Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 and passed on in 1910 at the age of eighty-eight. Being born into one of Russia's great families of aristocracy was a positive for Tolstoy. Leo Tolstoy is best known for his writings of War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He also wrote What is Art, which is what will be discussed in this paper. In What is Art Tolstoy argues that art as expression of emotion makes sense, but is really only half of the theory. He explains that expressing emotion is necessary but is not sufficient. In What is Art he highlights the value and importance of his own views in relation to aesthetics. Others would try to say that there are problems, which exercised Tolstoy and explains their fundamental importance in contemporary disputes. Tolstoy believed that the importance of art lies not in its purely aesthetic qualities but in its connection with life, and that it becomes self-indulgent when that connection is lost. This view has often been deformed and its strength overlooked. Tolstoy's argument, bearing obvious compatibility to the long tradition of moralistic art theory reaching back to Plato, goes like this. (The New Criterion Vol. 17) Scanning the cultural landscape, Tolstoy saw vast human and economic resources expended "to satisfy the demands of art."" And, ticking off a list of related institutions and pursuits, he describes an art world we have come to know well: "In every large town enormous buildings are erected for museums, academies, conservatories, dramatic schools, and for performances and concerts. Hundreds of thousands of workmen "carpenters, masons, painters, joiners, paperhangers, tailors, hairdressers, jewelers, molders, typesetters "spend their whole lives in hard labor- to further art. Abetting all of this, he adds, governments and private benefactors subsidize the arts, and the press publicizes "new works of art, . . . discussed in the utmost detail by critics and connoisseurs.