. In the 16th century there appeared new forms of dance: pavane and courante (slow) and galard and volte (quick). The French Royal Dance Academy set up in 1661 developed a classic system of choreography which played an important role in the development of the ballet. In the late 17th century ballroom dances – gavotte, polonnaise and minuet – became widespread in Europe. The French Enlightenment (Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot) opposed the aristocracy and absolutism and criticized the court ballet associated with them on account of its decorousness, and the cult of thoughtless entertainment, frivolity and cliches. In the 18th century the dance acquired a more developed dramatic and narrative emotional basis which contributed to the emergence of ballet.
In Russia the first ballet performance "Orpheus and Eurydice" was staged in 1673.
The music of Tchaikovsky, the work of the choreographers Didelot and Petipa, the art of Istomina and Pavlova were milestones in the evolution of the original school of Russian ballet.
Soviet ballet has continued the brilliant traditions of the past in Ulanova, Plisetskaya, Chabukiani and others. At the same time folk dance flourished in folk ensembles (such as Beryozka, Rero, etc.).


On January 7, 1839 Louis Daguerre gave the first public demonstration before French scientists and artists of the images he had obtained on silver plates. They were miniature photographs of the Louvre, a tower of Notre Dame, the embankment of the Seine and a corner in an artist's studio. He had discovered a method of writing with light, i.e. reproducing objects by the use of the laws of optics and chemistry. The artist Daguerre and Niepce, the inventor ofheliography, claim the credit for originating photography. Immediately there arose the problem of the relationship between photography and art. Photography has become a kind of art with its own distinctive features.
Photography is capable of carrying out the dream of Goethe's Faust for which he had sold his soul to Mephistopheles: "Stand still, the instant, you are beautiful". Photography records a fact of life in perpetuity.
The specific feature of photography as an art lies in its images having documentary significance, which is the most valuable feature of photography.
Photography offers an artistically expressive and authentic frozen image of an essential instant of reality.
In photography, life is transferred with the minimum of processing from the sphere of reality into the sphere of art. At the same time, with the development of the technique and craftsmanship of photography it became possible for the artist to express his attitude to the object through the choice of angle, the distribution of light and shadows, the conveyance of a kind of "photographic pleine aire", i.e. the air and the reflections cast by objects, and through apt timing of the shots. Photography has now tamed colour and is poised for a breakthrough into a three-dimensional, holographic world.


Cinema is the child of the 20th century. Its appearance was made possible by the achievements of science and technology, notably in the field of optics, chemistry, electro- and photo-technique, the physiology of eyesight (the discovery of the capacity of the retina to store a visual impression for a tenth of a second), etc. However, the birth of the cinema cannot be attributed solely to technical and scientific advances. Cinema came into being to fill a vital need. Its emergence was stimulated by the social features of modern times, the broad scope of popular movements, the involvement of millions in the conscious making of history, the overall increase in the pace of life, the expansion of mutual dependence between different processes (the rapid shift of action in geographical space; the connection between events in different parts of the globe; the interaction of man with various spheres of reality).
The cinema finds its prerequisites in the achievements of the traditional arts. The modern novel (Balzac, Stendhal, Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky) combines observation of the minute details of life with a broad epic coverage of reality, isolates the close-up and the "long shot" and is essentially a "montage" of pieces of narrative. The broad implications of Ibsen's and Chekhov's plays, the improvement of stage technique, notably Stanislavsky's discovery of the link between a person's physical action and inner state – all this determined the expressive means of the cinema. Painting and drawing too contributed to preparing the ground for cinema. Painting discovered different planes of portraying reality, used the close-up, emphasized telling details. It tried to portray visually the movement of the people's masses (Surikov, Repin), the characteristic movements of different professions (Degas), the interpenetration of light and shadow (Renoir, Monet). Drawing develops the picture story in which events unfold in time (that trend is manifested in the work of Herluf Bidstrup, the Danish cartoonist, but its sources go further back).
There is no hierarchy of the arts. The cinema surpasses theatre, literature and painting in the creation of moving visual images capable of covering contemporary life in all its aesthetic significance and originality. The cinema conveys the dynamics of the present time; using time as an expressive means it is capable of representing a rapid succession of events in their inner logic. But cinema does not have some of the important advantages of other arts. Thus, the direct contact between actor and audience is the strong side of the theatre, and the capacity to "make the instant stand still" and make a documentary record of an essential event that can be studied at length is the advantage of photography.
Cinema is by nature a synthetic art: a film includes literature (the script and song lyrics), painting (animated cartoon, sets in ordinary film and, most important, the experience of the visual arts), and theatre (the actors' performance). The introduction of sound and space (three-dimensional cinema), without changing the nature of film, enriched it with the spoken word and music. Music ceased to be the accompaniment and addition to visual impressions and became an element in the creation of a single audio-visual image.
The cinema draws directly on the opportunities made available by technology. The features of the cinema are apt to change with the discovery of new technical and artistic means. At first the cinema was Le Grand Muet (the Great Mute). Then technology (the invention of photo elements) made possible simultaneous recording of sound and sight. True, at first the cinema had some difficulty coming to terms with sound. When the first sound films appeared in 1928 Charlie Chaplin declared that he would not make sound pictures. He wrote an article about talking films entitled "The Suicide of Cinema". City Lights and Modern Times were shot as silent films. Chaplin feared that sound would open the floodgates to tasteless theatricality and the specific nature of cinema would be lost. However, the crisis of transition to the sound cinema was overcome by making sound an artistic means.
From the Great Mute to sound cinema, from sound to colour, and then the three-dimensional image, stereo sound, the wide screen, and cinerama – these were the turning points at which the cinema expanded its artistic range.
Characteristic of the cinema is visual rather than verbal action. That is why the film script is in many ways closer not to drama but to narrative (story, novel). The script writer, unlike the dramatist, is free of the many restrictions of the stage. Cinema can portray any event or phenomenon, no matter how large or small, no matter how great its size in space and time. In the cinema the whole world is the stage, and action shifts freely in time and space.
The cinema is truly international. Various nations have contributed to its technical and artistic evolution. After the artistic discoveries made by Sergei Eisenstein in The Battleship 'Potyomkin' montage has been referred to all over the world as "Russian montage". Griffith, the American film director, claimed the credit for pioneering the close-up.
The artistic arsenal of the cinema is vast and diverse. It includes montage, varying distance between the spectator and the spectacle (the close-up, the medium and the long shots), change of angle of vision, etc. The elementary "unit" of the cinema is the frame. It records the object of the artist's attention. In the frame the emphasis is not on how the artist sees the world but on what he sees.Montage, on the contrary, is concerned with the quality and character of the vision of the object, helping to accent the main features. Montage reveals the inner link between frames and conveys the rhythm of the movement of life and the inner state of the hero.
The cinematic image has a time dimension to it, it has tempo and rhythm determined not only by the actor's behaviour but also by montage which brings out the emotional content of the episode. "Slow" montage is capable of conveying the impression of calm observation and revealing smooth and uninterrupted flow of events. "Rapid" montage conveys a nervous tautness in the observer and turbulent development of events. In the hands of a master artist the camera is able not only to record but creatively interpret pictures of life. One may recall the poignant scene of the death of Boris in The Cranes Are Flying directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. The whirling tops of birch-trees on the screen reflect the impressions of a mortally wounded soldier and assert the beauty of life with which he is parting. The movements of the camera and angles of shooting can vary infinitely, which accounts for the rich artistic opportunities of the cinema.
Modern cinema is mastering the highest achievements of the other arts, such as the Stanislavsky system, the method of psychological analysis and intellectualism. It has made photogenic the very human thought and the inner world of man. The cinema is an inseparable part of the treasure-trove of world civilization. The summits of cinema match the summits of world literature, painting and sculpture. The cinema has an inexhaustible potential for further evolution.


How does one define television? What is it? Cinema at home? Spectacle? A kind of journalism? A new type of art? Is it a new technological gadget or a breakthrough in aesthetics? Television is not only a means of mass video information, but a new type of art capable of conveying aesthetically treated impressions at a distance. Television today has a larger audience than the cinema. There are thousands of transmitting and relay stations in the world. That seems to be changing even the cosmic nature of our planet by making its radio characteristics similar to giant stars. No other religion can bring together such a vast number of unlike-thinking worshippers as television.
As a means of video information television has great social value. Its frontiers are expanding. Already one can transmit TV programmes from the ground, from underground, from under water, from the air and even from outer space. The TV eye can see what the human eye is unable to see. "Better see once than hear a hundred times". This old proverb provides an unexpected comment on the advantages of television over radio and a partial answer to the question why television has acquired its own artistic and expressive means.
What are these means? The TV screen is illuminated from within and so has a somewhat different texture and lighting and composition laws than the cinema screen. Light is the most powerful expressive means on television. Television's expressive potential is greatly enhanced by angle, montage, the movement of camera and close-ups. It characteristically combines smooth, "hidden" montage with abrupt breaks and shifts to another object of attention.
Television for all its photographic and documentary nature, its closeness to the object has a great potential for selecting and interpreting reality. At the same time it carries the danger of standardizing men's thinking. "Mass consumption" of the same intellectual products, if their quality is inferior, may cause cliches in public consciousness. In television, the aesthetic aspect and artistic level of programmes is particularly important.
The fact that television is part of the domestic setting makes it akin to applied art. It is an art that has entered our home and has become part of our everyday life.
At the dawn of television Eisenstein predicted a new quality of the actor in this type of art.
An ideal presenter of a television programme is a lively, "unprogrammed" and "unrehearsed" person, a host of the programme who creates a talk in front of the viewers, is able to tactfully involve those present in an informal conversation and draw them out of their shells. To be sure, spontaneity in art is usually achieved by hard work and effort. But no matter how much effort has gone into good poetry it always flows easily and naturally from the poet's soul. The same ought to be true of a TV programme. Everyone who appears on the TV screen involuntarily becomes, not only a person who has a certain occupation in life but a living image, a character in artistic reportage in a new type of art.
Television requires a special kind of talent. A TV personality must combine the qualities of an actor, journalist and director, charm and erudition, facility in communicating with people, instant reaction, resourcefulness, wit, improvisation skill and a civic commitment and passion. So far, unfortunately, not all the professional media men appearing on television meet these standards.
An important aesthetic feature of television is that it shows a "here-and-now" event, a direct on-the-spot report and involves the viewer in the stream of history which is happening today and which can be the subject of newsreels only tomorrow and of literature, theatre and art the day after tomorrow. So far live reporting has usually been confined to such occasions as big football games, figure-skating competitions, meetings of cosmonauts, parades, etc. But history is made not only on festive days. It is extremely valuable to "peep" at the natural flow of life through the eyes of a television camera and an intelligent and resourceful commentator capable of vivid improvisation. There are great possibilities in the hidden camera observing the flow of life on a crowded street corner, in a shop, office, factory or port.
In a TV report screen time is equal to real time. When television resorts to newsreel format, it must preserve the sense of immediacy, of the viewer being present at the event.
The following account of a successful programme on Central TV pinpointed an important distinguishing feature of television as a ganre. It all started when a TV studio received a letter from a Ukrainian woman who was looking for the grave of her son who had died during the Second World War. After much search it was established that the soldier died in the battle for a small Czech town and was buried there. It turned out that the inhabitants of the town remembered the hero, honoured his memory and named one of the Young Pioneer units after him. The head of that unit was a young girl who has lost her parents during the war. When the soldier's mother learnt about it she adopted her without ever having seen her. Moscow cinema and television reporters asked the mother if she would appear on TV and speak to her adopted daughter. The scene was filmed. Czechoslovak television did the same on its side. Then the films were exchanged and on a fixed day and hour mother and daughter were invited to television studios in Prague and Moscow.
The mother was shown a film about her daughter and the daughter a film about her mother. They were then able to speak to each other, over the telephone. It was an emotional conversation of people who had just seen each other on the screen and had heard each other's voice for the first time. All this was telecast simultaneously by Prague and Moscow television. It was an unusually moving programme for it showed real characters and feelings of people that spilled out under unusual circumstances. The secret of the programme's success was a new peculiarly television method: the search for a situation in which human characters, feelings and thoughts express themselves naturally. In television the "unconditional authenticity " of what is being portrayed is crucial.
Television can include the whole world within our field of vision. It may make the viewer think in terms of the whole nation, the whole mankind and reflect over the destinies of the world. It is capable of analysing the state of the world and revealing it in vivid and tangible images. Television must have this philosophical element if it is to produce its own classics, something without which no art can exist.
Television is a powerful information medium which may carry artistic content as well. Television is wonderful for relaying major events in the artistic world.
It can also be a great teacher. The subject of television art is the whole world. The adolescent muse is growing up, getting its own voice, its vision of life, its attitude to things and its poetics.

1 Romain Rolland, Jean Christoph, Edition Albin Michel, Paris, 1954, p. 266.
2 Georg Wilhelm Hegel, Ästhetik, Band II, pp. 226-27.