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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. 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...

THE GOOD OLD TIMES. It is recorded of John Lowin, an actor contemporary with Shakespeare and associated with several of Shakespeare's greater characters (his range was so wide, indeed, that it included Falstaff, Henry the Eighth, and Hamlet), that, having survived the halcyon days of "Eliza and our James" and lingered into the drab and russet period of the Puritans, when all the theatres in the British islands were suppressed, he became poor and... more...

CHAPTER I ART AND THE DRAMA I always agree with that man who said, “Let me make the nation’s songs and I care not who frames her laws,” or words to that effect, for, in my opinion, nothing so well indicates national character or so keenly accentuates the difference between individuals and nations as the way in which they spend their leisure hours; and the theatres of Japan are thoroughly typical of the people’s... more...

I. GENOA I The traveller who on his way to Italy passes along the Riviera di Ponente, through Marseilles, Nice, and Mentone to Ventimiglia, or crossing the Alps touches Italian soil, though scarcely Italy indeed, at Turin, on coming to Genoa finds himself really at last in the South, the true South, of which Genoa la Superba is the gate, her narrow streets, the various life of her port, her picturesque colour and dirt, her immense palaces of... 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...

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...

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...

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...

THE STORY OF STEAM That which was utterly unknown to the most splendid civilizations of the past is in our time the chief power of civilization, daily engaged in making that history of a new era that is yet to be written in words. It has been demonstrated long since that men's lives are to be influenced not by theory, or belief, or argument and reason, so much as by that course of daily life which is not attempted to be governed by argument and... more...