Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972

GENERAL (UNIVERSAL) STUDY OF ART

Demchenko A.
Centuries-old tradition of science linked to an artistic culture has almost always been orientated to separate perception of each of the branches of art study (the main of them are philology, study of art as a science of figurative art and architecture, musicology, drama study, and, from the beginning of XX century – study of the film as well). More and more often the efforts to create a research of adjacent areas of the study of art have been carries out recently. Thus an approach to forming of general (universal) study of art as a science can be observed. This science is aimed for comprehensive coverage of numerous major facts, names, events and trends of words art culture. This metascience must and can developed on the basis of enormous funds of various observations and generalizations that have been collected within different areas of separate branches of the study of art. And this development can only be performed in one direction that is based on complex artistic researches and integrate comprehension of previous experience that is evinced in integral and system approach to the analysed material. The formation of universal study of art is correspondent to processes of globalization of human mind which is becoming more and more actual. These processes have been dictated by the historical situation that had completely formed by the beginning of the third millennium: unproductiveness and impossibility of any kind of national reticence, growing interaction of all happening in modern world. In parallel with that a prospect of going out of limits of special scientific discipline to horizons of valid humanist knowledge is being opened. Such an outgoing can be realized by the way of forming the artistic picture of the world that is the ultimate priority of general study of art. Artistic picture of the world is the system of generalized concept of one or another historical era that are formed as a result of comprehension of artistic creation belonging to this period. As one of the experiment of practical realization of the principles of general (universal) study of art the author of this article carried out a preparation of a solid work called “World artistic culture as a system unit” (published 2009 by the editorship “High school”).
Centuries-old tradition of science linked to an artistic culture has almost always been orientated to separate perception of each of the branches of art study (the main of them are philology, study of art as a science of figurative art and architecture, musicology, drama study, and, from the beginning of XX century - study of the film as well). This "specialization" is absolutely natural since any kind of artistic creativity is specific and it is also absolutely necessary as it provides premises for deeper study of the corresponding area of art.

In a meanwhile among scientists of different specializations an urge towards going out of limits their speciality can be observed more and more often. And also efforts to create a research of adjacent areas of the study of art have been carries out recently. Thus an approach to forming of general (universal) study of art as a science can be observed. This science is aimed for comprehensive coverage of numerous major facts, names, events and trends of words art culture.

We can find partial approaches to this in a number of carried out capital publishing projects that have become popular with adjectives general, worldwide, universal. First of all those are multivolume "Universal history of art»(figurative art and architecture are implied) and "The history of worldwide literature".

So how are the general contours of universal study of art seen as some kind of metascience? First of all it must and can developed on the basis of enormous funds of various observations and generalizations that have been collected within different areas of separate branches of the study of art. And this development can only be performed in one direction that is based on complex artistic researches and integrate comprehension of previous experience that is evinced in integral and system approach to the analysed material.

Coverage of all kinds of artistic creativity produced in this period with exclusion of any kinds of barriers and gaps provides for necessary condition of such study. Usual borders between different arts and rubrication of types and genres within them are meant. Besides, the ability of a researcher to rise above a regional specific to that what forms the very essence of world artistic process and is mostly important in it. This does not mean that peculiarities and coloration that are defined by the material of one or another kind of art, the type of mentality and code of traditions of any national School are being ignored. The question is that the accentuation of all these moment should better be correlated with the explosion of general, arterial in the development of spiritual culture, taken in its international cut.

Thus any localization and inevitable boundedness of scientific search can be avoided. Complex approach with its character basis of mutually complementary resources of different kinds of art and different national Schools allows us to make the widest generalizations. The thing is that a distinctive law of compensation almost invariably functions within the area of art. If some kind of creativity reduces its significance then the emerging "deficit" is covered thanks to the other kinds of art that are advancing in this era. Similar satiation can be observed at the level of contribution of different regions into the overall treasury of culture. For example in music this is particularly obvious on its early stages that used to have only scattered monuments and didn´t have sufficient independence yet. Or the artistic classics of a number of nations of West that experiences a high rise in middle ages - the time of "dark ages" of European art.

The formation of universal study of art is correspondent to processes of globalization of human mind which is becoming more and more actual. These processes have been dictated by the historical situation that had completely formed by the beginning of the third millennium: unproductiveness and impossibility of any kind of national reticence, growing interaction of all happening in modern world. In parallel with that a prospect of going out of limits of special scientific discipline to horizons of valid humanist knowledge is being opened. Such an outgoing can be realized by the way of forming the artistic picture of the world that is the ultimate priority of general study of art. And in its turn the substantial, idea-conception sides of artistic material that are revealed at this stage turn out to be the uniting base of complex study of the spiritual culture.

Artistic picture of the world is the system of generalized concept of one or another historical era that are formed as a result of comprehension of artistic creation belonging to this period. Behind the seeming illusiveness of artistic texts an enormous massif of imprinted human being that is showed in wide range of ideas and motives as well as various emotional, intellectual, moral displays character for its era. Thanks to the existence of artistic creativity each stage of the development of civilization leaves a rich fund of historical memory for the following generations. Therefore the formation of knowledge of world and human based on image-semantic system of art is implied.

Nowadays the study of art has closely approached to the conscious desire to see the memories of ages in artistic culture, imprinting of historical experience of evolving humanity, reflection of society and inner world of a man, all the diversity of his existence. The learning of this memory in all its completeness can be possible only provided that complex study of all kind of art that are being developed in this period has been carried out, since while the object and its functions are united every single one of them gives us its special aspects in outlining the general problem. This is what their specific features that define the autonomy of any kind of artistic creativity stand for. While keeping this necessary and very productive specification we should underline that the generality of trends and attitudes that are determined by the perception of people of the same era which is even more important.

Different kinds of art are united by their correlation with philosophy knowledge and social history in terms of fixing of what is happening with world and human. There are quite a lot of contacts and common moments between artistic memory and scientific picture of being. But most of that reflected in art is presented from oppositely different point of view. Besides a wide range of observations that are usually not studied by historical science, which operates with facts and happenings, is reflected in artistic chronicle. The art introduces such viewpoints of ‘spectral analysis" of life processes and such layers of being that are almost inaccessible for understanding from usual positions. The main of them is linked to spiritual world of a man and his emotional sphere either in its typological whole or in myriads of individual unique displays.

We obtain rich and so far little-studied resources of colorful and multidimensional historical memory that allows us to significantly broaden and enrich our knowledge of the descendent, if we understand art as an evidence of era that has created it, value it as a tool of study, outlining its abilities to model an image of the world and humanity.

* * *

As a direction of idea and knowledge universal study of art is self-sufficient. However the ture power of any science is shown in its practical application when it transforms from an isolated laboratory discipline into the form of thinking thus obtaining the propriety of its existence and adequacy. This is realized with maximum consistency and regularity by means of general education on its different stages.

What induces us to introduce the range of corresponding knowledge on different stages of education? First of all it is the fact that the very idea of scholarship is absolutely unthinkable without mastering at least minimum knowledge of the main types of art. And secondly, the contact with the world of artistic images brings its unique aspects into the multidimensional system that is usually called taste and interest to life. It is also widely known that familiarization with the treasures of artistic culture makes our feeling more delicate and sensitive and its spectrum becomes more saturated and divided. Besides special research has shown that the development of anthropogenic era needs replenishment from art, since it helps us to overcome inevitable hypertrophy and even lameness of urbanized intellect thanks to the impact of character for artistic creativity impulse of associative thinking , uninhibited imagination, elements of paradoxicality and unpredictability.

The formation of refreshed world outlook that is carried out by general (universal) study of art should be started directly from a person´s schooldays. This is what subject "World artistic culture" that has been introduced in 1980-ies in Russia at the level of secondary and special secondary education is meant to do. This subject is now at starting stage of its development, that is why much is still to be done to improve it. But the fact of introduction of such subject itself means understanding of the necessity of complex and integral approach to the study of art.

Today in connection with processes of humanitarization of nowadays education the problem of introduction of this subject in institutes of higher education arises. Teaching of this subject divided in two stages implies its familiarization and description within secondary education institutions (schools, gymnasiums, lyceums, colleges) and its problem summarization within the programmes of higher education institutes. It goes without saying that this material varies depending on age structure of corresponding contingent taking its accessibility and possibility of adequate perception into consideration. Regardless of that complex study of all kinds of artistic creativity (literature, figurative art and architecture, music, theatre, and cinema) seems to be the most preferable. And substantial, idea-semantic aspects, and general style trends must serve as uniting basis of such teaching. If a sense-creating component is outlined as the main one it is very effective not only as a uniting force, but also as an aspect of maximum communication for audience of any level of erudition.

Teaching of the World artistic culture can be based upon the knowledge that have been acquired by students within separate studying of such subjects as literature, figurative art music etc., but ideally an enlarged single course, that contains all separate disciplines should be created. Even so we should keep in our mind that in this case we don´t set target to obtain special knowledge of all categories of artistic creativity. The formation of integral conception of the most significant artistic legacy of the humanity is far more important. The main thing is to put the foundation of knowledge and methodological base, assuming that the rest can be mastered within the process of self-education, including various lacunes.

Speaking of complete system of interaction between the course of the World artistic culture and the subjects of special philological or some other artistic cycle we should say that the solution would be the following (the education within the institute of higher education, where one can use his knowledge of humanities, is meant). The education must be implemented on a basis of successive mastering of large historical periods in their evolutional motion from the ancient days to modern society. This mastering is carried out within complex examination of all necessary parts of artistic culture, and, in maximum, the subjects of social cycle such as history, philosophy, aesthetics and others must be involved.

In this case wide panoramic surveys of the condition of artistic culture of the corresponding historical period are combined with detail consideration of what is usually studied by traditional philology of artistic disciplines. The principle of synchronized education allows us to achieve clear orientation within the facts of "one´s own" kind of art in its correlation with general artistic context. Everywhere we can face the fact that the philology or artistic faculty graduates cannot relate the knowledge of the professional area they have chosen with that what is happening within other kinds of art, since these facts exist in autonomic, separate dimensions for them.

One of the major difficulties in the solution of the problem of upbringing the specialist that is in possession of wide aesthetic horizon is in the lack of sufficient number of corresponding pedagogue staff. So far we can only rely on efforts of independent enthusiasts. Our goal for the nearest future is to provide the training of the tutors of wide specialization that will be able to present universal knowledge of artistic culture at least within one historical period, according to their experience.

* * *

As one of the examples of practical realization of the principles of general (universal) study of art the author of this article prepared a volume work called "World artistic culture as a single whole". This work is an sketch for fundamental monography which he is working on at the moment - "The Universe of word, color, sound" in ten volumes: Volume I - Ancient world and Antiquity (app. before AD), Volume II - Middle ages (up to the middle of XIII century), Volume III - Renaissance (from the middle of XIII century to the middle of XVI century), Volume IV - Baroque (from the middle of XVI century to the middle of XVII century), Volume V - Enlightenment (from the middle of XVII century to the beginning of XVIII century), Volume VI - Romanticism (the first half of the XIX century), Volume VII - Post-Romanticism (second half of XIX century), Volume VIII - Modern I (1890-ies - 1920-ies), Volume IX - Modern II (1930-ies - 1950-ies), Volume X - Modern III (1960‑ies - 1980-ies, and a short roundup of artistic creativity of Post-Modern as a going nowadays historical period).

From the position of methods that have been put into the basis of educational textbook "World artistic culture as a system whole", it seems appropriate to give the Introduction, that has been prefaced with this work by the editorship that has published the book - "High School".

The value of this book, that has been prepared by the Doctor of Study of art, professor, Honored figure of Russian art, academician of European Science academy A. I. Demchenko lies in free overview of World artistic culture, considered as a whole both from the position of general historical process and in correlation with different kinds of art (literature, figurative art and architecture, music, theatre, and cinema) that has been carried out. Illustrative material (visual performance and musical fragments) has been given as an attachment to the book on digital carriers.

This publication seems unique for a number of reasons.

First of all, it embraces all periods of the artistic culture evolution - from the origins to the end of the XXth century, being quite compact. Besides, all the main fact have been put into the orbit of the exposition.

Secondly, the usual rubrication to separate national Schools, beginning from the differentiation of domestic and foreign art have been overcome by the author. With this the publication responses to positive trends of nowadays processes of globalization and, with all its consideration of national peculiarities forms the conception of universal treasury of cultural values.

Thirdly, the other usual division of different kinds of art and outlining their genre types and subtypes has also been overcome. This provides for sum, integral view of the events that took place at different stages of the development of art.

The outlined removal of any barriers between different kinds of art and different national Schools requires necessary stipulation. Separate kinds of art as they are and various genres are overviewed and peculiarities of one or another national artistic School are accented, but this doesn´t become the main element of the study - it serves as a solid basis for outlining magistral processes that took place in given historical period.

Consecutive and complex research of all kinds of art as a single stream, including belletristic literature (it usually stays out of the sight of such publications, same can be said about music), gives absolutely new quality on the way of forming integrative knowledge of art.

Fundamentally important thing lies in the very study of the material, when everything follows one goal - studying of the World artistic process from the position of outlining artistic ideas and conceptions, leading image-sense lines and layers that are character for corresponding stage of historical evolution. In addition such approach significantly makes the perception of artistic material easier, removing needless difficulties that are linked with the redundant specificity of terminology and analytics of the study of art.

The analysis of definite facts of literature, painting, architecture, music and other areas of artistic culture is notable for its riches of observations and clear commitment. Besides, the selection of the most significant works that give us concentrated image about corresponding historical period, has been carried out.

And the last thing: the belonging of the book to one author provides for inner unity of the material presentation. The principle of overview exposition that has been but into its basis is combined with careful examination of the most demonstrative examples of art. The publication is provided with discs that contain all the images and musical fragment mentioned in the book (the fragments of literature works are cited in text itself. Illustrative material is given in form of attachment on digital carriers.

The publication is addressed to the students of secondary and higher educational institutes, schoolchildren of elder classes in schools, lyceums, gymnasiums, and, of course, the widest range of the connoisseurs of art (as a cognitive reading). Besides, it can be useful for specialists that do problems of the corresponding era, since the text is full with wide generalizations and contains new

approach to studying World artistic process. Clear logics in presentation of the material and its clear structuring allow reader to acquire basic positions of this book without any difficulties.

To sum up we should say that the main idea of these notes is to save World artistic culture as a really World one. That means overcoming national barriers and integral scope of all kinds of art as well as passing usual rubrication into individual styles and genres. Besides, panning of general history of art allows us to select the most valuable and significant from the "treasury of the world» and thus immerse into the aura of the highest artistry.

Such approach actualize international notion of multimedia that has become quite popular recently. In this case it implies the following principles and positions: 1) free circle of all kinds of art and their complex study; 2) coverage of all national Schools significant in this historical period, that allows us to operate with the conception of general, universal, World artistic culture; 3) in educational aspect it is completeness of illustrative supplies (literature texts, audio and visual materials) that provides for complex effect of artistic information.

Total mastering of that created by the creators of art in forms of systemically constructed retrospection of artistic creativity can significantly enrich the inner world of a man and make him closer to the ideal of comprehensively developed personality. The topicality of the studied approach is also defined by the desire to learn and recognize the universal tendencies and natural laws of World civilization trough the universal-integral look to the World artistic process. In other words, develop the ability of an individual to think and feel globally through the formation of a whole, universal view to the World culture, since the prospect of the civilization progress in the III millennium requires it.