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He prioritizes the realistic form of visual arts rather than the abstract form (Wolff 323).
There are different points in the view presented by Tolstoy. The view regarding the importance of the representation and expression of culture and morality in the artworks is a very important aspect of viewing the significance of art. This can be attributed to the fact that the artworks being a product of human being’s creativity and experiences can ultimately represent his true nature. Culture and norms encapsulate the experiences of human beings. Thus, what Tolstoy expressed in his view is correct.
On the other hand, the definition of art cannot be limited by the number of people who can relate and appreciate the price of artwork. When he Tolstoy said that the best art is the most widely accessible art because it can better communicate with audience, he limits the capability of the people who observes the artwork to realism. He is right about the subjectivity of beauty but he can be wrong because his view stressed the failed to recognize that viewing art is subjective. Even the culture and morality that he is using as a guideline for his judgment can be subjective.
In conclusion then, if Tolstoy is right about judging that the best art is the most widely accessible ones, why do surrealists and other unconventional artists still being appreciated? It is because their works also mirror the realities of life. Every product of human creativity on a personal point of view represents culture, thus, even in the absence of beauty or reality in the picture that is painted, it is still considered as art. Being the best or the worst art is judged only by subjectivity of the
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