A student or an apprentice? The paradox of evolvement of an artist

Melik-Pashaev, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich
D.Sc. in Psychology, Chief Researcher, Psychological Institute of the Russian Academy of Education, Editor-in Chief, “Art in School” Journal, Moscow, Russia

In nowadays perspective, the main target of a teacher of creative subjects is to promote the development of each student’s individuality. However, the golden age of European fine Arts was defined by the situation where the teacher (the master) was focusing on the education of a skilful assistant for his own work, instead of developing his student’s individuality. It may seem that this scheme is more applicable for craftsmen or hand workers (in the negative sense) or, the master’s epigones, if the best happens. However, it was the era of “workshop pedagogics” that produced more independent, outstanding, and simply great artists, as no other time period in history. And one of the main reasons for it was the situation of evolvement of an artist. It possessed certain favourable features: the correct understanding of the proportion of goals and means in arts, age-diverse groups, sociocultural significance of the product of teenage apprentice’s activity, direct influence of the master’s personality, and many other factors that were missing from professional education of the centuries to come. One question remains open, how and in what extent similar situations can be reproduced in this day and age?

Keywords: fine arts, apprentice, workshop pedagogics, evolvement of an artist