Landscape, Portrait, Still-Life: Their Origin and Development

Landscape, Portrait, Still-Life: Their Origin and Development

Landscape, Portrait, Still-Life: Their Origin and Development

Landscape, Portrait, Still-Life: Their Origin and Development

Excerpt

There is no lack of books to instruct us on the development of painting. They resemble ground-plans. But, by following out the genesis and decay of the separate categories of painting--landscape, genre, portraiture, religious art and still-life--I yield to the hope that I may have augmented the ground-plan by cross-sections, just as a work of architecture is only fully illustrated by the juxtaposition of this view and that. The reader will, I hope, not regard it as prolixity on my part if he comes across the same remarks in one case as in the other. Such repetitions are a natural and necessary consequence since the cross-sections belong to one and the same edifice, stand on one and the same ground-plan.

I have already touched on the theme of the various categories of painting in my book On Art and Connoisseurship. Now, by following up the historical development, I have endeavoured to make the vicissitudes of the categories more graphic--to the art-lover and possibly also to the historian of civilization.

The illustrations put me in something of a quandary. Completeness could not be attained in view of the quantity of pictures mentioned. I hope that I may have succeeded, through the reproduction of selected examples, in reminding the reader of his own visual experiences and of the originals, thus deepening his understanding of the text.

M. J. F.

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