The Ideals and Tendencies of Modern Art

The Ideals and Tendencies of Modern Art

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The Ideals and Tendencies of Modern Art

The Ideals and Tendencies of Modern Art

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Excerpt

Standing on the beach and facing the broad ocean, one sees the flood tide sweeping toward him in majestic waves each at farthest somewhat nearer than its predecessor. Its supreme effort exhausted, every wave recedes leaving only a wide expanse of empty sand which, to the hasty observer, might indicate the failure of the waters in their mighty task.

That human progress is tidal, that it manifests in waves analogous to those of the ocean which, seemingly free, are yet subject to law, is apparent to the historian; but why so he cannot tell. Nor can he imagine what mysterious, moon-like influence lifts the tidal wave of human endeavor and impels it to swell and recede and swell again on every nearest and farthest shore of the world we inhabit.

To live in the age of Grecian Pericles, or that of the Italian Renaissance, or of the English Elizabethans, was to behold a far-reaching wave of intellectual achievment supreme in its kind. To live in America to-day and note the marvels of mechanical ingenuity constantly appearing, is to experience a great and maybe superlative wave of another kind. Whether or not there now is in sweep, or else in formation amidst the sea of human progress, a wave in some ways similar to those . . .

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