GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: NO5

The belief that art originates in intuitive rather than rational faculties was worked out historically and philosophically in the somewhat wearisome volumes of Benedetto Croce, who is usually considered the originator of a new aesthetic. Croce was, in fact, expressing a very old idea. Long before the Romantics stressed intuition and self-expression, the frenzy of inspiration was regarded as fundamental to art, but philosophers had always assumed it must be controlled by law and by the intellectual power of putting things into harmonious order. This general philosophic concept of art was supported by technical necessities. It was necessary to master certain laws and to use intellect in order to build Gothic cathedrals, or set up the stained glass windows of Chartres. When this bracing element of craftsmanship ceased to dominate artists' outlook, new technical elements had to be adopted to maintain the intellectual element in art. Such were linear perspective and anatomy.

Question List: 1 2 3 4

The passage suggests that which of the following would most likely have occurred if linear perspective and anatomy had not come to influence artistic endeavor?

  • A The craftsmanship that shaped Gothic architecture would have continued to dominate artists' outlooks.
  • B Some other technical elements would have been adopted to discipline artistic inspiration.
  • C Intellectual control over artistic inspiration would not have influenced painting as it did architecture.
  • D The role of intuitive inspiration would not have remained fundamental to theories of artistic creation.
  • E The assumptions of aesthetic philosophers before Croce would have been invalidated.

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