Dr. Eman Mustafa Tubeishat


Art history and art criticism are included in the humanities, which aim to explain and comprehend human behavior and intellectual endeavor. The main methodological instruments used in both areas are based on hermeneutical heritage. Understanding (verstehen), which seeks to give these deeds or works of art meaning, is their main analytical category. An art historian examines and integrates creative works within a wider intellectual and social framework, in contrast to an art critic who examines the ideals linked with artistic achievements. Their functions are not always clear-cut since analysis, understanding, interpretation, and assessment regularly occur in the study of both areas. The approach of the art historian should have a scientific character and aim for objectively valid formulations, whereas the critic frequently assumes the additional role of philosopher or theorist of art. The critic should give equal consideration to subjective factors and acknowledge international artistic values. In this essay, I examine the various degrees of subjectivity inherent in the approaches used by art historians and art critics. Although I address the categories of artistic values (aesthetic, moral, and cognitive) in accordance with their subjective application as well as their role in the comprehension and assessment of art, I focus on the procedures and terminology used by both categories. I’m adamant that art history and art criticism are complementary disciplines since the former encourages the latter’s in-depth and important assessments.

Keywords: Art, Criticism, History, Subjectivity.