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Great art is usually a symptom of aristocracy. You need plenty of surplus income to fund the arts, and you need a giant ego to feel good about funding the arts in a way which reflects on your personal glory.

Artistocrats have both, so historically, art tends to be more marginalised during more populist periods.

The one exception was the 20th century, when mass media made it possible to create a mass market for music and design - but not so much for fine art, which with only a few exceptions (Guernica...) remained aspirational and/or aristocratic.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jul 1st, 2008 at 04:21:56 AM EST
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