The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 618 pages of information about The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02.

Thus painting flourished from about the time of Philip to that of the successors of Alexander, but with great diversity of talent.  Protogenes surpassed all inexactitude, Pamphilius and Melanthius in thoughtfulness, Antiphilus in facility, Theon the Samian in invention of strange apparitions called fantasies, Apelles in spirit and charm.  Euphranor is admired because he must be counted among the best in all the requirements of art, and excelled at the same time in painting and sculpture.

“The same difference is also found in sculpture.  Kalon and Hegesias worked in a severe style, like that of the Etruscans; Kalamis was less austere; Myron more delicate still.

“Polyclitus possessed diligence and elegance above all others.  By many the palm is assigned to him; but that some fault might be ascribed to him, it was said that he lacked dignity.  For while he has made the human form more graceful than nature reveals it, he does not seem to have been able to present the dignity of the gods.  Indeed, he is said in his art to have avoided representing mature age, and never to have ventured beyond unfurrowed cheeks.

“But what Polyclitus lacked is ascribed to Phidias and Alcamenes.  Phidias is said to have formed the images of gods and men most perfectly, and to have far surpassed his rivals, especially in ivory.  One would form this judgment even if he had designed nothing else than the Minerva of Athens or the Olympian Jupiter at Elis, the beauty of which was of great advantage, as has been said, to the established religion; so closely does the work approach the majesty of the god himself.

“Lysippus and Praxiteles have, according to the universal opinion, most nearly approached truth; Demetrius, on the other hand, is blamed because he went too far in this direction, in that he preferred mere resemblance to beauty.”


Man is rarely fortunate enough to secure the aids for his higher education from quite unselfish patrons.  Even those who believe that they have the best intentions only promote that which they love and know, or, more readily still, what is of advantage to them.  Thus it was literary and bibliographical accomplishments which recommended Winckelmann formerly to Count Buenau and later to Cardinal Passione.

The connoisseur of books is everywhere welcome, and he was even more so at a time when the pleasure of collecting notable and rare books was livelier than it now is, and the profession of librarian was more restricted.  A great German library resembled a great Roman library; they could vie with each other in the possession of books.  The librarian of a German count was a desirable member of a cardinal’s household, and immediately found himself at home there.  Libraries were real treasure-houses, instead of being, as now, with the rapid progress of the sciences and the useful and useless accumulation of printed matter—­nothing more than useful store-rooms and useless lumber-rooms.  So that a librarian has cause, now far more than before, to be informed of the progress of science and of the value and worthlessness of writings, and a German librarian has to possess attainments which would be lost in other countries.

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The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Volume 02 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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