IN a treatment of the relation between art and sexual life the facts must necessarily be classified under two different headings, namely, the influence of artistic activity upon sexual selection and the importance of erotic motives in works of art. These two points of view have indeed often been confounded with each other. But it will soon appear from the following how indispensable it is to maintain the distinction between them.
In modern literature there has scarcely appeared any treatise of the same importance, not only for the theory of art, but also for æsthetic proper, as the chapters on sexual selection in The Descent of Man. As is well known, Darwin supposes a necessary connection between beauty and art. He takes it, for granted that music, poetry, drama, and the rest chiefly aim at pleasing. When he sees that activities and forms, which at least technically correspond to the various kinds of art, are to be met with not only among the lower tribes of man, but even among some of the higher animals, he therefore explains these forms and activities as emanating from a conscious or unconscious endeavour to please through beauty. And for this endeavour he finds a reason in