Beacon Lights of History, Volume 01 eBook

John Lord
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 275 pages of information about Beacon Lights of History, Volume 01.
whom the Medici ever patronized.  But if the artists cannot wear the crown of apostles and reformers and sages,—­the men who save nations, men like Socrates, Luther, Bacon, Descartes, Burke,—­yet they have fewer evils to contend with in their progress, and they still leave a mighty impression behind them, not like that of Moses and Paul, but still an influence; they kindle the enthusiasm of a class that cannot be kindled by ideas, and furnish inexhaustible themes of conversation to cultivated people and make life itself graceful and beautiful, enriching our houses and adorning our consecrated temples and elevating our better sentiments.  The great artist is himself immortal, even if he contributes very little to save the world.  Art seeks only the perfection of outward form; it is mundane in its labors; it does not aspire to those beatitudes which shine beyond the grave.  And yet it is a great and invaluable assistance to those who would communicate great truths, since it puts them in attractive forms and increases the impression of the truths themselves.  To the orator, the historian, the philosopher, and the poet, a knowledge of the principles of Art is as important as to the architect, the sculptor, and the painter; and these principles are learned only by study and labor, while they cannot be even conceived of by ordinary men.

Thus it would appear that in all departments and in all the developments of Art the Greeks were the teachers of the modern European nations, as well of the ancient Romans; and their teachings will be invaluable to all the nations which are yet to arise, since no great improvement has been made on the models which have come down to us, and no new principles have been discovered which were not known to them.  In everything which pertains to Art they were benefactors of the human race, and gave a great impulse to civilization.


Mueller’s De Phidias Vita, Vitruvius, Aristotle.  Pliny, Ovid, Martial, Lucian, and Cicero have made criticisms on ancient Art.  The modern writers are very numerous, especially among the Germans and the French.  From these may be selected Winckelmann’s History of Ancient Art; Mueller’s Remains of Ancient Art; Donaldson’s Antiquities of Athens; Sir W. Gill’s Pompeiana; Montfancon’s Antiquite Expliquee en Figures; Ancient Marbles of the British Museum, by Taylor Combe; Mayer’s Kunstgechicte; Cleghorn’s Ancient and Modern Art; Wilkinson’s Topography of Thebes; Dodwell’s Classical Tour; Wilkinson’s Ancient Egyptians; Flaxman’s Lectures on Sculpture; Fuseli’s Lectures; Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Lectures; also see five articles on Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and in Smith’s Dictionary.



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Beacon Lights of History, Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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