dictionary definition of the canon states that it is a set of fundamental provisions adopted in this or that sphere.With regard to art, it represents the dominant norms, stylistic devices used to create the images.One of the first examples in the history of civilization, when the art is entirely subject to the rules and laws, is Ancient Egypt.This culture has created a work (painting, sculpture, architecture), which is not intended for aesthetic pleasure.All the monuments have been part of religious practices and served for sacred ties of earthly life and the heavenly circle.The retreat from the canons meant breaking the link between the divine and the profane.Therefore, tools and techniques were improved, and the canon remained unchanged.
Representatives of younger cultures - Greek, which, in turn, can be considered
the cradle of European civilization, highly regarded Egyptian art.Since Plato and Aristotle believed planar image of a man typical of Egypt, right, allowing to see things close to reality and perspective - deceptive.Ancient Greek sculptor and art theorist Polycleitus reinterpreted Egyptian canons and created works that have become an aesthetic ideal of Europe for many centuries to come.
formation of Christianity formed its meaning of the term "canon" as a set of philosophical principles, based on the sacred texts.In the narrow sense of the canon - the ruling Ecumenical Council recognized the certain sacred books, the symbolism, the structure of the Church, the order of service and a certain way of life.In the religious tradition of the fine arts standards are subject to the general provisions of the church.This interpretation takes the notion of the canon beyond his understanding of both the aesthetic ideal of beauty: it is the expression of holiness through a certain way of the image.So until the Renaissance iconography deliberately avoided naturalism (the use of reverse perspective, and other techniques).
Renaissance, on the one hand, again lifted the ideals of antiquity, and on the other - attaches great importance to the individual experience of the artist.In this era began to emerge as an artistic classicism style that originated as a kind of academic pedagogical principle.And today, a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, or start to play with the samples, is gradually coming to own techniques and forms.
The Russian thought the theoretical understanding of this concept started only in the XX century.Philosopher AFLosev called canon of "quantitative structural model" works of a particular style, which, in turn, expresses a certain social and historical reality.Semiotician Lotman argued that canonical text (and the notion of text in semiology - the science of sign systems - broadly interpreted) is a structure, do not be like a natural language, and, on the other hand, generating the information.That is the canon forms the style, the language of the artist.