“… one could expect [art] not only to exploit the proletariat with increasing intensity, but ultimately to create conditions which would make it possible to abolish capitalism itself.”
This sentence reflects the work most clearly because it is discussing the fact that the art created in the past is much different from that which is created in the present. In order to understand the new art forms, we need to develop our understanding and treatment of it so that we can see it in a modern context and develop new ways of doing things. Marx is discussing the relationship between society and art while placing it in to the context of Capitalism. The conditions about what to expect from capitalism in the future is set out and this provides a framework by which Capitalism could be abolished altogether.
In studying a master’s work, the text says that the development of visual and mechanical reproduction can be determined. This could include the study of stamping, etching, woodcutting, lithographs, engraving and photography. The modern forms of this work are done through greater capabilities from mass production.
In reproducing something, it is taken from an original work and placed into a different time and space, and this takes away from its authenticity. There is also the concept of aura that a work has when it is from the original craftsman, rather than being reproduced. This mass reproduction also lends itself to the idea of showing the work to a much larger audience than what was possible before modern technology. This is representative of society’s changing values, Marx says. The changing in the style throughout the history of art contributed to this changing value system.