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Prospects For British Art
INQUIRIES relating to the character and genius of any particular nation, whether as exhibited by its prowess in arms, or its progress in the arts of civilization,—in which, doubtless, deeds of renown, and triumphs as noble, may be achieved as in the former, seldom fail to be both interesting and instructive to every intelligent person.
Deficiency In Patronage For Works Of Arts
Among the various causes which have contributed to the deficiency in works of high artistical merit in this country, one of the first and most influential must be considered to be the want of adequate patronage of painting and sculpture.
Defective Education Of Artists
In the preceding sections I observed that the main deficiency in the works of painting and sculpture in the English school, consists in the want of mental power and vigour in describing the scenes they portray, and rendering them attractive as intellectual performances which could afford gratification to persons of genius and cultivation.
Defective General Study Of Art
But while we must in some degree attribute the cause of our inferiority in art to the limited education, or the want of general cultivation of our artists, it is but justice that the public at large should in their turn also bear their share of the blame, as the defect to a great extent arises from the limited attention which on their part is ordinarily bestowed upon the arts.
Propsal For A National Gallery Of Copies
For the general improvement of the public taste it is highly desirable that galleries of works of art of superior merit should be established in the nation, which might be open to the public, where the finest productions could be viewed, works which are fitted to form a true standard of excellence by which to judge.
Union And Co-operation Of Art And Literature
But although the arts have a beneficial influence over a nation in refining and elevating it, they may also have a tendency to render the people effeminate, and too much to call off their attention from martial and manly occupations. They consequently require to be blended with other studies, which may not so much counteract as correct their influence in this respect.
Suggestion For "graphopneumata" Designs
The theory here propounded is that the conception of a grand artistical composition may be well and completely effected by one particular person gifted with powers applicable for the purpose, but who may not be possessed of the endowments which would enable him to embody his ideas upon canvas.
The Arts Not Yet Engrafted In This Country
After a full investigation of the subject discussed in the present chapter, it must be concluded, indeed the fact is too obvious to admit of any doubt, that the arts, especially those of painting sculpture and architecture, have not as yet been engrafted in England.
Establishment Of A British School Of Art
If, therefore, as I contend that we are entitled to do, we may judge from the eminence which in the arts of poetry and eloquence we have attained, that we are not deficient in intellectual power to enable us to rival the most celebrated performances of the ancients in either art; and if, as I have lately observed, in mechanical execution of works of art we are not even now deficient.
Hints For The Invention Of New Orders Of Architecture
Complaint has been made of the poverty of style as regards certain of the arts at the present day, more especially that of architecture, and the inefficiency of some of its orders to be the vehicle for calling forth those ideas allied to the picturesque which formed the subject of a previous chapter.
Foundation Of A Tribunal Of True Taste
One institution of a peculiar nature appears to be more or less essential in every country where the arts not only attain a high degree of perfection, but, what is equally important, maintain themselves at that point. I allude to the establishment of a national tribunal of true taste.
Recapitulation And Conclusion
I come now to the conclusion of this most interesting and ennobling subject, which to me has ever been a source of high gratification, and which to all affords food for research and reflection of a kind the most delightful and the most refining.
Strength Of Habit
Far up in the mountains of Montana are the head-waters of a great river. At different points along the mountain ridges three small streams are fed by springs and mountain brooks, and one of them has its source in a beautiful lake in the National Park.
Law Of Habit
The law of habit is to repeat a customary act until it becomes an involuntary, settled principle of action. In the beginning, it is a force easily capable of being measured and guided in the end, it becomes an irresistible force, that sweeps everything before it.
Cultivation Of Habit
This matter of supplanting bad habits by the assiduous cultivation of good ones has not received that attention which the importance of the subject deserves. We hear much about bad habits and their deleterious effects upon society at large ; but we do not hear so much about the benefits of good habits.
Some Bad Habits
The dangers of evil habit thus lie in the first acts of a series that are cumulative to the end of life. The danger to the boy is in his first hour of loafing. The danger to the smoker is in the first days, before the system comes to demand its daily rations of nicotine.
Some Good Habits
Thus our habits may be turned to account as helpers in the struggle of life. Good habits are our friends. We have seen that they may be cultivated, and there is no good reason why a man may not marshal the' mighty power of habit upon his side in the fight.
Music Among The Nations Of Remote Antiquity
IN our historical search for the expression and practice of music we turn first of all to the cradle of the human race, southeastern Asia, inhabited by the Chinese, Japanese and Hindoos. These nations, though geographically allied and bearing a degree of mental resemblance to each other, present very striking contrasts.
Music Among The Hebrews, Greeks And Romans
IN considering the music of remote antiquity we have seen that its most important function was in religious worship. The Hebrews also gave it great importance in their temple service. More than any other ancient nation do they give evidence of the feeling that music is something supernatural, something divine — or that it contains, at least, a breath of the divine.
Music In The Early Christian Era
WHEN Rome was the center of civilization, men sought pleasure, power and riches above all things. During this period was born the Christ, whose message to humanity was diametrically opposed to the prevailing spirit. The classical age, lofty as was its mission and great its perfection, in many ways ignored the claims of humanity.
The Beginnings Of Polyphonic Music
FROM the days of Gregory the Great (ending with the sixth century) until the year 1000, musical history is practically a blank so far as definite improvement in the art itself is concerned, but those four centuries were very busy ones for Christendom. Everything worth while in educational matters was done for and by the church.
Folk Music During The Middle Ages
EVERY nation and every tribe, even in ancient times, has had its folk-songs, an outgrowth of the very life of the people, more or less artistic according to their emotional development, in which the soul sought expression of that for which speech was inadequate.
The Development Of Vocal Polyphony
IN our consideration of popular music in the Middle Ages, we dealt of course only with secular song, the unconscious art-expression of the folk-spirit. During the same period, the nurture of music as a conscious art remained in the hands of cloistered monks, organists and church musicians, and to them we must return for a further investigation of its development.
The Renaissance And The Reformation
IN spite of numerous internal doctrinal disputes, the church of Rome maintained its jurisdiction over all the nations of western and central Europe throughout the Middle Ages. During the reign of Maximilian I, however, a religious movement was begun, which led finally to the division of all Christendom into two great denominations; and this movement is called the Reformation.
Golden Age Of Catholic Church Music
As shown in the foregoing, the most striking and effective result of the movement begun by the Renaissance was its bringing to the world's knowledge the fact that, ages before, there had existed a civilization more refined, more complex, more artistic, than any known during the middle ages.
Birth Of Opera And Oratorio
DURING the Middle Ages, individual, social, political and psychological rights were not recognized, but all was governed and controlled by either State or Church; consequently choral music, collective utterance, was the fitting medium for expressing the artistic tendency of the times.
Development Of Italian Opera
THE success of Peri's Euridice in Italy, and later in France and Germany, was not so much due to the inherent value of the work itself, as to the general realization that these newly invented styles of musical utterance exhibited a fitness for dramatic purposes far beyond that of polyphonic writing.
French Opera From Its Beginning
IN previous chapters we mentioned that numerous kings of France were patrons of music, maintaining bodies of musicians at court, or as attachés to their chapels, for the purpose of securing dignified performances of church music; Okeghem being with Charles VII, and Josquin de Près with Louis XII.
Opera In Germany And The German Opera
GERMANY was the first country outside of Italy in which an Italian opera was performed, and it was given in the German language and not in the original Italian; like like the French the Germans have, from the outset, stood for the principle that if they were to have any opera, they wanted it in their own language.
Music Of The Protestant Church, The Passion And The Oratorio
IN a preceding chapter we followed the development of Catholic church music to its greatest height of artistic excellence at the hands of Lassus, Palestrina and some of their successors, an indirect result of the great Reformation.
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