Upon study of G.W.F. Hegel's two volume work Lectures on Fine Art he presents a schema of the arts based on the external and internal relations of the Idea in its dialectic mode of expression. Of course, art is to be transcended by religion and eventually philosophy according to Hegel's philosophy of history. Art manifest truth moving in a process of exterior intuition to its internalization. I was struck by the concise neatness that this generated in ranking the arts according to the proportion of experience they serve in the development of human experience. Hegel would have had little sympathy for the avant garde of today much like he shared a disdain for the Romanticism in his own time.
Hegel claims that the lowest form of Art is architecture as the purest material form of the Idea, which transforms to the second level--sculptor, the material becoming life-like, and third is painting where the truth is conceptualized onto the canvas. From Painting we move into the rhythms and harmonies of music or the unfolding of truth according duration and time. Through sound we move to the pinnacle of the arts which is poetry (tragedy, comedy, and drama); speech and conceptualization bring to fruition the "concrete, actuality" of the Idea as embodied in the individual characters. Thus, Hegel schematizes and ranks the arts from architecture, sculptor, painting, music, and poetry. If we disregard Hegel's triadic grand narrative of the history of Spirit (Idea), which this formulation aims to support, and his thesis about "the end of art" (that eventually works to the end of history!), does this way of categorizing the types and genres of art still matter? Or should we abandon any efforts to systematize the aesthetic in this fashion because it does not reasonate with a post-Warholian artworld?