Like everything else.
But you put art on the same plane as invention. An improved motor car scraps the old model. But you can’t improve art!
No, certainly not. We don’t try to. We just do our best. We recover art.
Yes—discover it all over again. It gets lost, lost in hard and fast rules or sentimentality, then a genius comes along and digs down to the buried city—creation. Art isn’t like invention. It’s more like religion.
There you are!
There we are! Isn’t there a struggle going on all the time to free religion, the spirit of religion, from hard and fast rules and from false emotions? It’s exactly the same thing.
Ah, but rules are necessary to maintain order. That’s what I insist about art. We must have rules!
I know exactly what you mean, Mr. Wentworth. You mean that if fanatics tore down all the churches on the street corners, and there weren’t any more Sunday morning sermons, everybody would run wild. But there again it’s the same thing as with art: the man who has the spirit of the thing in him feels that the spirit itself is a far better control than heaps of stones and sermons. It’s all a matter of living. Imagine asking one of the Apostles which church he went to!
Wait! We are getting art mixed up with too much else. Didn’t you say, Mr. Carson, that pictures died when they no longer gave out impulses of beauty?
Well! I admit there are dead pictures, too many of them, but they are the canvasses that were still-born. The masterpieces in the Louvre still give out impulses—beautiful impulses—to many of us, thank heaven!
But that’s just it! The impulses you mean aren’t those of art at all. They—