Essays on Art by A. Clutton-Brock


Main
- books.jibble.org



My Books
- IRC Hacks

Misc. Articles
- Meaning of Jibble
- M4 Su Doku
- Computer Scrapbooking
- Setting up Java
- Bootable Java
- Cookies in Java
- Dynamic Graphs
- Social Shakespeare

External Links
- Paul Mutton
- Jibble Photo Gallery
- Jibble Forums
- Google Landmarks
- Jibble Shop
- Free Books
- Intershot Ltd

books.jibble.org

Previous Page | Next Page

Page 1

At present we have no such public. A liberal education should teach the
difference between good and bad in things of use, including buildings.
Oxford and Cambridge profess to give a liberal education; but you have
only to look at their modern buildings to see that their teachers
themselves do not know a good building from a bad one. They, like all
the rest of us, think that taste in art is an irrational mystery; they
trust in the expert and usually in the wrong one, as the ignorant and
superstitious trust in the wrong priest. For as religion is merely
mischievous unless it is tested in matters of conduct, so taste is mere
pedantry or frivolity unless it is tested on things of use. These have
their sense or nonsense, their righteousness or unrighteousness, which
anyone can learn to see for himself, and, until he has learned, he will
be at the mercy of charlatans.

I have written all these essays as a member of the public, as one who
has to find a right attitude towards art so that the arts may flourish
again. The critic is sure to be a charlatan or a prig, unless he is to
himself not a pseudo-artist expounding the mysteries of art and telling
artists how to practise them, but simply one of the public with a
natural and human interest in art. But one of these essays is a defence
of criticism, and I will not repeat it here.

A. CLUTTON-BROCK
_July_ 30, 1919
FARNCOMBE, SURREY




CONTENTS


"THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI" 1

LEONARDO DA VINCI 13

THE POMPADOUR IN ART 27

AN UNPOPULAR MASTER 37

A DEFENCE OF CRITICISM 48

THE ARTIST AND HIS AUDIENCE 58

WILFULNESS AND WISDOM 74

"THE MAGIC FLUTE" 86

PROCESS OR PERSON? 97

THE ARTIST AND THE TRADESMAN 110

PROFESSIONALISM IN ART 120

WASTE OR CREATION? 132




ESSAYS ON ART


"The Adoration of the Magi"


There is one beauty of nature and another of art, and many attempts have
been made to explain the difference between them. Signor Croce's theory,
now much in favour, is that nature provides only the raw material for
art. The beginning of the artistic process is the perception of beauty
in nature; but an artist does not see beauty as he sees a cow. It is his
own mind that imposes on the chaos of nature an order, a relation, which
is beauty. All men have the faculty, in some degree, of imposing this
order; the artist only does it more completely than other men, and he
owes his power of execution to that. He can make the beauty which he has
perceived because he has perceived it clearly; and this perceiving is
part of the making.

The defect of this theory is that it ends by denying that very
difference between the beauty of nature and the beauty of art which it
sets out to explain. If the artist makes the beauty of nature in
perceiving it, if it is produced by the action of his own mind upon the
chaos of reality, then it is the very same beauty that appears in his
art; and if, to us, the beauty of his art seems different from the
beauty of nature, as we perceive it, it is only because we have not
ourselves seen the beauty of nature as completely as he has, we have not
reduced chaos so thoroughly to order. It is a difference not of kind,
but of degree; for the artist himself there is no difference even of
degree. What he makes he sees, and what he sees he makes. All beauty is
artistic, and to speak of natural beauty is to make a false distinction.

Previous Page | Next Page


Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sat 20th Oct 2018, 8:51