Rembrandt: Being the Substance of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Delivered before Harvard University, 1930-1931

Rembrandt: Being the Substance of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Delivered before Harvard University, 1930-1931

Rembrandt: Being the Substance of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Delivered before Harvard University, 1930-1931

Rembrandt: Being the Substance of the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Delivered before Harvard University, 1930-1931

Excerpt

I feel it no easy task to follow my distinguished predecessors in this chair, Professor Gilbert Murray, the first incumbent, Mr. Eric Maclagan, my more immediate contemporary and friend, and Mr. W. H. Garrod, who held the office last year. And indeed, I hesitated much before leaving the even tenour of my official labours in the British Museum to plunge for seven or eight months into these new surroundings. But I could not be other than tempted, and in the end overcome, by the honour held out to me, and by the opportunity of intercourse and experience in a new sphere; moreover, I realized the undoubted advantage of breaking (before it was too late) habits of detailed research which tend to damp the freer play of one's intellectual life.

That Emmanuel was my Alma Mater had always given me especial desire to know the university founded by her most famous son. And my work for six years as Slade Professor at Oxford, though only a parergon in my fuller official life, where my aim was directed to the attainment of some link between the studies of Modern History and the Fine Arts, increased my desire to obtain first-hand knowledge of what was being attempted in the Harvard School.

I never had the good fortune to meet the late Professor Charles Eliot Norton, but I gather from his writings, his letters, and the records of his friends in Europe and America, the outstanding influence he had in establishing and directing these studies in New England. By us he will always be remembered for his friendship with John Ruskin, and as the recipient of those letters, full of pathos, which remain the most intimate record of Ruskin's later life.

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