It is not fitting that we should praise him In the modest forms of the Madrigale or the Aubade. Let us erect a column and stamp with our feet And dance a Zarabondilla and a Kordax, Let us leap with ungainly leaps before a stage scene By Leon Bakst. Let us do this for the splendour of Tailhade. Et Dominus tecum, Tailhade. So-Shu dreamed, And having dreamed that he was a bird, a bee, and a butterfly, He was uncertain why he should try to feel like anything else, Hence his contentment.
I cling to the spar, Washed with the cold salt ice I cling to the sparInsidious modern waves, civilization, civilized hidden snares. Then they will have my guts; They will cut down my wage, force me to sing their cant, Upholdthepress, and be before all a model of literary decorum. Cowardly editors threaten, Friends fall off at the pinch, the loveliest die. That is the path of life, this is my forest. This does not seem to me incumbent even on representative painters. But there remain several people whose life, or at least whose intelligence, is bound up with the latest movement in painting, and who understand the value of the courage andinitiative that has impelled a small number of men without resources in money, to fling themselves into these studies.
I have launched my pessimistic cockle-shell, and wave it a very mechanical adieu. The huge German siege guns, for instance, are a stimulus to visions of power. In any event his spirit is bound to reflect these turmoils, even if only by sudden golden placidity. That the war will in any way change the currents Of contemporary art, I do not believe : they are deeper than it. An earthquake might do so. Krupps is a poor substitute for seismic fire, as the Cinemas showed at the time of the Avezzano Earthquake. The Public should not allow its men of art to die of starvation during the war, of course, for men of action could not take their places.
But as the English Public lets its artists starve in peace time, there is really nothing to be said. The war has not changed things in that respect. The universality of the present war will limit its influence. The Germans only should be an exception to this rule, for they are alone, and its consequences will be more definite for them. It is their war in fact. The Allies are being, in a sense, only complaisant ; too complaisant naturally. Under these circumstances, artists probably should paint, fight, or make a living in some trade according to their inclination or means.
When we consider the satisfactory and professional manner in which this war is being conducted by the Allies, we cannot believe that any deep psychological change is preparing for France, Russia or England. Victorious elation will be sobered by the fact that, in the case of each of the Allies the victory must go all round.
Still, with complete consciousness that such a thing could never happen, I will put it to some people that, could a few hundred pounds be divided up amongst those artists who in ordinary times find difficulty in selling their work, and now must be penniless, it would be a noble action. There are several men to whom the disbursing of such a Bum as fifty pounds would not spell inconvenience—that is the phrase. For long afterwards they would feel the amazing and refreshing repercussions of this astounding and ridiculous action.
They would only get three morning suits instead of five during the current year, they would—but I will break off. I feel already that by my naivety I have sunk in the eyes of my readers. For Germany, even, defeat will hardly spell such changes as judged by another time than ours even judged by 60 years ago it should. The humiliation of defeat against such odds is only a matter of abnormal popular vanity. And the German populace is a very different personality to the German military literati or boastful and crapulous cosmopolitan, the waiter or sharper the Londoner judges Germany by.
If pockets are empty for some time, Germany is used to poverty ; and then it certainly becomes her better than riches. A few good artists may pop up again, when the popping of the sekt bottles dies down for a bit. As an extenuation of the naivety of my remarks, I will add that I did not suggest that a supporter of the school of Mr. Wilson Steer, or Mr. Walter Sickert should be expected to support a young man who cubed. Be will, on the contrary, pray, with far more conviction of hatred than mere racial difference could engender, or Ernst von Lissauer expressthat the war will kill off every Cubist in Western Europe, or maim the movement and ruin its financial supporters.
He will hope, even, that Paris may be invested by the Germans on the off-chance that the great stores of Cubist pictures known to exist there might be blown up and burnt to ashes. May those who survive have nothing but thelr feet left to paint with, and may those not at the front die of starvation. In the forming of large military forces to prosecute this war, every reactionary—political, aesthetic, journalistic—sees all sorts of rosy possibilities.
You would think from some of his conversation, that the splendid war army of England were fighting to reinstate the tradition of Sir Frederick Leighton, to sweep away the fancy of the Russian ballets, or revive a faded Kiplingesque jingoism. But the war has not resurrected Mr. There is only one thing that would have deeply changed England, and that would have been the loss of her Empire and complete defeat.
And that evidently is not going to happen. And on this question howeverexpertan opinion you mayobtain, you never get far away from a fairly universal optimism :— which if it is justified by events, will leave conditions for art very little modified. Wyndham Lewis, Mr.
Brzeska, Mr. Wadsworth, Mr. Etchells, Mr. Robertsaregoingto recant and paint and sculpt on the mentallevel of Mr. Lavery or Mr. Herkomer, or to put it another way, whether such a terrific interest will be awakened in Mr. Lavery, Mr. Wilson Steer and Mr. Caton Woodville that attempts at a purifying of taste and renovation of formulas will obtain no hearing.
As to the first point Mr. In any ease, as to painting, since Sir Edward Poynter will not be a radiant youth after the war; Augustus John not find any new tribe of gypsies kicked up by the military upheavals, to refresh his brush: since in short the aesthetic human contents of the realm will be exactly the same, it is.
There is a certain sort of blackguard that this time has produced—as an earthquake produces looters—who uses the blood of the Soldier for his own everyday domestic uses. He washes his very dirty linen in the Press with this sacred blood. It is conceivable that the War may affect Art deeply, for it will have a deep effect on the mass of the people, and the best art is not priggishly cut off from those masses.
But the reflectionin Art of these changes will certainly not be in favour of any weak and sentimentalized reactive painting, and the results are not likely to please the pompier-journalist or the pompier-critic any more than the manifestations he already fumes, splutters and weeps about. The soldiers in France or Belgium would be the last people to relish these transactions, or to have themselves held up as intellectual crusaders They are fighting just as animals or savages have to fight and as men have to still.
We all agree in admiring the qualities of energy and large-heartedness that that requires. The art of to-day is a result of the life of to-day, of the appearance and vivacity of that life. It is the same way with rapes and other misdemeanours. I contend that certain critics or general journalists whose personal interests are involved on the side of lucrative and established forms of art, and who take this opportunity, as they imagine it, to attack the movement in Painting that threatens to discredit Pompierdom in this country, are an exact parallel to the Burglar in the earthquake, or what the French reporter would call a Ghoul.
The colour of granite would still be the same if every man in the world lay dead, water would form the same eddies and patterns and the spring would break forth in the same way. The NapoleonicWars were different. The work of Stendhal, for instance, is a psychological monument of that epic, in that part of it which is the outcome of the hard and vulgar energies of his time. But at present Germany is the only country that harks back sufficiently to put up any show of analogy to those energies; and she is honeycombed with disintegration into another and more contemporary state of mind, which is her worstenemy-not England, as her journalists proclaim.
The Forgotten King
Tant Mieux. The quality of uniqueness is absent from the presentramblingand universalcampaign. Thereare so many actions every day, necessarily of brilliant daring, that they becomeimpersonal. Like the multitudes of drab and colourless uniforms-these in their turn covered with still more characterless mud—thereis no room, in praising the soldiers, for anything but an abstract hymn. These battler are more like ant-fights than anything we have done in this way up to now.
The Censor throws further obstacles in the ray of Minorand Major Verse. Of similar interest to the question of War-Poetry is that of War-Painting. Not one has said anything adequate about the War. There is one man in Europe who must be in the seventh heaven: that is Marinetti. From every direction cometo him sound and rumours of conflict. He must be torn in mind, as to which point of the compass to rush to and drink up the booming and banging, lap up the blood! He must be a radiant figure now! It was Alphonsede Neuvillewho gave us most of the vivid details of the terrible year—the hand-tohand encounters, the frenzied and bloody struggles of the dying, the calm portrayed on heroic countenances as death approaches, the flight and explosion of shrapnel.
And after. Soldiers and War are as good as anything else. TheJapanese did not discriminate very much between a Warrior and a Buttercup. Uccello in his picture at the National Gallery formularized the spears and aggressive prancing of the fighting men of his time till every drop of reality is frozen out of them. It is the politest possible encounter. Velasquez painted the formality of a great treaty in a canvas full of soldiers.
And so on. The campaign of last year and this! What masterpieces must be born! It also gives an eloquent list of names. Leader or Mr. There is no reason why very fine representative paintings of the present War should not be done. Van Gogh would have done one, had he been there. But Derain, the finest painter to my knowledge at the front, will not paint one. Severini, on the other hand, if his lungs are better, and if Expressionism has not too far denaturalized his earlier Futurist work, should do a fine picture of a battle. Shall we conclude from this that War-painting is in a category by itself, and distinctly inferior to several other kinds of painting?
That is a vulgar modern absurdity : painting is divided up into categories, Portrait, Landscape, Genre, etc. Gaudier-Brzeska, the sculptor, whose Vortex from the trenches makes his sentiments on the subject of War and Art quite clear, is fighting for France, but probably will not do statues afterwards of either Bosche or Piou-Piou ; to judge from his treatment of the Prussian rifle-butt. He will still be here with us. Only there will be a little something not quite the same about him. Those golden booming days between Lule Burgas and the Aisne will be over for ever.
There is a Passeist Pathos about this thought. It has always been plain that as artists two or three of the Futurist Painters were of more importance than their poet-impresario.
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Balla and Severini would, under any circumstances, be two of the most amusing painters of our time. The great Poets and flashing cities will still be there as before the War. But in a couple of years the War will be behind us. The War has exhausted interest for the moment in booming and banging. I am not indulging in a sensational prophecy of the disappearance of Marinetti.
He is one of the most irrepressible flgures of our time, he would take a great deal to discourage. Only he will haveto abandon War-noise more or less definitely, and I feel this will be a great chagrin for him. If a human being was ever quite happy and in his element it was Marinetti imitating the guns of Adrianople at the Dore with occasional answering bangs on a big drum manipulated by his faithful English disciple, Mr.
Written from the Trenches. In September he was one of a patrolling party of twelve, seven of his companions fell in the fight over a roadway. In November he was nominated for sergeancy and has been since slightly wounded, but expects to return to the trenches. He has been constantly employed in scouting and patrolling and in the construction of wire entanglements in close contact with the Boches. DOGS wander,. Just as this hill where the Germans are solidly entrenched, gives me a nasty feeling, solely because its gentle slopes are broken up by earth-works, which throw long shadows at sunset.
I have made an experiment. Two days ago I pinched from ran enemy a mauser rifle. I was in doubt for a long time whether it pleased or displeased me. I found that I did not like it. I broke the butt off and with my knife I carved in it a design, through which I tried to express a gentler order of feeling, which I preferred. Henri Gaudier-Brzeska : after months offighting and two promotions for gallantryHenri Gaudier-Brzeska was killed in a charge at Neuville St.
Vaast, on June 5th, The old houses of Flanders, They watch by the high cathedrals ; They have eyes, mournful, tolerant and sardonic, for the ways of men, In the high, white, tiled gables. The rain and the night have settled down on Flanders ; It is all wetness and darkness ; you can see nothing. Then those old eyes, mournful, tolerant and sardonic, Look at great, sudden, red lights, Look upon the shades of the cathedral And the golden rods of the illuminated rain, For a second.
And those old eyes, Very old eyes that have watched the ways of men for generations, Close for ever. The high white shoulders of the gables Slouch together for a consultation, Slant drunkenly over in the lea of the flaming cathedrals. They are no more, the old houses of Flanders. Because VORTICISM isa wordfirst usedhere, that is no reason why it should beused rather thananother, unless there are a group of painters who are so distinctive that they need a distinctive tag, and to whom this especial tag may aptly apply, I consider that there are.
He must paint what is under his nose—" composition" or arrangement, that is, as understood by them—anything but scientific unmodified transcriptions an academicism Roughly speaking, your washing-stand or sideboard must be painted, with due attention to complementaries, and In form it must be Nature's empiric proportions and exactly Nature's usually insignificant arrangements. So this pedantry, with it's scornful and snobbish verbotens, may be seen establishing its academics.
The painters bare eat away and cut away warily, till they have trapped some essential. European painting to-day is like the laboratory of an anatomist : things stand up stark and denuded everywhere as the result of endless visionary examination. But Life, more life than ever before, is the objective ; some romancing of elixirs, as the rawest student will : and all professing some branch of energy. When they say LIFE, they do at least mean something complete, that can only be meant by dissociating vitality from beef and social vivacity on the one hand, and good dinners and every day acts of propagation on the other.
Painting has been given back it's imaginative horizons without renouncing the scientific work of the Impressionists or returning, beyond that, to a perpetual pastiching of old forms of art, which in a hundred ways we cannot assimilate.
The most important, in the sense that it contains the most important artist, and has Influenced more men of talent than any other, is the Cubist group. Pablo Picasso, a Spaniard living in Paris, is chiefly responsible for this movement. Definitely inspired by this group, but, with their Italian energy and initiative, carried off to a quite different, more pugnacious and effervescent, point of the compass, is the Futurist group, having in Balla, Severini and Boccioni given in order of merit, as I think three important artists.
This exposition may appear unnecessarily thorough. We will consider these three groups critically ; insisting on those aspects in which they do not finally satisfy the needs of modern painting that were responsible for their appearance. But after that the portraits of men with mandolines and apples and guitars succeeded each other with regularity. They had not, at first, much time to think of anything else, this heroic act occupying all their energies. It was the age of scientific truth.
Colour out of the earth had to imitate the light The pigment for its awn sake and on its own merits as colour, was of no importance. It was only important. They were EI Greco or attenuated Daumier, and were "composed " with a corresponding logic and rhythm. There was, again, the practical Influence of the French. As to the rest of his Cubist colleagues, they are mostly converted Impressionists, and inclined naturally to cube over their first effort merely, instead of making any fresh start.
Others, not formerly Impressionists, suffer from a form of conscience similar to his. The only thing an artist has to learn of the art of another time is that fundamental excellence. But if he is a fine artist he contains this fundamental force and excellence, and therefore has no need to potter about Museums, especially as life supplies the rest and is short.
As to content and the character of it's force-arrangements, it is essentially For the great licence Cubism affords tempts the artist to slip back into facile and sententious formulas, and escape invention. They have not brought a force of invention and taste equal to the best of the Paris group to bear on their modification of the Cubist formulas.
His War-ravings is the term of a local and limited pugnacity, romantic and rhetorical. He is a useful figure as a corrective of very genuine character. But the artist is NOT a useful figure, though he may be ornamental. We most of us nowadays are forced to be much more useful than we ought to be. But our painting at least should be saved the odour of the communistic platform or the medicine chest. Matisse, with his decoration, preceded the Cubists in reaction against scientific naturalism. Any portion of Nature we can observe is an unorganized and microscopic jumble, too profuse and too distributed to be significant.
If we could see with larger eyes we should no doubt be satisfied. But to make any of these minute individual areas, or individuals, too proudly compact or monumental, is probably an equal stupidity. Finite and god-like fines are not for us, but, rather, a powerful but remote suggestion of finality, or a momentary organization of a dark insect swarming, lie the passing of a clouds shadow or the path of a wind.
None of the Futurists have got, or attempted, the grandness that CUBISM almost postulated, Their doctrine, even, of maximum fluidity and interpenetration precluded this. And they are too banally logical in their exclusions,. The moment the Plastic is impoverished for the Idea, we get out of direct contact with these intuitive waves of power, that only play on the rich surfaces where life is crowded and abundant.
We must constantly strive to ENRICH abstraction till it is almost plain life, or rather to get deeply enough immersed in material life to experience the shaping power amongst its vibrations, and to accentuate and perpetuate these. But he is so careful to be passive and medium-like, and is committed, by his theory, to avoid almost all powerful and definite forms, that he Is, at the best, wandering and slack. You cannot make a form more than it is by the best intentions in the world.
In many of his abstract canvasses there are lines and planes that form the figure of a man. But these accidents are often rather dull and insignificant regarded as pieces of representation. A dull scribble of a bonhomme is always that and nothing else. So CUBISM pulled Nature about with her cubes, and organized on anatural posed model, rather than attempting to catch her every movement, and fix something fluent and secret. The word CUBISM at once, for me, conjures up a series of very solid, heavy and usually gloomy Natures Mortes,—several bitter and sententious apples but VERY GOOD WEIGHT a usually pyramidal composition of the various aspects of a Poet or a Man with a Mandoline, Egyptian in static solemnity, a woman nursing disconsolately a very heavy and thoughtful head, and several bare, obviously tremendously heavy objects crowded near her on a clumsy board,—a cup and saucer and probably apples.
I admire some of these paintings extremely. Only we must recognize that what produced these paintings was a marvellous enterprise and enthusiastic experimentation, and that if we are to show ourselves worthy of the lead given us by two or three great painters of the last fifteen years, we must not abate in our interrogation.
In the first show the FUTURISTS held in London, in the same way, from their jumble of real and half-real objects, a perfectly intelligible head or part of a figure would stick upsuddenly. And this head or part of a figure, where isolated and mak Therefore there is something to be explained when he foregathers, in his paintings, exelusively with these two objects.
It discredited the more abstract stuff around it, for those not capable of discriminating where abstractions concerned. We pretend that the explanation of this curious phenomenon is merely the system of still-life painting that prevailed amongst the imitators of nature of the last century, and that was re-adopted by Picasso in violent reaction against his El Greco Athletes, aesthetic Mumpers, and Maeterlinck-like Poor-Folk.
In addition to these three principal tendencies, there are several individuals and newer groups who are quite distinctive. This reducing of things to bare and arid, not grandiose, but rather small and efficient, blocks of matter is on a par with a tendency in the work of several excellent painters in England, following the general Continental movement.
Only in their ease it is sculpturesque groups of lay figures, rather than more supple and chic mannequins. The Human Figure is, in the first place, exclusively chosen for treatment. Secondly, this is reduced to a series of matches, four for the legs and arms, one thick one for the trunk, and a pair of grappling irons added for the hands. Six or Seven of these figures are then rhythmically built up Into a centralized, easily organised, human pattern. However abstracted by dividing up Into a mosaic, this bare and heroic statement is the starting point. The grandiose and sentimental traditionalism inculcated at the Slade School is largely responsible for this variety.
Less interesting than either Picabia or the English tendency I have described, is the Orphiste movement. Delaunay is the most conspicuous Orphiste. Matisse-like colour, rather symbolist forms, all on a large scale, make up these paintings. These reviews of other and similar movements to the Vorticist movement appear disparaging. But in the first place this inspection was undertaken, as I made clear at the start, to show the ways in which we DIFFER, and the tendencies we would CORRECT, and not as an appreciation of the other various groups, which would be quite another matter.
They are definitely a criticism, then, and not an appraisement. The whole of the modern movement, then, is, we maintain, under a cloud. In the several details suggested above in the course of these notes, Vorticism is opposed to the various groups of continental painting. I will recapitulate these points, and amplify them. In so doing I can best tabulate and explain the aims of Vorticism to-day. That cloud is the exquisite and accomplished, but discouraged, sentimental and inactive, personality of Picasso We must disinculpate ourselves of Picasso at once.
The Cubist, especially Picasso, founds his invention on the posed model, or the posed Nature-Morte, using these models almost to the extent of the Impressionist. The leisure of an ancient Prince, the practical dignity required by an aristocratic function ; a Guardsman stamping before he salutes his officer, the grace and strength of animals, are all things very seldom experienced to-day, but that it might be desirable to revive.
The chief criticism that can be made as regards them is that that can be levelled at Kandinsky: that they are too much theorists and propagandists: and that to the great plastic qualities that the best cubist pictures possess they never attain. Should we not revive them at once? Their teaching, which should be quite useful for the public, they allow also to be a tyrant to themselves.
Perhaps it would be well to make clear to them that the only condition of their remaining rich will be if they make this effort. They are too mechanically reactive and impressionistic, and just as they do not master and keep in their places their ideas, so they do not sufficiently dominate the contents of their pictures. Futurism is too much the art of Prisoners. A democratic state of mind is cowardice or muddleheadedness. The People are in the same position as the Automoble. They would smile sometimes, if they could! The Futurist is a hypocrite, who takes himself in first : and this is very bad for his otherwise excellent health,.
To produce the best pictures or books that can be made, a man requires all the peace and continuity of work that can be obtained in this troubled world, and nothing short of this will serve. So he cannot at the same time be a big game hunter, a social light or political agitator. Byron owed threefourths of his success to his life and personality.
But life and personality fade out of work like fugitive colours in painting. I indicated in my notes some pages back the nature of my objection to the particular theoretic abstraction of Kandinsky. In what is one painting representative and another non-representative? If a man is not representing people, is he not representing clouds? If he is not representing clouds, is he not representing masses of bottles? If he is not representing masses of bottles is he not representing houses and masonry? Or is he not representing in his most seemingly abstract paintings, mixtures of these, or of something else?
The effervescent, Active-Man, of the Futurist imagination would never be a first-rate artist. Also, the lyrical shouts about the God-Automobile, etc. Such savage worship is on a par with Voodooism and Gauguin-Romance. But there Is no reason why an artist should not be active as an artist : every reason, rather, why he should. Our point is that he CANNOT have to the full the excellent and efficient qualities we admire in the man of action unless he eschews action and sticks hard to thought. But, from the plastic and not-human point of view this deciding factor as to interest would not hold.
Is it, under these circumstances, a fault or a weakness if your shapes and objects correspond with a poetry or a sentiment, that in itself is not plastic, but sentimental? I would draw your attention to two things in this connection. But this again is a human and reactive reason, and for an artist who has passed the test of seriousness in weeding sentiment out of his work, and has left it hard, clean and plastic, this consideration, proper, perhaps, to the critic, need be no part of his programme.
For the integrity of this movement, it is necessary to face all the objections of those who would hustle us off the severe platform where we have taken our stand. The supple, soft and vital elements, which distinguish animals and men, and which in the essential rendering of a man or an animal would have to be fully given, if not insisted on, are here transformed into the stolid masonry of a common building. But we must not provide reasonings for the compromisers and exploiters that any serious movement produces, On this dangerous ground we cannot be too precise, Before proceeding, I would consider one point especially.
The whole Cubist formula, in fact, in Its pure state, is a plastic formula for stone or for brick-built houses,. Kandinsky, docile to the intuitive fluctuations of his soul, and anxious to render his hand and mind elastic and receptive, follows this unreal entity into its cloud-world, out of the material and solid universe. It may be objected that all the grandest and most majestic art in the world, however Egyptian, Central African, American has rather divested man of his vital plastic qualities and changed him into a more durable, imposing and in every way harder machine ; and that is true.
He allows the Bach-like will that resides in each good artist to be made war on by the slovenly and wandering Spirit. This dehumanizing has corresponded happily with the unhuman character, the plastic, architectural quality, of art itself. He allows the rigid chambers of his Brain to become a mystic house haunted by an automatic and puerile Spook, that leaves a delicate trail like a snail. A rigidity and simplification to a more tense and angular entity as in the case of Mantegna has not prejudiced their high place, or the admiration due to, several great artists.
It is just as useless to employ this sort of Dead, as it is to have too many dealings with the Illustrious Professional Dead, known as Old Masters. It is natural for us to represent a man as we would wish him to be; artists have always represented men as more beautiful, more symmetrically muscular, with more commanding countenances than they usually, in nature, possess.
The Blavatskyish soul is another Spook which needs laying, if it gets a vogue, just as Michael Angelo does. Michael Angelo is probably the worst spook in Europe, and haunts English art without respite. I return to the question of representation. If it is impossible, then, to avoid representation in one form or another:.
When you watch an electric crane, swinging up with extraordinary grace and ease a huge weight, your instinct to admire this power is, subconsciously, a selfish one. It is a pity that there are not men so strong that they can lift a house up, and fling it across a river,. If, as objects, the objects in your most abstract picture always have their twins In the material world:—they are always either a mass of bottles, clouds, or the square shapes of some masonry, for instance ;— If this could be decided we should know where we were.
Far my part I would put the maximum amount of poetry into painting that the plastic vessel would stand without softening and deteriorating : the poetry, that is to say, that is inherent in matter.
THIS MACHINE MOCKS FASCISTS
A machine is in a greater or less degree, a living thing. But they remain side by side, and are not assimilated perfectly to each other. The art of painting, further, is for a living man, and the art most attached to life. They are inappropriate in the construction of a man, where, however rigid the form may be, there should be at least the suggestions of life and displacement that you get in a machine. If the method of work or temperament of the artist went towards vitality rather than a calculated deadness this would not be the case. My soul has gone to live in my eyes, and like a bold young lady it lolls in those sunny windows.
That, I consider, is why I am a painter, and not anything else so much as that.
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The eyes are animals, and bask in an absurd contentment everywhere. They will never forget that red is the colour of blood, though it may besides that have a special property of exasperation. A Vorticist, lately, painted a picture in which a crowd of squarish shapes, at once suggesting windows, occurred. A sympathiser withthe movement asked him, horror-struck, "are not those windows? They have a great deal of the coldness of the eat, its supposed falsity and certain passion. The artist, in certain cases, is less scandalized at the comprehensible than is the Public.
Life should be the prerogative of the alive. But I have no reason to believe that any attempt of this sort has been made. So much for my confession. I do not believe that this is only a matter of temperament. The two together, if they can only be reconciled, produce the best genius,. The human and sentimental side of things, then, is so important that it is only a question of how much, if at all, this cripples or perverts the inhuman plastic nature of painting. Having gone over there points, it will be easier to see what our position is towards this question of representation and non-representation.
Nature itself is of no importance. What I mean, first of all, by this unavoidable representative element, is not that any possible natural scene or person is definitely co-ordinated, but that the content, in detail, must be that of the material universe : that close swarming forms approach pebbles, or corn or leaves or the objects in some shop window somewhere in the world: that ample, bland forms are intrinsically either those of clouds, or spaces of masonry, or of sand deserts.
If the material world were not empirical and matter simply for science, but were organizedas in the imagination, we should live as though we were dreaming. The Imagination, not to be a ghost, but to have the vividness and warmth of life, and the atmosphere of a dream, uses, where best inspired, the pigment and material of nature.
Secondly, the general character of the organizing lines and masses of the picture inevitably betray it into some category or other of an organized terrestrial scene or human grouping: especially as the logic and mathematics at the bottom of both are the same. We will assume consent, however, to the last line of argument. But there is, on the other hand, no reason why you should not use this neighbouring material, that of endless masonry and mechanical shapes, if you enjoy it : and, as a practical reason, most of the best artists have exploited the plastic suggestions found in life around them.
In that case, why not approximate your work entirely to the appearance of surrounding Nature; landscape, houses and men? And if you wish to escape from this, or from any environment at all, you soar into the clouds, merely. That will only, in its turn, result in your painting what the dickybirds would if they painted. Perhaps airmen might even conceivably share this tendency with the lark.
But these aberrations are infrequent. The first reason for not imitating Nature is that you cannot convey the emotion you receive at the contact of Nature by imitating her, but only by becoming her. To sit down and copy a person or a scene with scientific exactitude is an absurd and gloomy waste of time. It would imply the most abject depths of intellectual vacuity were it not for the fact that certain compensations of professional amusement and little questions of workmanship make it into a monotonous and soothing game. Imitation, and inherently unselective registering of impressions,is an absurdity.
But, to put against this, attempt to avoid all representative element is an equal absurdity. As much of the material poetry of Nature as the plastic vessel will stand should be included. But nowadays, when Nature finds itself expressed so universally in specialized mechanical counterparts, and cities have modified our emotions, the plastic vessel, paradoxically, is more fragile.
The less human it becomes,the more delicate, from this point of view. You must be able to organize the cups, saucers and people, or their abstract plastic equivalent, as naturally as Nature, only with the added personal logic of Art, that gives the grouping significance. There is no necessity to make a sycophantish hullabulloo about this state of affairs, or burn candles in front of your telephone apparatus or motor car.
It is even preferable to have the greatest contempt for these useful contrivances, which are no better and no worse than men. Da Vinci recommends you to watch and be observant of the grains and markings of wood, the patterns found in Nature everywhere.
The patterned grains of stones, marble, etc. Have your breakfast in the ordinary way, and, as the result of your hunger and unconsciousness, on getting up you will find an air of inevitability about the way the various objects, plates, coffee-pot, etc. It would be still more difficult to convince yourself that the deliberate arrangement was natural.
Use is always primitive. To conclude :—The Whole of art to-day can undoubtedly be modified in the direction of a greater imaginative freedom of work, and with renewed conception of aesthetics in sympathy with our time. But I think a great deal of effort will automatically flow back into more natural forms from the barriers of the Abstract. Whatever happens, there is a new section that has already justified its existence, which is bound to influence, and mingle with the others, as they do with each other ; that is, for want of a better word, the Abstract.
The best creation, further, is only the most highly developed selection and criticism. The least and most vulgar Japanese print or Islandcarving is a masterpiece compared to a Brangwyn, a Nicholson, or a Poynter. It is well to study the patterns on a surface of marble. But the important thing is to be able to make patterns like them without the necessity of direct mechanical stimulus. The whole standard of art in our commercial, cheap, musical-comedy civilization is of the basest and most vitiated kind.
Practically nothing can be done, no Public formed, until these false and filthy standards are destroyed, and the place sanified. The methods of Science, prevalent all through life, will gradually accomplish this. We, however, would hasten it. Brangwyn, Mr. Nicholson and Sir Edward Poynter would not pass this Board: driven into the Vortex, there would be nothing left of them but a few Brangwynesque bubbles on the surface of the Abstract,. The winter evening settles down With smell of steaks in passage ways. The burnt out ends of smoky days. Sigune hears nothing and opens the door.
A staircase going up. Further down there is what can only be a latrine. After some time the rest of the party go up the stairs where Frimley and Galan probably fought some skeletons. On the ceiling there is a camouflaged canvas. What is it? Sir Ly raises the Gem of Light and it is revealed to be a strip of canvas concealing an exit from the lair! The party decides to secure the corridor leading down towards another chamber and some stairs going down. Frimley finds a locked door at the end and has some difficulties picking the lock. Father Tobias finds a secret door and a chamber containing an altar covered in offerings to dark gods.
He helps himself to a bow and another item. Meanwhile, Vicross has begun to tremble:. Farther Tobias suddenly has a new sword in his hands. At the foot of the stairs there appears to be a library…. Surely one of these books opens a secret door! Mirafir enters the factory, filled with scrolls and alchemical equipment and ingredients. There is also a book. A spell book. He cannot resist reading the runes embossed in gold on the cover. Inevitably, the runes begin to glow, and then a sudden flash blasts Mirafir inflicting a grievous injury! He barely survives and in that moment, a simulacrum of Kelthas appears:.
It was not only the magical trap that inflicted an injury on the Elf. The words of the Necromancer also cut deep and awoke memories of all that had transpired during his time in Illefarn…. And we defeated him! There shall be a feast! And mushroom beer! I drink to your health and honour! And to Illefarn! Free at last! The Gods have smiled on us! I swear I heard a mighty rumble in the heavens, as if those mighty deities were celebrating as we shall! Galan meets some Elves on the mountainside, and they agree to spread the word to Daggerford and King Melandrach.
Two days later, after much healing has taken place and the bridge has been rebuilt in the fountain chamber with the stars replaced, the Great Feast of Illefarn is scheduled to take place. Delphin is there, Mirubina, many further members of the nobility for a celebration of the liberation of Illefarn and the victorious party who led the battle. More Dwarves and Gnomes return to Illefarn from Daggerford and the surounding areas as news has spead: It is returning to life!
There is treasure in abundance and Korin is true to his word in terms of his generosity. Amongst the treasure are magic items to be identified and distributed appropriately according to need and ability. There is also a big party in Daggerford. Galan has found a new purpose after avenging his family.
They are humans and dwarves and elves. We achieve more together side-by-side than we can alone. Who trained Kelthas? Who did he study with? Have you seen the creatures who waylay people on the road!? There is still much work to do! After the Great Feast of Illefarn, several days later, daily routines begin to take priority over festivities. The adventurers are each fully focused on their research, training and contemplation.
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- Bodies That Remember: Womens Indigenous Knowledge and Cosmopolitanism in South Asian Poetry (Gender and Globalization);
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