“Art for art’s sake” is the usual English rendering of a French slogan from the early 19th century, ”l’art pour l’art”, and expresses a philosophy that the intrinsic value of art, and the only “true” art, is divorced from any didactic, moral or utilitarian function. Such works are sometimes described as “autotelic”, from the Greek autoteles, “complete in itself”, a concept that has been expanded to embrace “inner-directed” or “self-motivated” human beings.

Ironically, the term is sometimes used commercially. A Latin version of this phrase, “Ars gratia artis“, is used as a motto by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and appears in the circle around the roaring head of Leo the Lion in its motion picture logo.

I personally feel this saying has crept into the 21st century, maybe subconsciously but I have heard people say it. I think nowadays the meaning has changed as well as the saying, we say art for the sake of art, which is pretty much the same. In our new world we mean it in a way of they’re trying to be contextual and outlandish just for the sake it, theres no purpose. To me its interesting how meanings can develop and change with society as we grow and learn, in this saying ‘Art of Arts Sake’ is that art should stand on its own and needs no explanation.


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