Art criticism

The art critic describes, analyzes and evaluates works of art of fine art from the presence of an audience interested in art. But you also subjects works earlier date, such as the classic art, critical re-evaluation. The art criticism is in a reciprocal relationship to the art market, which generates a " need for expertise " on the product marketed by the art market art.

Publication media

Art critics make it their mission, with reviews and essays works of fine art from an aesthetic as well as formal criteria to evaluate and categorize. Your art reviews have been and will be published in appropriate journals and exhibition catalogs, books and brochures as monographs and also in the feature pages of newspapers and art magazines.


Art criticism ( in the broader sense of art theory ) already knew the Greeks and Romans. For them, the artists were the " first art critic ", eg Polyklet with his famous canon. In the Renaissance there were artists who wrote the most important treatises on the art, as Leon Battista Alberti in his Treatise on Painting ( 1436 ), which is still the Florentine painter influenced in the late 15th century, and Giorgio Vasari, who his Lives ( biographies ) of the artist ( 1550) prefaced a treatise on the art.

Only by public exhibitions of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture at the Paris Salon in the 17th and 18th century, a professional art criticism from non-artists (so-called laity criticism ) against the time taken by the Academicians assessment monopoly prevailed. One of the first art critics included the writer Étienne La Font de Saint- Yenne and Denis Diderot. La Font of Saint- Yenne has written a detailed reviews of the Salon lineup from 1746, a year later appeared anonymously as a separate booklet in The Hague. Diderot wrote 1759-1781 a total of nine Salon reports for the Correspondance littéraire, a statement issued by his friend Friedrich Melchior Grimm every two weeks handwritten journal, which was especially purchased from aristocratic circles.

One hundred years later wrote the avant-garde poet Charles Baudelaire as a young writer from 1845 onwards also several reviews about the Parisian salons with clear siding with the romantic painting and rejection of the realistic and open-air painting.

In Germany, the art criticism arose during the Enlightenment as a cultural transfer of the French art discourse, especially promoted by the magazine start-ups Johann Christoph Gottscheds in letterpress printing and book trade center of Leipzig. In Gottscheds review journals ( 1747 ), the literature indeed took the brunt, but were the visual arts in the form of reviews art-theoretical writings and translations of lectures from the Paris Académie royale des Inscriptions et Belles- Lettres increasingly discussed in them increasingly; but only in exceptional cases, they were directly related to works of art.


  • Prize for Art Criticism of the work of German art associations ( ADKV ) and Art Cologne