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Mystery
Suggestion with its phantom guide-posts leads us through its varied mazes to the dwelling-place of mystery. Here the artist will do well to tarry and learn all the oracle may teach him.
Simplicity
Breadth while fostering suggestiveness gives birth to simplicity ; a subjective quality.
Reserve
Another bifurcation of simplicity is Reserve. In the simple statement of the returning Roman general : I came, I saw, I conquered, - all that the senate desired to know was stated and it gained force by virtue of what was left unsaid.
Relief
It is not necessary for the artist to lift his sitter off the canvas by a forced light on the figure and an intense shadow separating him from the wall behind.
Finish
Finish is not dependent upon putting in everything which nature contains, else would art not be a matter of selection. Finish, though interpreted singularly by different artists as to degree, is universally understood to mean the same thing.
The Critical Judgment Of Pictures
With the critic all depends on the right application of his principles in particular cases. And since there are fifty ingenuous critics to one of penetration, it would be a wonder if the applications were in every case with the caution indispensable to an exact adjustment of the scales of art.
Specific Qualities And Faults
IF we recognize the manly qualities in a picture, the work has at least a favorable introduction. Farther than this point it may not please us, but if not, it should remain a question of taste between the artist and yourself; and, concerning taste there is no disputing.
The Picture Sense
How so ever eloquent may be the artist in his work, it is convincing only in that degree to which his audience is prepared to understand his language and comprehend his subject.
Color, Harmony, Tone
IN viewing a picture exhibition the average man, woman and child would be attracted by different aspects of it ; the man by the tone of the pictures, the woman by their color, the child almost wholly by the form or subject.
Values
Another important consideration in an estimate of a picture is its truth of values. The color may be correct and harmonious but the degree of its light and shade be faulty. This is a consideration more important to the student than the connoisseur as but few pictures see the light of an exhibition which carry this fault.
Envelopment And Color Perspective
ALLIED to values is the idea of envelopment : of a kindred notion to this is aerial perspective. On these two depends the proper presentation of a figure in air.
The Bias Of Judgment
IF discernment was, ours to trace through the maze of fashion and experimental originality the living principle of true art, the caprice of taste would have little to do with the comfort of our convictions or the worth of our investments.
The Living Principle
IF there be a basis of reliance for continuous life and consequent value, a search for the living principle must be made in those works which the world will not let die. And this labor will be aided by the exclusion of such as have had their day and passed.
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