Empathy

DEFINITION

Sympathy for another's situation, feelings, and motives. An imaginative projection of one's own feelings to an object or event.Quotations about empathy: "He who wishes to paint Christ's story must live with Christ." Fra Angelico (-1455), Florentine painter of the early Renaissance. Argan, Fra Angelico and His Times, 1955. "As an artist I am . . . attracted by decadence, by those who exhaust their lives in the shallow pursuits of pleasure . . . . Occasionally, I feel that spiritually I participate in all these kinds of lives." Emil Nolde (1867-1956), German Expressionist painter. Years of Struggle, 1934. "Daumier paints with an enormous capacity for absolute empathy; a complete identification of himself with the figures he paints. He sets forth what it feels like to do something; not what somebody looks like doing it." David Sylvester, The New Statesman, 1963. "We've reached a point where we are not a very empathetic people, and art without empathy is art without an audience. My basic viewpoint is that without art we're alone." Jamake Highwater, interviewed in Art News Magazine, August 1984. Also see attitude, bias, effort, emotionalism, expression and expressionism, motivation, praise, and xenophilia.

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