Bell, (Arthur) Clive (Heward)


Bell, (Arthur) Clive (Heward)

biographical name

(born Sept. 16, 1881, East Shefford, Berkshire, Eng.—died Sept. 17, 1964, London) British art critic. He studied at Cambridge University and in Paris. In 1907 he married Vanessa Stephen, sister of Virginia Woolf; with Virginia's husband, Leonard Woolf, and Roger Fry, they formed the core of the Bloomsbury group. Bell's most important aesthetic ideas were published in Art (1914) and Since C├ęzanne (1922), in which he promoted his theory of “significant form” (the quality that distinguishes works of art from all other objects). His assertion that art appreciation involves an emotional response to purely formal qualities, independent of subject matter, was influential for several decades.

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