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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 It is hardly necessary to apologise for the miscellaneous character of the following collection of essays.  Samuel Butler was a man of such unusual versatility, and his interests were so many and so various that his literary remains were bound to cover a wide field.  Nevertheless it will be found that several of the subjects to which he devoted much time and labour are not represented in these pages.  I have not... more...

INTRODUCTORY So far as it concerns pictures painted upon panel or canvas in tempera or oils, the history of painting begins with Cimabue, who worked in Florence during the latter half of the thirteenth century. That the art was practised in much earlier times may readily be admitted, and the life-like portraits in the vestibule at the National Gallery taken from Greek tombs of the second or third century are sufficient proofs of it; but for the... more...

INTRODUCTION[2] [3] AN APOLOGY FOR PUPPETS After seeing a ballet, a farce, and the fragment of an opera performed by the marionettes at the Costanzi Theatre in Rome, I am inclined to ask myself why we require the intervention of any less perfect medium between the meaning of a piece, as the author conceived it, and that other meaning which it derives from our reception of it. The living actor, even when he condescends to subordinate... more...

THE PERIOD OF MODERN ART IN ROME But ah, that spring should vanish with the Rose!That youth’s sweet-scented manuscript should close?The nightingale that in the branches sang,Oh, where and whither flown again,—who knows? Omar Khayyam. Rome, as the picturesque city of the Popes in the middle years of the nineteenth century, was resplendent in local color. It was the Rome of sunny winters; the Rome of gay excursions over that haunted... 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...