Art with a Capital A?

After the collapse of the artistic principles and techniques of the Renaissance in the early twentieth-century, artists inspired by Raphael—most notably the nineteenth-century Academics–were condemned by the Modernist art establishment and disparagingly written out of history. Not only were hundreds of artists purposely ignored, but also 600 years of accumulated artistic knowledge was jettisoned.
~ Lee Sandstead

The way the arts are currently socially perceived is quite young.

The need for those immersed in the high-arts to differentiate an illustration from an artwork was not necessary until the artist (as opposed to the illustrator) suddenly found it necessary to give himself a purpose. The camera and other technology is largely at fault in having taken work from some of history’s lesser draftsmen, leaving soulful artists with no career path on which to walk.

The artist is well-known for having an unquenchable desire to create and/or express. Whether the results of this desire are interesting, with merit or pleasing is beside the point. The desire to be an artist is like some women’s desire to have children. It is packed with emotion and drive; there is no stopping it.

Those of us who have this desire at heart do not have to have this explained to them. Those who do not harbor this need will never understand and are completely incapable of any kind of sympathy (empathy, yes). This is not a deficiency on their part, however; any kind of close-mindedness towards art is a deficiency riddled in assumption, and tainted by arrogant tendencies enacted by a large portion of artist spokesmen over the past few hundred years.

Or, could it have been public sensation that caused the need to differentiate between the artist-as-worker and artist-as-genius?

Could we find that the fault lay heaviest upon the shoulders of the Dadaists who, innocently enough, tried to wake the bourgeoisie into self-realization only to call too much attention (and place too much importance) on their art work? Or does the fault lay on the art historians for impressing upon us the glory and celebrity of the Renaissance artists?

Whatever the source or fault, the current face of the arts is quite pallid because of a collective knowledge has been largely dropped.

What is this knowledge?

Why has it been dropped?

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