Context

DEFINITION

Circumstances in which a work of art is interpreted or created, it includes an involved assessment of the artist???s values, upbringing, attitudes, education, the environment in which the work was created, the work???s purpose, and the artwork is interpreted.<br><br>The varied circumstances in which a work of art is (or was) produced and interpreted. There are three arenas to these circumstances, each of them highly complex. The first pertains to the artist: attitudes, beliefs, interests, values, intentions and purposes, education and training, and biography (including psychology). The second is the setting in which the work was produced: the apparent function of the work (to adorn, beautify, express, illustrate, mediate, persuade, record, redefine reality, or redefine art), religious and philosophical convictions, sociopolitical and economic structures, and even climate and geography. Third is the field of the work&#39;s reception and interpretation: the traditions it is intended to serve, the mind-set it adheres to (ritualistic, perceptual, rational, and emotive), and, perhaps most importantly, the color of the lenses through which the work is being scrutinized ? i.e., the interpretive mode (artistic biography, psychological approaches, political criticism, feminism, cultural history, intellectual history, formalism, structuralism, semiotics, hermeneutics, post-structuralism and deconstruction, reception theory, concepts of periodicity [stylistic pendulum swinging], and other chronological and contextual considerations. Context is much more than the matter of the artist&#39;s circumstances alone.When you look at a painting in the nave of a church, with stained glass windows and prayer candles and parishioners kneeling in the pews, it&#39;s quite unlike viewing that painting in a museum, where it is surrounded by informative wall texts, strolling visitors, a caf? and a gift shop. Go a step further, and imagine the same painting on a postcard that you take away, removing it to yet another container. When you see this painting reproduced on a T-shirt or mouse-pad, and think about how far it has traveled from its original context. Bertolt Brecht said of art that has been reproduced and transformed into a commodity: "...it will no longer stir any memory of the thing it once designated." Also see art history and art criticism.

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