Moments of Vision collects a number of essays by the renowned critic Kenneth Clark, presenting his views on different aspects of art and art criticism. By "vision" he does not mean the experiences of the mystic (indeed, he highlights how often those have been themselves influenced by artistic representations) but the experience of seeing a physical object (artistic or natural) with heightened clarity. The appreciation and creation of art are connected - in each case, the object calls to something within us, and thus becomes a part of us. Not that Clark reduces the aesthetic to the purely intellectual - to the contrary, he considers the experience of beauty as always primarily sensual.
Clark writes without any of the obscurity with which too many specialists surround themselves. Nor are his insights confined to the visual arts - he also considers literature and the art of criticism itself. Indeed, perhaps the finest essay is the final one, in which he writes movingly of the situation of the artist (and, by extension, the critic) in old age.
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