A strange weave of space and time: the unique appearance or semblance of distance, no matter how close it may be. While at rest on a summer's noon, to trace a range of mountain on the horizon, or a branch that throws its shadow on the observer, until the moment or the hour become part of their appearance—this is what it means to breathe the aura of those mountains, that branch. Now, to bring things closer to us or rather to the masses, is just as passionate an inclination in our day as the overcoming of whatever is unique in every situation by means of its reproduction. Every day the need to possess the object in close-up in the form of a picture, or rather a copy, becomes more imperative. The difference between the copy, which illustrated papers and newsreels keep in readiness, and the original picture is unmistakable. Uniqueness and duration are intimately intertwined in the latter as are transience and reproducibility in the former.Andrew Robinson's summary:
...Historically, works of art had an 'aura'—an appearance of magical or supernatural force arising from their uniqueness (similar to mana). The aura includes a sensory experience of distance between the reader and the work of art.Another and welcome reading of 'aura' turned up in Carolin Duttlinger's "Imaginary Encounters: Walter Benjamin and the Aura of Photography" which I read carefully and extracted some passages for later review.
The aura has disappeared in the modern age because art has become reproducible...
The aura is an effect of a work of art being uniquely present in time and space. It is connected to the idea of authenticity.