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CHAPTER I. THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF CHALDÆO-ASSYRIAN CIVILIZATION. § 1.—Situation and Boundaries of Chaldæa and Assyria. The primitive civilization of Chaldæa, like that of Egypt, was cradled in the lower districts of a great alluvial basin, in which the soil was stolen from the sea by long continued deposits of river mud. In the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, as in that of the Nile, it was in the great... more...

LECTURE I. THE DISCOVERY AND APPLICATION OF ART. A Lecture delivered at Manchester, July 10, 1857. 1. Among the various characteristics of the age in which we live, as compared with other ages of this not yet very experienced world, one of the most notable appears to me to be the just and wholesome contempt in which we hold poverty. I repeat, the just and wholesome contempt; though I see that some of my hearers look surprised at the... more...

CHAPTER I The Duomo I: Its Construction The City of the Miracle—The Marble Companions—Twilight andImmensity—Arnolfo di Cambio—Dante's seat—Ruskin's "Shepherd"—Giottothe various—Giotto's fun—The indomitable Brunelleschi—Makers ofFlorence—The present façade. All visitors to Florence make first for the Duomo. Let us do the same. The real name of the Duomo is the Cathedral of S.... more...

CHAPTER I THE BRIDE OF THE ADRIATIC The best approach to Venice—Chioggia—A first view—Another water approach—Padua and Fusina—The railway station—A complete transformation—A Venetian guide-book—A city of a dream. I have no doubt whatever that, if the diversion can be arranged, the perfect way for the railway traveller to approach Venice for the first time is from Chioggia, in the afternoon.... more...

Perhaps the most important part of Criticism is the fact that it presents to the creator a problem which is never solved. Criticism is to him a perpetual Presence: or perhaps a ghost which he will not succeed in laying. If he could satisfy his mind that Criticism was a certain thing: a good thing or a bad, a proper presence or an irrelevant, he could psychologically dispose of it. But he can not. For Criticism is a configuration of responses and... more...


Foreword This handbook is designed to furnish the information necessary for intelligent appreciation of the purely artistic features of the Exposition. It is planned first to explain the symbolism of the architecture, sculpture and painting; and second, to point out the special qualities that give each artistic unit its individual appeal. It is made for the intelligent observer who, having enjoyed the purely aesthetic impression of the various... more...

PREFACE. 1. I must pray the readers of the following Lectures to remember that the duty at present laid on me at Oxford is of an exceptionally complex character. Directly, it is to awaken the interest of my pupils in a study which they have hitherto found unattractive, and imagined to be useless; but more imperatively, it is to define the principles by which the study itself should be guided; and to vindicate their security against the doubts... more...

ARTIST AND PUBLIC In the history of art, as in the history of politics and in the history of economics, our modern epoch is marked off from all preceding epochs by one great event, the French Revolution. Fragonard, who survived that Revolution to lose himself in a new and strange world, is the last at the old masters; David, some sixteen years his junior, is the first of the moderns. Now if we look for the most fundamental distinction between... 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...

APOLOGIA PRO LIBELLO: IN A LETTER TO A FRIEND Although you know your Italy well, you ask me, who see her now for the first time, to tell you how I find her; how she sinks into me; wherein she fulfils, and wherein fails to fulfil, certain dreams and fancies of mine (old amusements of yours) about her. Here, truly, you show yourself the diligent collector of human documents your friends have always believed you; for I think it can only be appetite... more...