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ings, to elucidate its latent suggestions of their suggestions, interpreting with loyal significance and loveliness. They do not conscientiousness nature's effort to effecaim at producing a mere bare copy of their tuate perfection. Here at last we touch subject at some accidental moment, for idealism in its essence. But such idealthey know that the thing itself is better ism, when sound and healthy, is only than such a copy would be. They attempt realism in the intensest phase of veracity; to seize and reveal its character at the it is truth quintessenced and raised to the very best, to represent what it strives to highest power. And such art is the ultibe, to express its truest truth, not what mate expansion of those factors which we is transitory and conditioned by circum- found to be co-existent in the simplest stance, but what is permanent and freed sketch from nature. from limitations in it.
In the right understanding of this corThe figurative arts are thus led to what relation between realism and idealism the is after all their highest function, the Greek sculptors are our surest teachers. presentation of thought and feeling in It was incumbent upon them to create beautiful form. Statues and pictures must images of gods and goddesses and heroes, fall short of life in flesh and blood reality. each of whom represented in perfection But these same works of human industry some one psychological attribute of hucan transfigure particular realities by in- man nature. For these spiritual essences fusing into them the elements of gener- they were bound to find fit incarnation alization, selection, sympathetic emotion, through the means available by art. They interpretative insight. These elements, therefore always had before their minds in the language of discredited schools, are the problem how to invest such isolated expression and idealization. According attributes with appropriate forms - how to the demonstration I have attempted in to fashion a Zeus who should be all-majesthis essay, they may be better described tic, a Herakles who should be strength as the final outcome of those qualities personified, an Aphrodite who should be partly defect of manual ability, partly addi- the consummation of feminine attractive. tion of mental sensibility — which dis-ness, a faun which should be light and tinguish a drawing from a cast or a active as the creatures of the woodland photograph. They are the deliberate without ceasing to be man in shape. The elaboration of the subjective ingredient solution of this problem forced them to which is inevitable in every imitation by idealize, while their exquisite sense for the hand of man.
the beauty, grace, and dignity of the living Figurative art, in its most vital epochs, model kept them realistically faithful to lent itself to the expression of religious minutest facts in nature. ideas. The artist had to find corporeal In order to illustrate how the best Greek investiture for the generalized and divin- work exhibits that right blending of the ized qualities of human nature. Such ideal with the real on which I am insistexact corporeal investiture for a spiritual ing, I will quote a passage from Haydon's type of human energy or passion is rarely, autobiography, which records the impresif ever, offered by a single living person. sion made upon his mind by the first sight Who, for example, has seen a man or of the Elgin marbles. It must be rewoman of whom he could say, “There membered that Haydon grew up in En. goes Zeus," or "There goes Aphrodite "? gland at a time when Reynolds, Fuseli, What we do say is rather “majestic as and West had saturated the art schools Zeus, beautiful as Aphrodite.” In other with false doctrine about the “beau-ideal,” words, the living person suggests hints to the grand style,” "the superiority of art the artist for working out " that type of to nature.” Haydon, though he never perfect in his mind." The artist, then, is worked out the problems of design succompelled to create a body for the idea he cessfully in his own practice, was conhas to express; more majestic or more vinced that realism, or truth to actual beautiful than any single body he has ever fact, formed the only solid basis for sculpseen; more completely adequate to the ture and painting. Consequently, when idea; more thoroughly penetrated with he found the closest observation of nature the specific qualities of the spiritual type combined with the loftiest heroic style in in all its parts. At the same time this the fragments of the Parthenon, these had form must not, at any point, be discordant for him authentic inspiration; they de. with the structure of the human body as livered him from what was specious and he learns to know it from his models. It misleading in the idealism of his epoch; must, on the contrary, be most faithful to they confirmed him in his own instinctive those models, enhancing and accentuating I belief that genuine grandeur was not only
compatible with the most painstaking imi- of realism and idealism. We have already tation of the model, but that such devotion learned that every work of figurative art to the truth of nature formed an indis- contains both elements, whether this be a pensable condition of masterly creative simple pencil-drawing from a single model, work. Here was an apocalypse of the or a composition so complex as the friezes right method for all art and in all ages. of the Parthenon. Yet it is clear that the Here was a demonstration of the indisso- artist may lean more to the one side than luble and organic link between the sublim- the other. He may choose to concentrate est idealism and the humblest realism, his powers upon the literal imitation of
There is so much of a curious sort of objects rather than upon the development pathos, combined with so much of pas- of subjective qualities. Or, on the other sionate and sudden enthusiasm, in Hay- hand, he may devote his whole attention don's narrative, that I venture to reproduce to the refinement of an intellectual type of a large portion of it textually. It should beauty or to the expression of thoughts, not be forgotten that to this man, in no remaining content with slovenly execution small measure, English people owe the and feeble grasp on fact. At one period presence in their midst of the Parthenon of art, and in one school, tendencies in sculptures, and all that flows therefrom favor of crude realisin will prevail ; at for better and for worse :
another time, or in another region, the
bias will be toward unsubstantial idealism. To Park Lane then we went, and after we cannot always expect that perfect passing through the hall and thence into an open yard, entered a damp, dirty pent-house, synthesis which makes the work of Pheiwhere lay the marbles ranged within sight
dias exemplary. It is therefore profitable and reach.
to define the two factors which are forThe first thing I fixed my eyes on was the ever being brought by the practice of art wrist of a figure in one of the female groups, into more or less complete accord. in which were visible, though in a feminine Realism is the presentation of natural form, the radius and ulna. I was astonished, objects as the artist sees them, as he for I had never seen them hinted at in any thinks they are. It is the attempt to female wrist in the antique. I darted my eye imitate things as they strike the senses. to the elbow, and saw the outer condyle visibly affecting the shape as in nature.
Idealism is the presentation of natural that the arm was in repose and the soft parts objects as the artist fain would see them, in relaxation. That combination of nature as he thinks they strive to be. It is the and idea which I had felt was so much want attempt to imitate things as the mind ining for high art was here displayed to midday terprets them. conviction. My heart beati if I had seen I may pause to remark that the distincnothing else, I had beheld enough to keep me tion implied in these definitions is as old to nature for the rest of my life. But when I as Aristotle. In the Poetics we read : turned to the Theseus and saw that every
Sophocles used to say that he depicted form was altered by action or repose when I saw that the two sides of his back varied, they are.” In other words, Sophocles re
men as they ought to be, Euripides as one side stretched from the shoulder-blade being pulled forward, and the other side com- garded himself as an idealist, Euripides pressed from the shoulder-blade being pushed as a realist. Again : “Polygnotus painted close to the spine as he rested on his elbow, men better than they are, Pauson worse with the belly flat, because the bowels fell into than they are, Dionysius as they are.” In the pelvis as he sat - and when, turning to other words, Polygnotus was an idcalist, the İlissus, I saw the belly protruded from Pauson a caricaturist, Dionysius a realist. the figure lying on its side and again when Once again, speaking more generally of in the figure of the fighting metope I saw the painters, Aristotle gives a clear account of muscle shown under the arm pit in that in- idealists: “ While inaking men like mer stantaneous action of darting out, and left out they paint them fairer."* in the other arm-pits because not wanted when I saw, in fact, the most heroic style
Now this distinction, which is based combined with all the essential detail of actual upon the fundamental properties of human life, the thing was done at once and forever. as distinguished from mechanical imita
I felt as if a divine truth had blazed | tion, has been fruitful of results both in inwardly upon my mind, and I knew that they j the practice and the theory of the arts. (the marbles) would at last rouse the art of Draughtsmen very soon discover that they Europe from its slumber in the darkness.
cannot wholly eliminate an idealistic or
subjective element from their work ; but At this point it is necessary, for the * These passages will be found in cap. xxvi. and sake of clearness, to attempt the definition | cap. ii.
they are able either to keep this in abey- cipally concerns us liere is its final maniance or to emphasize it. They can swerve festation in what is now called realism. more to the side of literal delineation, or This, of a truth, is rather a phase of litmore to the side of imaginative selection. erature than of figurative art; yet it may Theorists and writers upon art, noticing be studied in contemporary sculpture and this power of choice, have divided into painting no less than in poetry and fichostile camps; and the doctrines of the tion. schools have reacted upon practice. Not- Realism, being a revolt against the false withstanding the impossibility of separat- principles of that phthisical idealism ing the twin-born factors of every human which claimed the empire in despite of imitative product, antagonistic standards nature, has attached itself to the ugly, the of the real and the ideal came thus into commonplace, the vicious in human existexistence. The warfare of opinion on this ence; it has set its face steadily against crucial point diverts practical artists from selection and interpretation; it has striven consistently aiming at that just balance to represent things merely as they are, and between the careful study of nature and the not the best things. effort to interpret nature, which is the In so doing the realists have chosen an mark of supreme art.
illogical and untenable position ; for nothI will illustrate my meaning by referring ing is more manifest than that beauty is to European art in the last three centu- as real as ugliness, purity as obscenity, ries. When sculpture and painting de virtue as vice, health and harmony as disclined in Italy, after the death of Michel- ease and discord. Indeed, as I have reangelo, artists began to withdraw from marked above, the whole history of the the study of life. Theories were promul. world proves that the good possesses gated to the effect that nature hampers the more of reality, more of permanence, than freedom of genius, and obscures the in- the bad. Reactions and revolutions, howspiration which illuminates the artist's ever, are never just. And thus it is with soul. It was maintained that he ought contemporary realism. Conscious that only to know so much of nature as would idealism, in the effete forms of the last save his work from monstrosity. He was century, was a sham - conscious that this told that art bettered nature, and that the impostor claimed the monopoly of beauty, painstaking imitation of details lowered purity, virtue, harmony- the reactionastyle. This led to superficial, slovenly, ries studied reality where it is most painconceited compositions being palmed off fully apparent and least capable of being as sublime. The frigid abstractions of confounded with the idealistic object of the Bolognese eclectics passed for heroic, their hatred. They chose the sphere of because they avoided literal painstaking vulgarity and pathology as though this transcripts from reality. The doctrine of were eminently real. Philosophers, mean. the beau-idéal was preached in France. while, can welcome even Zola's “ Nana Sir Joshua Reynolds dilated on the grand for the sake of its reactionary force. We style. David, with his pseudo.classicism, know that the pendulum must swing back imposed on Paris as the reviver of the from that extreme point. The arts are Greek manner. West in England, vacu- bound to recognize the truth that it is not ous and feeble, took rank among the great their duty and their glory to represent dereligious painters. A spurious idealism formity. But the arts will have been the reigned supreme; and through the starva- better for those drastic studies which tion of her twin sister, realisin, art fell into force them to face their problem in its decay.
crudest shape. A reaction was necessitated. The Resuming what I have attempted to world had been filled with manneristic establish, we find in the art-history of the technicalities and with shallow academi- present century a false idealism supercal pomposities — with ideal figures, ideal seded by a false realism. Both are false, faces, ideal draperies, ideal landscapes, because neither recognizes the correlation ideal trees which were only ideal because of those elements which in the work of they resembled nothing real precisely. Pheidias we have seen to be supremely The reaction assumed many forms; it harmonized. The idealist sought to disshowed itself earliest in a revived admira- pense with the necessary interrogation of tion for Dutch painting and in the English nature; the realist seeks to ignore the school of landscape ; it took definite shape fact that art must aim at selection and in the romanticists of France and Ger- must disengage the elements of beauty many and in the pre-Raphaelite brother- inherent in nature. The one regarded hood of England." But that which prin. I man's incapacity to rival a machine with
pride, and deemed his power of indepen- or obsolescent fancy. Science has rendent imagination sufficient for itself. The dered our sense of veracity acute. Under other, indignant at the miserable conse- its influence we tend to become positive, quences of such arrogance, strives to re- shy of anything which seems untrue to duce man's mind, so far as possible, to fact, intolerant of a merely allegorical use the condition of an imitative machine.* of known things to express visions how
Meanwhile, this uncompromising real- ever beautiful, or aspirations however ism is by no means the most hopeful or honorable. We require the vraie vérité the most prominent feature in the art of so far as we can get it. Art, obliged to our age. On various lines, in many divers obey the mental stress of the epoch, deways, since the reaction against false prived of a widely accepted body of senidealism set in, have attempts been made suous religious thoughts, leans of necesto solve the problem of combining the sity more to realism than it did in the twin factors in a due and vital correlation. Athens of Pericles or in the Florence of Together with improved conditions of Lorenzo dei Medici. study in our art-schools, the attention On a future occasion I hope to return paid to the monuments of sculpture and to this subject, and to point out those ele. painting in their best periods (Hellenic, ments of ideality in modern life and medieval, early Italian, Flemish, French), thought which lie ready, to the uses of has been progressively helpful; while no the arts, and on which the arts have al. one can exaggerate the importance of such ready seized with profit. teaching as Mr. Ruskin gives so copiously
JOHN ADDINGTON SYMONDS. to the student.
The task of forming a sound style is one of peculiar difficulty under the conditions of our epoch, because the arts have no longer a sphere of such thoughts to
From The National Review. work in as will stimulate the exercise of THE LAST DAY OF WINDSOR FOREST. the highest imaginative faculties. We saw
[The original MS. of the following paper is how Greek sculptors were compelled to extant among the MS. remains of the author, idealize by their obligation to incarnate the late Thomas Love Peacock, and is the the Olympian divinities, and how at the only one of them absolutely complete and same time their exquisite feeling for na- ready for publication. It was in all probabilture kept them within the limits of sober ity intended for Fraser's Magazine, but never realistic truth. Like them, the earlier appeared there, nor, so far as can be discovItalian painters dealt with the mythology ered, elsewhere. The probable date of comof an anthropomorphic religion; their task
position is about 1862. was only a trifle less favorable to the and its interest as a record of forgotten cir
Apart from the literary merit of the paper, right elucidation of the ideal from the real cumstances, it is a fitting conclusion to the than was that of Pheidias. But we live literary life of the veteran author, ending it at a period when theistic conceptions, or, where it may be said to have begun. Peain other words, the most deeply penetrat- cock's first and only school had been at Ening and universally accepted thoughts of glefield Green, on the verge of Windsor Forthe race, no longer lend themselves to est, and there he imbibed that love for river æsthetic presentation. They have grown
and sylvan scenery in general, and for that of too rarefied, too abstract, too purely intel- the Thames and Windsor in particular, which lectual, for adequate treatment by the fig.
colors nearly all his writings. — R. G.] urative artist. In the place of Hellenic MANY of my younger, and some of my myth and Christian legend, the vast scien- maturer years, were passed on the borders tifíc theory of the cosmos has arisen, itself of Windsor Forest. I was early given to pregnant with a new metaphysic and a new long walks and rural explorations, and theology, but as yet imperfectly appropri- there was scarcely a spot of the park or ated and ill-adapted to the plastic presen- the forest with which I was not intimately tation of its fundamental ideas. Science, acquainted. There were two very differmoreover, has made one fact manifest, ent scenes to which I was especially atthat the more we come to know instead tached; Virginia Water, and a dell near of dreaming about things, the less can we Winkfield Plain. tolerate to have those things misrepre- The bank of Virginia Water which the sented in accordance with some whimsical public enter from the Wheatsheaf Inn, is
bordered, between the cascade to the left • Many writers of fiction appear, in their dialogue, and the iron gates to the right, by groves to be vainly competing with the phonograph.
of trees, which, with the exception of a few old ones near the water, have grown I shrink from the ghosts of my old as. up within my memory. They were planted sociations in scenery, and never, if I can by George the Third, and the entire space help it, revisit an enclosed locality with was called the King's Plantation. Per- which I have been familiar in its openness. haps they were more beautiful in an earlier Wordsworth would not visit Yarrow, stage than they are now; or I may so because he feared to disappoint his imagthink and feel, through the general pref- ination:erence of the past to the present, which
Be Yarrow stream unseen, unknown! seems inseparable from old age. In my
It must, or we shall rue it: first acquaintance with the place, and for We have a vision of our own, some years subsequently, sitting in the Ahl why should we undo it? large upper room of the inn, I could look The treasured dreams of times long past, on the cascade and the expanse of the We'll keep them, winsome Marrow! lake, which have long been masked by For when we're there, although 'tis fair, trees.
'Twill be another Yarrow.* Virginia Water was always open to the Yet when he afterwards visited it, public, through the Wheatsheaf Inn, ex- though it was not what he had dreamed, cept during the regency and reign of he still found it beautiful, and rejoiced in George the Fourth, who not only shut up having seen it:the grounds, but enclosed them, where they were open to a road, with higher
The vapors linger round the heights, fences than even the outside passengers
They melt, and soon must vanish;
One hour is theirs, nor more is mine of stage-coaches could look over, that he
Sad thought! which I would banish, might be invisible in his punt, while fishing But that I know, where'er I go, on the lake. William the Fourth lowered
Thy genuine image, Yarrowl the fences, and reopened the old access. Will dwell with me, to heighten joy
Wbile George the Third was king, And cheer my mind in sorrow.f Virginia Water was a very solitary place.
He found compensation in the reality I have been there day after day, without for the difference of the imagined scene; seeing another visitor. Now it has many but there is no such compensation for the visitors. It is a source of great enjoyment disappointments of memory; and where, to many, though no longer suitable to les in the place of scenes of youth, where rêveries d'un promeneur solitaire.
we have wandered under antique trees, A still more solitary spot, which had through groves and glades, through bushes especial charms for me, was the deep and underwood, among fern, and foxforest dell already mentioned, on the borders of Winkfield Plain. This dell, I glove, and bounding deer; where, perthink, had the name of the Bourne; but I place” has been not only “as a friend” in
haps, every “minutest circumstance of always called it the Dingle. In the bot- itself
, but has recalled some association of tom was a watercourse, which was stream only in times of continuous rain. can only pass between high fences and
early friendship, or youthful love, Old trees clothed it on both sides to the dusty roads, I think it best to avoid the summit, and it was a favorite resort of sight of the reality, and to make the best deer. i was a witness of their banish; of cherishing at a distance. ment from their forest haunts. The dell itself remained some time unchanged ;
The memory of what has been, but I have not seen it since 1815, when
And never more will be. (Wordsworth.) I frequently visited it in company with
I do not express, or imply, any opinion Shelley, during his residence at Bishop; on the general utility of enclosures. For gate, on the eastern side of the Park. I the most part, they illustrate the Scriptural do not know what changes it may have maxim: - Tó him that hath much, much since undergone, – not much, perhaps, shall be given; and from him that hath being now a portion of the Park.. But little, shall be taken away even the little many portions of the Park and its vicinity, he bath.” They are like most events in as well as of the immediate neighborhood this world, “Good to some, bad to others, of Windsor, which were then open to the and indifferent to the inajority.” They public, have ceased to be so, and such are good to the land-owner, who gets an may be the case with this. I have never addition to his land; they are bad to the ventured to ascertain the point. In all
poor parishioner, who loses his rights of the portions of the old forest, which were distributed in private allotments, I know what to expect.
# Yarrow Unvisited.