Classic and Italian Painting (Illustrated Text-Books of Art Education)


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From the PREFACE:
IT is no doubt the business of artists to educate the public in matters of art by raising the standard of taste through their own productions, whether these take the form of architecture, sculpture, painting, or the industrial arts. And it is equally without doubt that public opinion reacts, and not always too favourably, upon art, by creating a demand which can but rarely be up to the required level of taste and critical knowledge: and this must be the case so long as that class of the public which possesses the means of encouraging art remains for the most part in a Dogberry-like belief that the appreciation of what is excellent in architecture, painting, or sculpture " comes by nature."
To be born with a love for the arts is doubtless "a gift of fortune," which is possibly completely denied to many people; though, however small the natural gift, it can be encouraged into the right direction. There are some amateurs of art who have acquired in the course of their life a critical knowledge of the subject inferior to none — their strong predilections leading them to devote themselves to it almost as though it were the business of their lives. This class of connoisseurs, or dilettanti, or amateurs, as they are variously called, has always existed in greater or less numbers wherever there has been any cultivation of art : but whereas the patronage of the arts was formerly confined to a small rlass, in the present day we have entered upon a new and different phase.
Within the last few years an interest in art — not unfrequently genuine enough — has sprung up, which is very widespread, and which is increasing far beyond the circle of the few highly cultivated persons who at one time constituted the amateur classes. But if this interest is to be more than a fashion — distinguishing itself chiefly in the opportunity it affords for quackery and advertisement among some so-called "art" companies and tradesmen — a definite and systematic knowledge of art must be its foundation.
The object of this series of Text-books is to provide that such a knowledge should form part of general education; and it would seem hardly necessary to point out the advantages to be gained from their use in this direction, did we not know of the strange belief alluded to above — that the appreciation of good or bad in art is a mere matter of taste. This belief does not extend to literature, the rudiments at least of which, far in excess of what is required for reading, writing, and grammar, are taught in all our higher schools. It is to be supposed, for instance, that the intention in teaching Greek and Latin in our public schools goes beyond the mere benefit to be derived from subjects requiring regular application; the knowledge thus confined forms at the same time a basis of the etymology of an important section of modern languages.
The pupil surely is intended to combine with these advantages the foundation of a discriminative taste for the higher forms of literature, to the beauties of which his mind may be opened through the study of the best classic models. Something of the history of classic literature is also supposed to be acquired. Most boys, on leaving school, know at least who Homer, Æschylus, Virgil, and Horace were and what they did. They have probably learnt also how Virgil's epic is founded on Homer's; how Æschylus led the way to Sophocles and Euripides; they have learnt from Horace the various forms of versification which he used, and whence they were derived, and much more of the same kind; in fact, unless more than the usual amount of time has been devoted to athletics, they come away with a sufficient general acquaintance with fine literature to form their taste and to help them to pursue the subject' in after life if so inclined....

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Percey R, Head








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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform








CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform


Classic and Italian Painting (Illustrated Text-Books of Art Education)


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