Aesthetic interpretation  

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"Everyone wants to understand art, why not try to understand the song of a bird?" --Picasso

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

An interpretation in philosophy of art, is an explanation of the meaning of some work of art. An interpretation expresses an understanding of a work of art, a poem, performance, or piece of literature.


Aims of interpretation

One or many

There are many different theories of interpretation. On the one hand, there are an infinite number of interpretations for any given piece of art, any one of which may be considered valid. However, it may also be claimed that there really is only one valid interpretation for any given piece of art.

The aesthetic theory that people approach art with different aims is called pluralism. People's interpretations of art may be evaluated relative to these aims. The aim of some of these interpretations is such that they may be said to be true or false and the aim of others do not lend themselves to designating truth or falsity to art.

Intended interpretation

authorial intent

Among those theories which permit for interpretations being named as valid or invalid, are ones which attempt to identify what the artist is trying to accomplish and interpret the art in terms of whether or not the artist has succeeded. In this view there is a single correct interpretation consistent with the artists intention for any given art work.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Aesthetic interpretation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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