James Joyce quote about art from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.
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The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.
 James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916). copy citation

Context

“The dean rested back on his hunkers and watched the sticks catch. Stephen, to fill the silence, said:
—I am sure I could not light a fire.
—You are an artist, are you not, Mr Dedalus? said the dean, glancing up and blinking his pale eyes. The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question.
He rubbed his hands slowly and drily over the difficulty.
—Can you solve that question now? he asked.
—Aquinas, answered Stephen, says pulcra sunt quæ visa placent.
—This fire before us, said the dean, will be pleasing to the eye.” source

Meaning and analysis

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