Miloš Ševčík

On Focillon’s Reflections on the Relationship between Art and Environment: the "Relative Event" in 19th century Czech Culture

pp. 146–151 (Czech), 152 (English)

The study deals with selected features of the concept of "life of forms", the author of which is the French art historian and theorist Henri Focillon, and the application of these features to selected manifestations of artistic and theoretical creation in the Czech environment of the 19th century. The study introduces the basic characteristics of Focillon's conception and highlights Focillon's polemic with Taine's notion of the determination of artistic creation by the environment, specifically its geographicalfeatures, the nature of social organization and the current state of culture. Focillon emphasizes the complexity of the relationship between the development of forms in art and the development of forms in the social and geographical environment. This complexity implies an irregularity in the development of the environment and the development of art. In relation to the irregularities of these types of formal development, Focillon speaks of the "moment", which he understands as the coming into correspondence between the state of the environment and the state of artistic creation in some cases, and the "event", which he understands as the acceleration of the formal development of the environment or artistic development. The paper uses Focillon's notion of "relative event", which is the acceleration of environmental development by virtue of the intervention of artistic development, or the acceleration of artistic development by virtue of the intervention of environmental development, and points out that the action of František Xaver Šalda's juvenilia can be considered example of such an event.

Keywords: artistic creation – environment – event – Henri Focillon – František Xaver Šalda


Web vytvořilo studio Liquid Design, v případě potřeby navštivte stránku s technickými informacemi
design by Bedřich Vémola
Partners of the project:
Philharmony Plzeň
Westbohemian Gallery in Plzeň
Westbohemian Muzeum in Plzni

Organizers of conferences:
Institute of Art History CAS
Institute for Czech Literature CAS
Institute for Art History,
Charles University Prague