The new path
In memory of Abraham Lincoln, p. 80
In Memory of Abraham Lincoln. our own people. Such art might show itself clever, learned, skilful; we would give very little for it. If we thought that bringing over even the works of such masters as Luys, G6rome, Tissot, Millais, Rossetti, would tend to that re- sult, we vwould fight against them with all our might. For we value nationality, individuality most highly, and don't be- lieve in any literature or art largely ab- stracted from these notions. We believe Homer, Dante, Chaucer, Shakspeare, Milton, are greater, not less, because their verse smacks strongly of Greece, Italy, and England. We like Diirer's Teuton- ism, Van Eyck's Netherlandishness, An- gelico's, Giotto's, Orcagna's, Titian's, Ital- ian flavor. And so in our own dear land we like best the men who paint America, and American men and women; we like the homely fields, the native bills, red shirts, plain ways, refinement not borrewed from abroad-the men who give us these, as they are, we count our best men; we will forgive much in their work for the savor of that salt. Therefore, if we thought this element put in jeopardy by the introduction of foreign pictures, we would say so, and act on our belhef to the extent of our ability. But we recognize only a stirm- ulating, healthy influence. The pictures painted to-day are more national by far, more individual, more of all that we mean of best when we say American, than ever before. Eastman Johnson, and Griswold, and the Hills, and Charles Moore, and Furness, and Farrer, are of to-day and of here, not of yesterday and Italy. And the older men, the very ones who grumble at the advent of these strange faces, how un-American they were, and are! Ilow seldom their work tastes of the soil ! Ilow they paint It- aly, Italy, Italy, and classic plhantasnms, and seem to shun the comnion as if it were unclean, the homely as if it were and must be low! We don't in the least doubt that these works are influencing us-both the art- ists and the public-but it is in a good way. It is a little sad, sometimes, to see poor, feeble, slovenly pictures, hung for sale on the walls of public galleries by the side of these noble guests of Ours, creep away to some remoter place where ignorance and inexperience may perhaps think their defects beauties, so that out of the splendor of that dazzling neighborhood they may be bought by some one who has not seen the master- pieces. But the painter, if he be earn- est, ,id modest, and faithful, will not be humtby the experience; he will be roused to new effort, he will aspire to new excellence, and the lance that wounded him will cure him, as that Achillean one did Telephus of old. LMay. un IaflclorlI of ABRAHAM LINCOLN. " His mute dust We honor, and his living worth; A man more pure and bold and just, Was never born into the earth. Sleep sweetly, tender heart, in peace: Sleep, holy spirit, blessed soul, While the stars burn, the moons increase, And the great ages onward roll."
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