The sole function of Art is to discover beauty within and without. And Art is in itself a self-expression of the different levels of Consciousness.
The mysterious slogan "Art for Art's sake" expressed by Victor Cousin is, however, only partially true. To quote Sri Aurobindo: "Art for Art's sake certainly — Art as a perfect form of and discovery of Beauty; but also Art for the soul's sake, the spirit's sake and the expression of all that the soul, the spirit wants to seize through the medium of beauty.”
In the words of Tagore, "Art, like life itself, has grown by its own impulse, and man has taken his pleasure in it without definitely knowing what it is." — Personality
There is a considerable difference between the Art of the East and that of the West. Tagore has lucidly defined the object of Oriental Art and Occidental Art:
"The greatness and beauty of Oriental art, especially in Japan and China, consists in this, that there the artists have seen the soul of things and they believe in it. The West may believe in the soul of Man, but she does not really believe that the universe has a soul. Yet this belief of the East and the whole mental contribution of the East to mankind is filled with this idea. So, we, in the East, need not go into details and emphasise them; for the most important thing is this universal soul, for which the Eastern sages have sat in meditation, and the Eastern artists have joined them in artistic realisation."
Art has a character of its own as society or spirituality has. It is an absurdity on the face of it to think that Art is and must for ever remain a faithful servant to morality. Art is freedom itself. Art is that which finds equal delight in the core of beauty and in the core of ugliness. Verily the nature of Art is an all-seeking harmony.