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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
Lectures on Art
Hippolyte Adolphe Taine (1828–1893)
 
Art, Lectures on, by H. A. Taine (1865). M. Taine in this volume applies to art the same theory as to literature in his ‘Histoire de la Littérature Anglaise.’ A work of art is not an isolated creative act but is the product of (1) the sum total of the author’s artistic tendencies; (2) the school to which he belongs; (3) the society amid which he lives. Hence we speak of Greek tragedy, or Gothic architecture, or Flemish painting, or French tragedy. M. Taine divides art into two groups, (1) painting, sculpture, poetry, and (2) architecture, music. “The end of a work of art,” he says, “is to manifest some essential or salient character, consequently some important idea, clearer and more completely than is attainable from real objects. Art accomplishes this end by employing a group of connected parts, the relationships of which it systematically modifies. In the three imitative arts of sculpture, painting, and poetry, these groups correspond to real objects.” The remainder of the lectures are devoted to an exposition of the philosophy of art in Italy, the Netherlands, and Greece. In Italy the special object of classic art was to express the ideal human form. In the Netherlands art was intimately associated with the national life and rooted in the national character itself. Greek art was marked by a sensitiveness to delicate relationships, propriety and clearness of perception, and love of beauty.  1
 
 
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