The cognitive function of aesthetics
The cognitive function of aesthetics means that people can have a deeper understanding of nature, society, history and life through art appreciation activities.
Because art has the characteristics of the unity of reflection and creation unity, reproduction and expression, so they can more deeply reveal the true meaning and connotation of society, history and life, and bring people profound social cognition through vivid and moving artistic images.
Of course, the cognitive function of art is limited after all. Compared with other natural and social disciplines, its cognitive function is insufficient.
The educational function of aesthetics
The educational function of aesthetic appreciation means that people are influenced and infected by the truth, the good and the beauty through artistic appreciation activities, and are enlightened in thought and finding spiritual examples in practice. In this imperceptible process, people’s thoughts, feelings, ideals and pursuits have undergone profound changes and set up correct outlook on life and values.
The reason why art has the function of aesthetic education is that art works can not only show life, but also contain artists’ thoughts and feelings, as well as their understanding, cognition and evaluation of life, permeating artists’ social and aesthetic ideals.
Of course, the aesthetic education function of art is different from moral education, because the educational function of art is also based on aesthetic value, and has aesthetic significance and artistic charm.
Appreciation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night
Starry Night is a canvas oil painting. As a work of art, its material carrier, such as canvas, oil paint, is objective entity. Furthermore, its formal symbols, especially colors and lines, are distinctive. At first glance, this work will be shocked by its bright and contrasting colors: bright yellow moon, pale stars, dazzling and eye-catching; The dark green cypress trees were restless; The blue peaks and villages in the distance contrast sharply with the sky and evoke a sense of calm.
Van Gogh was very particular about the use of lines in this painting. Interwoven long curved lines and short broken lines constitute the whole picture. Sky and cypress trees use a lot of long curved lines, forming a swirling sky and dynamic plants.
Hillsides, churches and villages are arranged with the repetition of short lines, contrasting again, and enhance the pictorial sense. Both material carriers and formal symbols are part of the objective entity. When the viewers appreciates this work, they are also the first thing to be seen, which is the necessary condition for beauty.