Miscellanies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 317 pages of information about Miscellanies.
dans l’horrible, is now a commonplace of the schools, the argot of the atelier, but I strongly deny that charming people should be condemned to live with magenta ottomans and Albert-blue curtains in their rooms in order that some painter may observe the side-lights on the one and the values of the other.  Nor do I accept the dictum that only a painter is a judge of painting.  I say that only an artist is a judge of art; there is a wide difference.  As long as a painter is a painter merely, he should not be allowed to talk of anything but mediums and megilp, and on those subjects should be compelled to hold his tongue; it is only when he becomes an artist that the secret laws of artistic creation are revealed to him.  For there are not many arts, but one art merely—­poem, picture and Parthenon, sonnet and statue—­all are in their essence the same, and he who knows one knows all.  But the poet is the supreme artist, for he is the master of colour and of form, and the real musician besides, and is lord over all life and all arts; and so to the poet beyond all others are these mysteries known; to Edgar Allan Poe and to Baudelaire, not to Benjamin West and Paul Delaroche.  However, I should not enjoy anybody else’s lectures unless in a few points I disagreed with them, and Mr. Whistler’s lecture last night was, like everything that he does, a masterpiece.  Not merely for its clever satire and amusing jests will it be remembered, but for the pure and perfect beauty of many of its passages—­passages delivered with an earnestness which seemed to amaze those who had looked on Mr. Whistler as a master of persiflage merely, and had not known him as we do, as a master of painting also.  For that he is indeed one of the very greatest masters of painting is my opinion.  And I may add that in this opinion Mr. Whistler himself entirely concurs.


(Pall Mall Gazette, February 28, 1885.)

‘How can you possibly paint these ugly three-cornered hats?’ asked a reckless art critic once of Sir Joshua Reynolds.  ’I see light and shade in them,’ answered the artist.  ‘Les grands coloristes,’ says Baudelaire, in a charming article on the artistic value of frock coats, ’les grands coloristes savent faire de la couleur avec un habit noir, une cravate blanche, et un fond gris.’

’Art seeks and finds the beautiful in all times, as did her high priest Rembrandt, when he saw the picturesque grandeur of the Jews’ quarter of Amsterdam, and lamented not that its inhabitants were not Greeks,’ were the fine and simple words used by Mr. Whistler in one of the most valuable passages of his lecture.  The most valuable, that is, to the painter:  for there is nothing of which the ordinary English painter needs more to be reminded than that the true artist does not wait for life to be made picturesque for him, but sees life under picturesque

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Miscellanies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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