The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry

By Walter Pater | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION1

Δέγει που 'Hρáκλειτοςőτι πáντα χωρει + ̂καὶ οὺδὲν μένει

To regard all things and principles of things as inconstant modes or fashions has more and more become the tendency of modern thought. Let us begin with that which is without -- our physical life. Fix upon it in one of its more exquisite intervals, the moment, for instance, of delicious recoil from the flood of water in summer heat. What is the whole physical life in that moment but a combination of natural elements to which science gives their names? But those elements, phosphorus and lime and delicate fibres, are present not in the human body alone: we detect them in places most remote from it. Our physical life is a perpetual motion of them -- the passage of the blood, the waste and repairing of the lenses of the eye,

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1
This brief "Conclusion" was omitted in the second edition of this book, as I conceived it might possibly mislead some of those young men into whose hands it might fall. On the whole, I have thought it best to reprint it here, with some slight changes which bring it closer to my original meaning. I have dealt more fully in Marius the Epicurean with the thoughts suggested by it.

-233-

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The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Dedication v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents *
  • Two Early French Stories 1
  • Pico Della Mirandola 30
  • Sandro Botticelli 50
  • Luca Della Robbia 63
  • The Poetry of Michelangelo 73
  • Leonardo Da Vinci 98
  • The School of Giorgione 130
  • Joachim Du Bellay 155
  • Winckelmann 177
  • Conclusion 233
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