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Am Rande der Kunst

Arabeske, Ornament und die Heteronomie der Ästhetik Goethes

Mattias Pirholt

Pages 149 - 163

This article argues that the marginal aesthetic phenomenon of arabesque and ornament played a central role in Goethe’s aesthetic thinking since the classical age. As a point of transition, the arabesque establishes a functional link between the world and the work, which enables the leap from the world into art and which promotes the experience of art in a higher sense. The aesthetic economy of the arabesque, which through saving forms the backdrop against which the lavishness of the work of art appears, points to an implicit idea of aesthetic heteronomy in Goethe’s theory of art, a heteronomy that shows the true physical, social, and historical context of the work.


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