Chapman, J.G. (John Gadsby), 1808-1889. / The American drawing-book: a manual for the amateur, and basis of study for the professional artist: especially adapted to the use of public and private schools, as well as home instruction.
(1870 [1873 printing])
Chapter XI. Of composition.--Hints of methods of original productions, etc. Conclusion., pp. -304 ff.
00 N C L U S I 0 N. 303 whose impulses have not been sufficiently matured to enable him to do so with well-understood pur pose, and with a distinct comprehension of the nature and extent of his requirements, and who i~ not capable, to a very great degree, of self-direction in their attainment - has still much to acquire before he is prepared to go abroad. All this, and more, he can as well, if not better, obtain at home. Profusion of facility in the beginning, however more smooth and easy may be made the way of the learner thereby, may still, for that very reason, have very doubtful tendencies. There are periods of childhood and youth in art to be passed through, in which the strength and stamina requisite to assume a position of manhood must be gradually attained, and home is the place, above all others, where it is best and most healthfully secured. From the Nature we have first learned to love, and which has taught us to love art, and from our native land with all its associations, we should derive our impulses. That early association and familiarity with high artistic achievement, and the most unlimited profusion of facility for study, do not necessarily constitute the generating elements of genius, may be profitably considered in the fact that Rome, to which all youthful artists look with such ardent longing, foster-mother as she has been of so many men of exalted genius in art, can not claim one among them all, and boast that "he was a Roman." 31. It is not alone in pictures and statues, stately domes and high achievements, that either the impulses or evidences of the existence and influence of taste for art are to be discovered, but in its broader and more general diffusion, germinating beneath the sheltering influences of these its loftier monuments, and scattering far and wide its seeds of usefulness. The gift comes to us as blessed sunshine in the world's weary way; purifying in its influences, it reaches the perfection of all our resources of comfort as well as of our pleasures and consolations. In awakening mankind to a sense of the importance of its cultivation as a requirement in popu- lar education-in making its advantages accessible to all-it should be regarded as a matter touching the interest of every one. It extends its aid to the philanthropist in works of blessed charity and mercy; it gives to the public teacher the means of developing more perfectly the resources of the youthful mind and of directing it in ways best suited to its natural endowments- developing light by such happy adaptation, where otherwise might exist but darkness-an immor- tal mind benighted by diversion of its capacities from their true direction. To teachers, above all others, we appeal in behalf of those under their charge. That which we want most is the general introduction of drawing in our schools; not as an accomplish- ment for a few, but for all. We want not drawing-masters to be sent for at the last moment of giving the finishing touches to fashionable education, by a course of "twelve lessons of an hour each;" but we want our children, of all classes, to be indulged in the inclination that God has
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