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and Aristotle. The means, however, whereby he effected the supernatural and awful in the mind of the Greek, to whom the idea of external immobility and internal · activity was familiar, would only shock those to whom it is foreign. We, who never conceive of the colors, and form, and light of life, without connecting therewith the motion also of life—the gentle heaving of respiration, at least can not behold the former combined, without expecting also the latter; and where they are not to be found, the former can express nothing to us but sudden death, or suspended animation. A simple, uncolored material, whereby the counterfeit of life is not attempted, is, in the hands of genius, capable of higher effects. The plain bronze or marble can never be mistaken for the substance of living creatures, while, omitting all inferior accessories, they embody the noblest and most beautiful forms that animal life
Of all forms, the human is the best vehicle of the sculptor's thought- because in itself the fullest of meaning to the human understanding. All its varieties, and attitudes, and features, and lines, are associated with corresponding ideas and emotions in the beholder's mind. It is itself a language most powerfully expressive and universally understood. But in order to make an adequate use of it, a thorough acquaintance with its anatomy, its balance and capacities of motion, is indispensable. This is the grammar of the sculptor's language, without which he must
forever fail in obtaining a true and effective utterance. Though apparently dealing with the superficies alone, he can not make one independent and intelligible work without a knowledge of the internal mechanism. For such is the harmony of the whole frame that any given position of one member requires a certain corresponding position of all the rest, and almost every change of attitude and action changes the shape of some of the limbs. For example, when the figure is perfectly upright, and equally supported on both feet, with the hands hanging down on each side, the line of gravity falls through the center of the body, between the ankles, to the ground. Every remove from that position alters, more or less, the direction of the line of gravity, or rather the relation of every part of the body to it. If only a step be taken forward, with a natural motion, the upper part of the body is inclined forward, and the shape as well as the attitude of the muscles employed is changed. In preparing to run, the line of gravity is thrown beyond the advanced foot; in striking, when the action begins, the body is thrown backward, the line of gravity falls out of the figure, on that side, and is immediately transferred with the falling blow to the other side-every muscle pertaining to locomotion having changed its action in that instant. To raise the arm may seem to be the act of that limb alone ; but if naturally executed involves the motion of the whole body. Thus, every change of attitude demands a new modeling of the whole figure. The artist ignorant of fundamental principles, who has correctly made a statue in rest, must study the whole over again to produce one in the act of taking one step.
The peculiar work of sculpture is the ideal perfection of organic form, and its highest end, formal beauty in repose. Painting alone approaches to competition with it in this, its proper field. But colors, depending as they do upon so many modifications of light and of feeling, for their existence, necessarily suggest the idea of change, while the statue, in simplicity of actual form, which although it also changes in the course of time, is more associated in our minds with permanency, can attain its noblest results without those glowing signs of transitory emotion.
Though portrait statues and busts are historically valuable, it is not by them that the art is to be estimated. The most beautiful living form comes short, in some respect, of what the cultivated mind can conceive of perfection; but the statue, truly embodying the same style of beauty, carries to perfection all that we admire, while it omits everything that can offend. Statuary is even more fastidious than poetry, in rejecting all that fails of beauty. A long poem may contain many a blemish and yet be of admitted excellence, its merits being so great and striking as to retain their place in the mind when the faults are forgotten, or pardoned, for the sake of the associated excellence; a statue is taken in by the eye at once, and any want of
harmony immediately detected. The distinct perception of a single particular, as wrong, impairs the pleasure to be derived from all the rest; for we can not think of the work without remembering the blemish. If the design was beautiful, we grieve that it should have been marred; and if the fault is in the design, no excellence of execution can atone for it. In what the mind is only called upon to conceive, its own conceptions may help out the work of the artist, but that which is presented to the faithful eyes, must have in itself all the merit for which it is to have credit. To give its proper satisfaction, a piece of sculpture must actually present what seems to the observing mind the perfection of that particular style of form to which it belongs. With anything else than form and the ideas thereby conveyed, it has nothing to do, and the imagination demands nothing more of it.
Art is not, in any department, a promiscuous following of nature, but differs from nature by aiming at a separation of elements, which, in nature, are blended together. Nature, like her creator, is infinite. Art is finite-constructed on the principle of the human mind -one thing at a time. In nature we have perspective, and light, and shade, and color, and form, and motion, and sound, combined; but, in the midst of that wilderness of complicated beauty, the imagination labors to conceive of one of these elements suffered to develop itself to perfection. It separates perspective, and establishes the art of drawing; it separates sound, and
evolves the art of music; it separates form, and carrying out the peculiar features thereof to ideal beauty, constructs the art of statuary. Consequently, it is at variance with the primary object of the art, to introduce any other element. The legitimate design is not to present a figure that shall look just like some actual figure in nature, or that possesses as many as possible of the sensible qualities of the natural, but to embody the ideal perfection of form alone. Letting everything else go, for the time, the mind wishes to contemplate this one matter-how purely beautiful form can be and wishes that it may not be embarrassed in, nor diverted from, that occupation, by the combination therewith of other notions. For the same reason that in a speech the whole must turn on one idea—that a tragedy should have but one plot—a statue should present the perfection of but one great element of beauty.
All arts are not equally limited in the number of their elements, but all are equally limited to unity of conception. Painting is equally limited to the effects of light and distance, and music to the beautiful in sound. When any of them attempt a close imitation of nature they become childish ; because, in the aggregate, they can never equal nature, can never be anything better than toys, in comparison with her living productions. The works of nature are perfect, and can not be improved upon as such. It is only by taking one of her elements and making it human-by conferring