This theory was initiated in the Romantic Movement when the individual was placed as the central point in art. Through this theory, artwork was seen as the unique portrayal of artists’ feelings and emotions. It said that good art is the one which successfully communicates the feelings of the artist with the audience. An artist becomes successful when he is able to express his feelings through his artwork (Knill 46).
The theory has its weaknesses and is criticized since the Romantic Era. In today’s world, modern art is defined as a human activity in which one person uses different forms of art to convey his feelings to the others and influence them. This theory is well suited in the abstract art but not much in other forms of art. Somehow this theory restricts the artists to express their feelings and emotions through art rather than following the concept ‘art for art’s sake’ (Knill 56).
The expressive theory had cultivated in the Romantic Movement in the late eighteenth century. There are three concepts of expressive theory that are associated with the movement: imagination, genius, and emotion. These three terms are believed by expressionists as key elements in any artwork. They believe that individuality is what makes an artists’ art recognizable and unique (Knill 76). The artist must portray his feelings through the art such as through paintings, music, or poems. The artwork is a platform for every artist to convey his inner feelings to the world.
Objectivists argue that expressive theories are rather irrelevant as the artwork must focus on art not the artist. Expressionists continue to argue that an artwork is the complete depiction of the artists’ personality and an artist tends to create what best reflects his feelings (Knill 78). Psychologically also, an artist is able to create what is in his mind and what he truly believes in. This doesn’t only mean emotions and feelings, but also ideas