Those pictures don’t give out impulses to the artist. The impulses they do give out are only the emotions that satisfy the student who has learned some rules and then sees the rules worked out. The artist produced the rules as a side issue, but you are trying to make the rules produce the artist. That’s the difficulty when people as a whole lose the creative sense. They are satisfied with things at second-hand. Second-hand expressions of life, and second-hand philosophies to justify the expressions. It’s a kind of conspiracy in which everybody works against everybody else. Only the few real artists in any generation break through it into the light.
The light of the sun!
I fear we are hopelessly at odds in this question. Well, as the Romans said, there’s no disputing about tastes. Every one to his own taste.
What do you mean?
I mean that it’s a disgrace that Americans only study and only buy old masters. It’s a burning shame that all they know about art is what they have been taught in books. They let their own artists starve—they make them come over here—while they bid up a Raphael like a block of shares. What good does it do Raphael? He had his day. And look how it holds back our own possible Raphaels!
Raphael? Ah, you are still very young. You don’t understand the attitude of the majority, Mr. Carson. Raphael is one of our great inspirers of beauty.
You mean culture!
Oh, it’s getting quite dark. Joe, light the light.
Dear me, so it is! What time is it? It must be getting late—Good gracious! I have an engagement.
You can’t stay for a little dinner with us in the Quarter, Mr. Wentworth? Afterward we could go to one of the cafes.
I’m afraid I can’t, Silvia. It’s been a great pleasure to meet you both, I assure you. These little differences of opinion....
Oh, that’s all right. We argue art and religion every day, don’t we, Joe? Of course, though, we do feel strongly about the young artists—the young American artists. They come over here, and then they have to burn their bridges ... and we see how wonderful America could be if they were given things to do instead of being neglected....