THE effort to objectify beauty so as to talk about its constituents one by one led Ruskin, as has been shown, from God to the oyster and back again. It is not merely that when he objectified his appreciation of line, color and quality, these turned into abstract enormities, but that his appreciation also gathered up his sentiments and the particular group of emotions which he called moral. These, when interpolated into the organic and inorganic nature about him, transformed the universe into a vast reflection of this man's sensibility at once pathetic and ludicrous. The theoretical analysis of imagination, however, depended less than the study of beauty upon this objectification of sentiment. In seeking the moral modes of active composition, Ruskin remained within a more reasonable circle of inference -- the circle of the human self. But because of the limited psychology which he followed and because of the vagueness of the central moral emotions which he believed motivated the artist, Ruskin was unable to trace sharply the fundamental moral relation of the appreciation of artistic truth and beauty to their creation.
His views on the problem of representative truth in art pointed clearly to two important moral conditions: love, it was found, stimulates the acuteness of bodily sense; moral emotion sharpens the perception and judg-