An art critic is a person who specializes in evaluating art. Their written critiques, or reviews, are published in newspapers, magazines, books and on web sites. Art collectors and patrons often utilize the advice of such critics as a way to enhance their appreciation of the art they are viewing.
Professional art critics are expected to have a keen eye for art and a thorough knowledge of art history.
The opinions of art critics has the potential to stir debate on art related topics. Due to this the viewpoints of art critics writing for art publications and newspapers adds to public discourse concerning art and culture. Some of today's art critics use art blogs and other online platforms in order to connect with a wider audience and expand debate about art.
Many now famous and celebrated artists were not recognized by the art critics of their time, often because their art was in a style not yet understood or favored. Conversely, some critics, have become particularly important helping to explain and promote new art movements — Roger Fry with the Post-Impressionist movement, Lawrence Alloway with Pop Art as examples.
Some famous art critics
Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Portrait of Denis Diderot, 1769, Louvre, Paris. His art criticism was highly influential. His Essais sur la peinture was described by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as "a magnificent work, which speaks even more helpfully to the poet than to the painter, though to the painter too it is as a blazing torch." Diderot's favorite painter was Jean-Baptiste Greuze.
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- Good audio version of symposium on contemporary (2007) art criticism entitled "Empathy and Criticality," sponsored by the Frieze Foundation
- , from the Tate, retrieved April 12, 2009
- Edmond and Jules de Goncourt, French Eighteenth-Century Painters. Cornell Paperbacks, 1981, pp.222–225. ISBN 0-8014-9218-1
- Joanna Richardson, Baudelaire, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994, p. 191, ISBN 0-312-11476-1.
- J'accuse letter at wikisource
- IAN CHILVERS. "Fry, Roger." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 9 Mar. 2009 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.Retrieved 9 March 2009