History of Art in Phoenicia and Its Dependencies - Vol. 1

History of Art in Phoenicia and Its Dependencies - Vol. 1

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History of Art in Phoenicia and Its Dependencies - Vol. 1

History of Art in Phoenicia and Its Dependencies - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In this history of art in antiquity, Egypt and Chaldæa occupy a privileged place. The length at which we have dwelt upon their art activities is justified by the fertility and originality of their genius, by the spontaneity of their development, and, above all, by their influence over that later stage in the progress of humanity of which our own civilization is no more than the sequel. Egypt and Chaldæa invented the methods and created the models that awoke the plastic genius of the Greeks. After a long period of probation that genius began, towards the time of Homer, to foster high ambitions, and to attempt works of art in the true sense; but at first it borrowed more than it created; nearly all the motives it employed may be traced to a foreign origin.

We may recognize those motives both by their physiognomy and their arrangement. They were invented far enough from Corinth and Athens, far even from Miletus and Ephesus; they were invented in the valleys of the Nile and the Euphrates; and how did they traverse the vast spaces that had to be crossed before they could arrive upon the Ionian coasts, in Peloponnesus or Attica, in yet more distant Latium and Etruria? How did they contrive . . .

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