The Craft of the Japanese Sculptor

The Craft of the Japanese Sculptor

The Craft of the Japanese Sculptor

The Craft of the Japanese Sculptor

Excerpt

Since this book is not meant for specialists or for students beginning to specialize but for the general public, I have tried to avoid all facts that seem even once removed from the immediate uses of sculpture itself.

Those things that are immediately necessary to know while we are looking at an object made by another man are:

its purpose, its materials and manner of making, its formal image in the maker's mind.

Now the last of these is hard to come by when that mind is another's and he a foreigner long dead. It is therefore necessary to recapture what we can of his particular image through the hints of history, the study of his religion as well as the examination of past fashions and of likes and dislikes current in his time but not with us. It is here we see how to use the secondary facts one or more removed from the essentials we look at.

Only by knowing something of the sculptor's purpose, his manner of making and of the particular ideas that limit or set free his imagination can we appreciate the perfection of what he makes. And only by a sound grasp of the degree of perfection he has arrived at, can we get a proper sense of what beauty may lie in his sculpture. But, and this is of prime importance, we are interested solely in his success in achieving his own ends (not ours) with his own materials (not our choice) on his own plan. Any-

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