Fads In Art

Let any one glance at the illustrations in the new’ English magazine, ” The Yellow Book “; and then in humiliation read over the names of hitherto reputable authors who have been beguiled into allowing their writings to be printed between the covers of a periodical started for the purpose of making such illustrations popular. We are told that these are specimens of a new style of art. In reality, they are specimens of a style of no art whatever, if by the term we mean that which is art in the highest sense; and this for the very evident reason, which those who have followed the lines of thought in this so-called unpractical series of essays, will at once recognize, namely, that it is not their aim to represent either mental conceptions or natural appearances. The fad which they exemplify furnishes merely one more of many inane manifestations of Anglo-Saxon affectation, the same trait, exhibiting the same inability to perceive the essentially ethic as well as esthetic connection between a thing to be expressed and a representative method of expressing it which, for years, has made two whole nations speak inarticulately and spell irregularly, and, today, is making so many wear monocles, carry canes dirt-end upward, and shake hands as if, forsooth, they could not get over habits acquired in clasping the fingers of court ladies holding on their arms heavy trains at the queen’s receptions. There is no more art in what the draftsmen of this ” Yellow Book” suppose to indicate it than there is heart in what so many of their patrons now suppose to indicate a hearty welcome. Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture as Representative Arts.