A school for artists emerged at the end of the 19th century with a fervor that art has nothing to do with life, whether social or moral, it only exists for its sake. It does not have any demeanor on life. Its sole purpose is to accomplish perfection in the formal expression of nature and life. They put the manner and technique above everything.
The outcome was that poets devoted themselves to discern the exact word, to create the ideal image instead of expressing life. Painters and artists sought to attain synchronization and daintiness in line and color.
The theory of art is factual so far as it puts forward that an artist is neither a teacher nor a preacher. He has no direct intention on the value of life that mankind dwell in society. It is in this respect that Keats said ‘We hate poetry that has a palpable design on us’ and his contemporary Shelly asserted that moralizing poetry was his revulsion.
One does not debate with such a conviction. However, when 19th-century writers such as Poe, Baudelaire, and Pater declared that art need not have anything to do with the moral values that make up the spirit of life, we are clearly on debatable pastures.
An artist who ceases to lose sight of moral view and restricts himself with the perfecting of his technique is no longer an artist, but only a craftsman.
A true artist is intensely interested in the eventual rationale of what he creates quite discrete from its trade value or price.
The moral intent is significant for a true artist, for in that he comes in contact with the basic issues of life and serves a social objective.
To sum up, an artist need not be a preacher of morality. At the same time, he must not be afraid of telling people what to do and enhancing their knowledge of judging between good and evil.
He indirectly discharges a sort of social responsibility. The value of art lies in the quality of the life as depicted by the artist.
An artist should never try to become a developer of a morbid taste of life or aesthetic anarchism with a nihilistic trend.