The Essentials of Aesthetics in Music, Poetry, Painting, Sculpture and Architecture

By George Lansing Raymond | Go to book overview

PREFACE.

THE object of this book is to determine for the reader, if possible, the qualities causing excellence in the higher arts, and to increase his appreciation of them. The volume has been prepared by request for readers whose time is too limited to study the minutiæ of the subject, and for teachers who need a text-book. Many extended comments upon the different historic theories, schools, and methods of art, and many analyses, explanations, classifications, arguments, and suggestions, which seemed indispensable to completeness of presentation when I was writing the work of which this is a compendium, will not be found in these pages. With this material omitted, however, together with all that might be termed merely speculative or controversial, it is believed that enough has been included to accomplish the object of the undertaking. The phenomena of the arts of the highest class have been traced to their sources in material nature and in the human mind; the different arts have been shown to be developed by exactly similar methods; and these methods have been shown to characterise the entire work of artistic imagination, from the formulation of psychical concepts to that of their most physical expressions in rhythm, proportion, and harmony. Conjointly with these subjects, the effects of all the arts together upon everything that makes for culture and for humanity have been considered in themselves, as well as in their relations to religion and to science, to both of which art is somewhat allied, and yet in such ways as to make it important that the three should be differentiated.

WASHINGTON, D. C., GEORGE LANSING RAYMOND.

November 21, 1906.

-iii-

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