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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Style
By Charles Blanc (1813–1882)
 
From ‘Grammar of Painting and Engraving’

DRAWING is a work of the mind; every drawing is the expression of a thought or sentiment, and is charged with showing us something superior to the apparent truth when that reveals neither sentiment nor thought. But what is this superior truth? It is sometimes the character of the object drawn, sometimes the character of the designer, and in high art is what we call style.  1
  The artist sees in the creations of nature what he himself carries in the depth of his soul, tints them with the colors of his imagination, lends them the witchery of his genius. The temperament of the artist modifies the character of objects, and even that of living figures. But this power of taking possession is the appanage of great hearts, of great artists, of those whom we call masters,—who, instead of being the slaves of reality, dominate it. These have a style; their imitators have only a manner.  2
  Aside from the style peculiar to every great master, there is in art something still superior and impersonal, which is style proper. Style is truth aggrandized, simplified, freed from all insignificant details, restored to its original essence, its typical aspect. This “style” par excellence, in which instead of recognizing the soul of an artist we feel the breath of the universal soul, was realized in the Greek sculpture of the time of Pericles.  3
 
 
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