Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury: Standard Edition / I. Works: Aesthetics. Band 5: Second Characters u.a.
Shaftesbury’s writings on the visual arts have previously either never been published or, although available in print, not presented in the form of a reliable critical edition. This volume remedies that situation. Although his ›Second Characters‹, planned as companion-piece for ›Characteristicks‹, was unfinished at the time of Shaftesbury’s death, the surviving fragmentary collection of texts provides a valuable insight into the author’s aesthetics, offering at the same time a fundamental contribution to our knowledge of eighteenth-century art theory. –
Shaftesbury’s instructions to the Italian painter Paolo de Matteis were put to paper as ›The Judgment of Hercules‹, a tract which stands in terms of contents between the traditional 'ut pictura poesis' and Lessing’s ›Laokoon‹. The English version is accompanied here by not only a new German translation, but also Shaftesbury’s original French text, as well as colour plates showing the three versions of de Matteis’s painting. ›A Letter Concerning Design‹ (edited here with a German translation), with its far-reaching political implications, and ›Plasticks‹ – the impressive torso of what was intended as a systematic discussion of art history and theory – similarly reveal the importance for scholarship today of Shaftesbury’s thinking on art.