German Masters of Art

German Masters of Art

Read FREE!

German Masters of Art

German Masters of Art

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In considering the art of any country, it is necessary to examine not only into the conditions under which that art developed and the traditions by which it was governed in its development, but, above all, into the character of the people. For the art of any people is the reflection of the common characteristics of that people; in other words, a revelation of its attitude toward the inner world of feeling and the outer world of phenomena. Hence, when a Japanese painter adopts the types and manner of the schools of Paris, he ceases to be a Japanese artist and becomes a "man without a country." When the German painters of the XVII and XVIII centuries strove to be as Raphael, they ceased to be inspired revelators and became more or less clever craftsmen, makers of empty, prettily coloured forms. Certain of the works of Flaxman, Canova and Thorwaldsen do not interest us because they are not vital; that is to say, instinct with the character--the inner life--of the nation out of the fullness of whose heart the artist should speak.

It is for this reason chiefly, that, in turning from the study of the art of one country to that of another, a certain mental and emotional adjustment is necessary, just as in passing from conversation in one language to conversation in a different language. The whole spirit and content of the French language, for instance, is as different from German as the French people are from the Germans. The same readjustment is necessary in turning from the study of Italian art to German art as in passing from the engaging melody and flowing rhythm of Rossini to the clashing dissonances and triumphant harmonies of Wagner. German art, as the expression of German national character, differs widely from Italian art in its ideals as in its significance. For the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.