Arrowsmith, Henry William / The house decorator and painter's guide; containing a series of designs for decorating apartments, suited to the various styles of architecture
[Interior decoration, continued], pp. 57-59
59 of a faculty or power, is not dependent on the will of monarchs, or the smiles of nobles. True art is a plant which will flourish in any clime; it will bear the frosts of winter, as well as the scorching heats of summer; it chooses its own shelter from the winds it most fears, and flourishes best in the quiet and repose of nature, but often dies unadmired and unknown. From the time of Augustus and his immediate successors, the arts fell in public estimation, and not even a succession of virtuous princes, and appa- rently favourable circumstances, could arrest their decline. In the year 537 of the Christian era, the Goths attacked Rome. They have the unenviable character of barbarous destroyers of the very relics of art; but if they extin- guished the flame of knowledge and art, it was burning so dimly, that the attentive observer would have been before unconscious of its light. It is true that these northern warriors could find nothing worthy of respect, much less of imitation, in a nation they had conquered; yet they were not altogether insensible to the advantages and pleasures derived from some of the arts, for in the erection, and decoration of a palace for the Gothic monarch, architects and sculptors were employed, though we have no knowledge of the engagement of painters. The iconoclasts, mad with religious bigotry, and in the indulgence of all those evil propensities which spring from it, were active in the destruction of ancient works of art; but in after ages, the progress of architecture, sculpture, and painting, was aided by a similar zeal in the same cause, differently directed. Not long after, the ecclesiastics vied with each other in the decora- tion of the churches with which they were connected, and before the com- mencement of the ninth century, the desire for novelty and splendour had introduced the stained glass window.
This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright