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Introduction Two conflicting tendencies in Ruskin. It is distinctive of the nineteenth century that in its passion for criticising everything in heaven and earth it by no means spared to criticise itself. Alike in Carlyle's fulminations against its insincerity, in Arnold's nice ridicule of Philistinism, and in Ruskin's repudiation of everything modern, we detect that fine dissatisfaction with the age which is perhaps only proof of its... more...

INTRODUCTION. The origin of painting is unknown. The first important records of this art are met with in Egypt; but before the Egyptian civilization the men of the early ages probably used color in ornamentation and decoration, and they certainly scratched the outlines of men and animals upon bone and slate. Traces of this rude primitive work still remain to us on the pottery, weapons, and stone implements of the cave-dwellers. But while... more...

Art

I THE AESTHETIC HYPOTHESIS It is improbable that more nonsense has been written about aesthetics than about anything else: the literature of the subject is not large enough for that. It is certain, however, that about no subject with which I am acquainted has so little been said that is at all to the purpose. The explanation is discoverable. He who would elaborate a plausible theory of aesthetics must possess two qualities—artistic... more...

EARLY ITALIAN ART—GIOTTO, 1276-1337—ANDREA PISANO. 1280-1345—ORCAGNA, 1315-1376 GHIBERTI, 1381-1455—MASACCIO, 1402-1428 OR 1429—FRA ANGELICO, 1387-1455. A pencil and paper, a box of colours, and a scrap-book, form so often a child's favourite toys that one might expect that a very large portion of men and women would prove painters. But, as we grow in years and knowledge, the discrepancy between nature and our... more...

I THE PRECURSORS OF IMPRESSIONISM—THE BEGINNING OF THIS MOVEMENT AND THE ORIGIN OF ITS NAME   It will be beyond the scope of this volume to give a complete history of French Impressionism, and to include all the attractive details to which it might lead, as regards the movement itself and the very curious epoch during which its evolution has taken place. The proportions of this book confine its aim to the clearest possible summing... more...


INTRODUCTION Whatever its outward expression, human thought remains essentially unchanged and, throughout all of its manifestations, is fundamentally the same. Varying phases are but accidents and underneath the divers wrappings of historic periods or different civilizations, the heart as well as the mind of man has been moved by the same desires. Art possesses a unity like that of nature. It is profound and stirring, precisely because it... more...

CHAPTER I VENICE AND HER ART Venetian painting in its prime differs altogether in character from that of every other part of Italy. The Venetian is the most marked and recognisable of all the schools; its singularity is such that a novice in art can easily, in a miscellaneous collection, sort out the works belonging to it, and added to this unique character is the position it occupies in the domain of art. Venice alone of Italian States can... more...

THE MIND OF THE ARTIST I An able painter by his power of penetration into the mysteries of his art is usually an able critic. Alfred Stevens. The Belgian painter, not the English sculptor. II Art, like love, excludes all competition, and absorbs the man. Fuseli. III A good painter has two chief objects to paint, namely, man, and the intention of his soul. The first is easy, the second difficult, because he has to represent it... more...

DIARY OF AN ENNUYÉE. Calais, June 21.—What young lady, travelling for the first time on the Continent, does not write a "Diary?" No sooner have we slept on the shores of France—no sooner are we seated in the gay salon at Dessin's, than we call, like Biddy Fudge, for "French pens and French ink," and forth steps from its case the morocco-bound diary, regularly ruled and paged, with its patent Bramah lock and key, wherein we... more...

A BALLADE OF ART COLLECTORS Oh Lord! We are the covetous.  Our neighbours' goods afflict us sore.From Frisco to the Bosphorus  All sightly stuff, the less the more,We want it in our hoard and store.  Nor sacrilege doth us appal—Egyptian vault—fane at Cawnpore—  Collector folk are sinners all. Our envoys plot in partibus.  They've small regard for chancel door,Or Buddhist bolts... more...