Significant form

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Clive Bell

Significant form refers to an aesthetic theory developed by English art critic Clive Bell which specified a set of criteria for what qualified as a work of art.[1] In his 1914 Book Art, Bell postulated that for an object to be deemed a work of art it required potential to provoke aesthetic emotion in its viewer, a quality he termed "significant form."[2] Bell's definition explicitly separated significant form from beauty; in order to possess significant form, an object need not be attractive as long as it elicits an emotional response.[3]


  1. ^ Tate. "Significant form – Art Term". Tate. Retrieved 2019-03-02.
  2. ^ "Clive Bell | British critic". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-03-04.
  3. ^ Fenner, David E. W. (2003). Introducing Aesthetics. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275979072.