Qq

Q is for Quality

Q = Quality of Life, Art and Aesthetics, and Culture.

See also: Quality of Life

And Art

qual·i·ty

qual·i·ty (kwŏlʹĭ-tē) noun
Abbr. qlty.

1.     a. An inherent or distinguishing characteristic; a property. b. A personal trait, especially a character trait: someone with few redeeming qualities.

2.     Essential character; nature: Mahogany has the quality of being durable.

3.     a. Superiority of kind: an intellect of unquestioned quality. b. Degree or grade of excellence: yard goods of low quality.

4.     a. High social position. b. Those in a high social position.

5.     Music. Timbre, as determined by overtones: a voice with a distinctive metallic quality.

6.     Linguistics. The character of a vowel sound determined by the size and shape of the oral cavity and the amount of resonance with which the sound is produced.

7.     Logic. The positive or negative character of a proposition.
adjective
Having a high degree of excellence: “He settled in to read Edmund Wilson . . . It was quality time” (Margaret Truman).

[Middle English qualite, from Old French, from Latin quālitās, quālitāt-, from quālis, of what kind.]

Synonyms: quality, property, attribute, character, trait. These nouns all signify a feature that distinguishes or identifies someone or something. Quality is the most inclusive: “The spring of water . . . entirely lost the deliciousness of its pristine quality” (Nathaniel Hawthorne). “From now on an artist will be judged only by the resonance of his solitude or the quality of his despair” (Cyril Connolly). “The most vital quality a soldier can possess is self-confidence” (George S. Patton). A property is a basic or essential quality possessed by all members of a class: Resilience is a property of rubber. An attribute is a quality that is ascribed to someone or something: “God and all the attributes of God are eternal” (Spinoza). Character in this comparison is a distinctive feature of a group or category: “Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms” (Charles Darwin). A trait is a single, clearly delineated characteristic, as of a person or group of people: “This reliance on authority is a fundamental primitive trait” (James Harvey Robinson).

ar·che·type

ar·che·type (ärʹkĭ-tīp´) noun

1.     An original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype: “‘Frankenstein’ . . . ‘Dracula’ . . . ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ . . . the archetypes that have influenced all subsequent horror stories” (New York Times).

2.     An ideal example of a type; quintessence: an archetype of the successful entrepreneur.

[Latin archetypum, from Greek arkhetupon from neuter of arkhetupos, original : arkhe-, arkhi-, archi- + tupos, model, stamp.]

– ar´che·typʹal (-tīʹpəl) or ar´che·typʹic (-tĭpʹĭk), ar´che·typʹi·cal adjective
– ar´che·typʹi·cal·ly adverb

art1

art (ärt) noun

1.     Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.

2.     a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium. b. The study of these activities. c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.

3.     High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.

4.     A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.

5.     A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.

6.     a. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building. b. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.

7.     a. Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith’s art. b. Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: “Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice” (Joyce Carol Oates).

8.     a. arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks. b. Artful contrivance; cunning.

9.     Printing. Illustrative material.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ars, art-.]

Synonyms: art, craft, expertise, knack, know-how, technique. The central meaning shared by these nouns is “skill in doing or performing that is attained by study, practice, or observation”: the art of expressing oneself clearly; pottery that reveals craft and fine workmanship; political expertise; a knack for teaching; the know-how to sew one’s own clothes; an outstanding keyboard technique.

PERIODS & STYLES

Art

Art, disciplined activity that may be limited to skill or expanded to include a distinctive way of looking at the world. Art is skill at performing a set of specialized actions, as for example, the art of gardening or of playing chess. Art in its broader meaning, however, involves both skill and creative imagination in a musical, literary, visual, or performance context. Art provides the person or people who produce it and the community that observes it with an experience that might be aesthetic, emotional, intellectual, or a combination of these qualities.

Traditionally art has combined practical and aesthetic functions. In the 18th century in the West, society distinguished between different kinds of art. Fine arts, concerned primarily with aesthetics, included literature, music, dance, painting, sculpture, and architecture. The decorative or applied arts, such as pottery, metalwork, furniture, tapestry, and enamel, were for a time demoted to the rank of crafts. Since the mid-20th century, however, both categories have been considered art.

Although artists follow their own creativity, they are also products of their societies. A society must provide sufficient wealth and resources to support professional artists. Historically, artists have used readily available materials, but 20th-century mass production and world trade have given them an enormous range of materials. The chosen medium affects the artist’s style of work. For example, sculptors create different works in stone than in wood. The status of artists has changed over the centuries, and different kinds of artists have not always been equally valued. Today, all categories of art are generally considered essential parts of human expression, and some artists are ranked among the most celebrated citizens of the world.

Aesthetics

aes·thet·ics

aes·thet·ics or es·thet·ics (ĕs-thĕtʹĭks) noun

1.     (used with a sing. verb ) a. The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature and expression of beauty, as in the fine arts. b. In Kantian philosophy, the branch of metaphysics concerned with the laws of perception.

2.     (used with a sing. verb) The study of the psychological responses to beauty and artistic experiences.

3.     (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A conception of what is artistically valid or beautiful: minimalist aesthetics.

4.     (used with a sing. or pl. verb) An artistically beautiful or pleasing appearance: “They’re looking for quality construction, not aesthetics” (Ron Schram).

PHILOSOPHY

Aesthetics

Aesthetics, branch of philosophy concerned with the essence and perception of beauty and ugliness. Aesthetics questions whether such qualities are objectively present in things, or whether they exist only in the individual mind.

Greek philosopher Plato, expressing the first aesthetic theory of any scope, believed that reality consists of archetypes, or forms, beyond human sensation. These are the models for all things that exist in human experience. Objects of human experience are imitations of those forms, and artistic works are imitations of those objects. Greek philosopher Aristotle also spoke of art as imitation, but in the sense of the artist separating the form from the matter of objects, such as the human body, and imposing that form on another matter, such as marble. Thus, each work is an imitation of the universal whole.

Aesthetics was inseparable from morality and politics for both thinkers. Aristotle maintained that art affects human character, and hence the social order. He argued that tragedy in drama stimulates the emotions of pity and fear, so much so that by the end of the play the spectator is purged of them. This catharsis makes the audience psychologically healthier.

Third-century Roman philosopher Plotinus believed that art reveals the form of an object more clearly than ordinary experience does, raising the soul to a mystic contemplation of the universal. During the Renaissance (14th century to 17th century) art shifted from a religious to a more secular emphasis. In 18th-century Germany, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, and Johann Gottlieb Fichte explored such issues as art’s limitations, individual expression, and moral virtue. Immanuel Kant believed beautiful objects have no specific purpose, and judgments of beauty are universal, existing in the structure of one’s mind.

Nineteenth-century German philosophers continued to develop aesthetic theory. G. W. F. Hegel believed that art, religion, and philosophy form the basis for the highest spiritual development. Arthur Schopenhauer believed that universal forms, like Platonic forms, exist beyond the worlds of experience and should be contemplated for their own sakes, as a means of escaping the painful world of daily experience. Friedrich Nietzsche concurred that life is tragic, but thought that art-the full acceptance of tragedy with joyous affirmation-can transform any experience into beauty.

Traditional aesthetics in the 18th and 19th centuries conceived of art as imitation of nature. Many novelists presented realistic accounts of middle-class life, while painters rendered their subjects with lifelike detail. It was also frequently assumed that art not only is beautiful but is useful as well-for example, commemorating historical events or criticizing society.

In the 19th century, avant-garde concepts began to challenge traditional views. The change was particularly evident in painting; French impressionists denounced academic painters for depicting what they thought they should see rather than what they actually saw. Postimpressionists were more concerned with a painting’s structure and with expressing their own psyche than with representing objects from nature. French philosopher Victor Cousin derived the principle of “art for art’s sake” from Kant’s view that art has its own reason for being. This idea underlies most avant-garde Western art of the 20th century.

Four philosophers have been the primary influences on present-day aesthetics. In France Henri Bergson rejected science in favor of art, which he saw as an intuitive apprehension of reality unmediated by thought. In Italy, Benedetto Croce viewed artistic expression as the intuitive apprehension of things before one reflects about them; beauty and ugliness are qualities of the spirit expressed rather than of the artistic work. American poet George Santayana argued that pleasure in a thing is a quality of the thing itself, rather than a subjective response to it. American educator John Dewey viewed aesthetic experience as being separate from normal fragmentary human experience and as enjoyment for its own sake, complete and self-contained.

Marxism and Freudianism reasserted art’s practical uses. Marxism’s economic and political view maintains that art is great only when it supports the cause of its society. Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud believed art to be of therapeutic use, revealing hidden conflicts and discharging tensions. French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre advocated an existentialist view of art as an expression of the individual’s freedom of choice. British critic and semanticist I. A. Richards regarded art as emotive language, giving order and coherence to experience, but containing no symbolic meaning.

Art

art1

art (ärt) noun

1.     Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.

2.     a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium. b. The study of these activities. c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.

3.     High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.

4.     A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.

5.     A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.

6.     a. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building. b. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.

7.     a. Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith’s art. b. Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: “Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice” (Joyce Carol Oates).

8.     a. arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks. b. Artful contrivance; cunning.

9.     Printing. Illustrative material.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ars, art-.]

Synonyms: art, craft, expertise, knack, know-how, technique. The central meaning shared by these nouns is “skill in doing or performing that is attained by study, practice, or observation”: the art of expressing oneself clearly; pottery that reveals craft and fine workmanship; political expertise; a knack for teaching; the know-how to sew one’s own clothes; an outstanding keyboard technique.

art (noun)

art, architecture, formation
fine arts, beaux arts
graphic art, painting
plastic art, sculpture
classical art, oriental art, Byzantine art, Renaissance art, Trecento, Quattrocento, Cinquecento, Baroque, Rococo
art nouveau, Jugendstil, art deco, modern art, abstract art
classicism, realism
Impressionism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Post-Impressionism, school of painting
op art, pop art
kitsch, camp, high camp, bad taste
aestheticism, functionalism, De Stijl, Bauhaus
functional art, commercial art
decorative art, ornamental art
the minor arts, illumination, calligraphy, weaving, tapestry, collage, embroidery, pottery

Other Forms
composition: artistic composition, music, art, painting, sculpture
production: artistic effort, composition, authorship, art, painting, sculpture, writing
form: art form, art, verse form
misrepresentation: nonrealism, nonrepresentational art, art
school of painting: modernism, art
business: art, technology, industry, light industry, heavy industry, commerce, big business
skill: craftsmanship, art, artistry, delicacy, fine workmanship, art that conceals art
stratagem: stratagem, ruse, wile, art, artifice, resource, resort, device, wrinkle, ploy, shift, dodge, contrivance
ornamental art: lettering, illumination, illustration, illustrating, sign-painting, graphic art, art

PERIODS & STYLES

Art

Art, disciplined activity that may be limited to skill or expanded to include a distinctive way of looking at the world. Art is skill at performing a set of specialized actions, as for example, the art of gardening or of playing chess. Art in its broader meaning, however, involves both skill and creative imagination in a musical, literary, visual, or performance context. Art provides the person or people who produce it and the community that observes it with an experience that might be aesthetic, emotional, intellectual, or a combination of these qualities.

Traditionally art has combined practical and aesthetic functions. In the 18th century in the West, society distinguished between different kinds of art. Fine arts, concerned primarily with aesthetics, included literature, music, dance, painting, sculpture, and architecture. The decorative or applied arts, such as pottery, metalwork, furniture, tapestry, and enamel, were for a time demoted to the rank of crafts. Since the mid-20th century, however, both categories have been considered art.

Although artists follow their own creativity, they are also products of their societies. A society must provide sufficient wealth and resources to support professional artists. Historically, artists have used readily available materials, but 20th-century mass production and world trade have given them an enormous range of materials. The chosen medium affects the artist’s style of work. For example, sculptors create different works in stone than in wood. The status of artists has changed over the centuries, and different kinds of artists have not always been equally valued. Today, all categories of art are generally considered essential parts of human expression, and some artists are ranked among the most celebrated citizens of the world.

Capability

Creative Ability

Skill

Talent

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