The Renaissance: Six Essays

By Wallace K. Ferguson; Metropolitan Museum of Art | Go to book overview
Save to active project

PREFACE

There can be no question that one may approach the art of any period as a purely aesthetic experience without regard for the human element involved. In other words, one may contemplate an art object without inquiring as to its content, or the forces that brought it forth, or the circumstances that moulded it into its final form. But it is equally true that the more we relate any artistic manifestation to the many facets of human existence, the more the art becomes alive, suffused with vitality, and comprehensible to the beholder. Such an insight into the background does not detract from the aesthetic enjoyment, but, on the contrary, enhances it to a marked degree. In an effort to present this point of view to the public, three symposia were held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during the winter of 1951-1952. On each of these occasions, five speakers devoted themselves to the cultural background of a given period, sketching it from different points of view -- historical, economic, religious, social, and literary. Only when this task had been accomplished was the art, as the outgrowth of these factors, considered by the sixth member of the panel.

Because the first symposium, The Age of Diocletian, covered a fairly definite span of time and was confined to the Roman Empire, little difficulty was experienced in focusing the papers on the subject at hand. In the case of the Renaissance, the problem was much more complex, for the panel had to deal with an epoch in history rather than the reign of one emperor, with the developments in a number of countries rather than those in one empire. But there was a further complication. It appeared quite impossible to

-v-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Renaissance: Six Essays
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 184

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?