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INTRODUCTION It is a happy memory that associates the foundation of our Royal Academy with the delivery of these inaugural discourses by Sir Joshua Reynolds, on the opening of the schools, and at the first annual meetings for the distribution of its prizes.  They laid down principles of art from the point of view of a man of genius who had made his power felt, and with the clear good sense which is the foundation of all work that looks... 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...

Sculpture of the Exposition Palaces and Courts "The influence of sculpture is far reaching. The mind that loves this art and understands its language will more and more insist on a certain order and decorum in visual life. It opens an avenue for the expression of aesthetic enjoyment somewhere between poetry and music and akin to drama. - Arthur Hoeber The Fountain of Energy A. Stirling Calder, Sculptor [See Frontispiece] The Fountain of... more...

CHAPTER I. Long after the extinction of the practical art-power evolved from the master-minds of Greece and Rome, though rudely shattered by the northern tribes, it failed not to enforce from them an admission of its grandeur. Loving, as all rude nations do, so much of art as goes to the adornment of life, they also felt that there was a still higher aim in the enlarged spirit of classic invention. It is recorded that one of these ancient... more...

There is a hill-crowned city by a silver sea, near a Golden Gate. For ages the water has washed from an almost land-locked bay against this hill-crowned city, and on its northern side has created of the shore an amphitheatre stretching for some three miles to the western headlands. Behind this amphitheatre rises, in terraces, the steep hills of this water-lashed city, and in part, a forest of pines stretches to the west. Man has flanked this... more...


CHAPTER I THE DRAMATIC CRITIC   His Qualifications The production of a play in the Russian tongue renders topical a phrase once used, not unhappily, by Mr Cecil Raleigh concerning the qualifications of the dramatic critic. After listening to a somewhat extravagant speech about the duties of the critic, he said that the dramatic critic ought, apparently, to be a "polyglot archangel." During the last few years we have had plays in Russian,... more...

THE NATIONAL GALLERY SITE COMMISSION. Evidence of John Ruskin, Monday, April 6, 1857. 114. Chairman. Has your attention been turned to the desirableness of uniting sculpture with painting under the same roof?—Yes. What is your opinion on the subject?—I think it almost essential that they should be united, if a National Gallery is to be of service in teaching the course of art. Sculpture of all kinds, or only ancient... more...

PREFACE TO THE EDITION OF 1887. The following lectures were the most important piece of my literary work done with unabated power, best motive, and happiest concurrence of circumstance. They were written and delivered while my mother yet lived, and had vividest sympathy in all I was attempting;—while also my friends put unbroken trust in me, and the course of study I had followed seemed to fit me for the acceptance of noble tasks 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...

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...