The Rule of Taste from George I to George IV

The Rule of Taste from George I to George IV

The Rule of Taste from George I to George IV

The Rule of Taste from George I to George IV

Excerpt

In the following pages an attempt is made to trace the various changes in the arts of architecture, gardening and painting as reflected in the outlook of those classes of society which, from the early eighteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, recognised themselves as the payers of the piper and consequently the callers of the tune. The word "Taste" is used throughout because, though in many ways unsatisfactory, it remains perhaps the only single word which expresses both an immutable quality of discernment, criticism and perception, independent of special knowledge or training and independent of extraneous factors, and also an always active sensitiveness to temporary fashions; it can, thanks to the elasticity of our language, imply both standards and enthusiasms and can include both those who not only know what they like but know why they like it, and those who only know what the majority of other people like; it is used because, in fact, taste is both a quality which we find in certain gifted individuals and also a collective noun meaning merely tastes. Further, the title of this essay has been so chosen because the word "Rule" can also be applied in two ways; it may mean the exercise of sovereignty and direct authority or it may mean, again collectively, rules; thus "The Rule of Taste" is intended to imply both a régime in which Taste is paramount and a canon, or set of regulations, by which fashions in tastes are governed.

The existence of individuals endowed with the . . .

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