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V

HISTORY OF ART
ANCIENT ART

tr^

HISTORY OF ART
Volume III

ANCIENT ART
MEDIAEVAL ART {In
RENAISSANCE ART "

Volume IV

MODERN ART

Volume

Volume

Preparation)

ELIE FAURE

HISTORY OF ART
ANCIENT ART
y
Translated from the French by

WALTER PACK

Illustrated

from Photographs
Author

Selected by the

HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS


NEW YORK AND LONDON
MCMX'XI

History of Art

Ancient

Art

Copyright, 1921, by Harper & Brothers


Printed in the United States of America

To

My

Wife

Pompcian mosaic {Museum

of Naples).

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE

CHAPTER

Translator's Preface

ix

Introduction to the First French Edition (1909)

Preface to the
I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.
VI.

VII.

VIII.

New Edition

Before History
Egypt

(1920)

xvii

xxxv
3
31

78

The Ancient Orient


The Sources OF Greek Art

113

Phidias

1^9

The Dusk of Mankind

187

Intimate Greece

229

Rome

263

Alphabetical Index

305

Synoptic Tables

307

Signs and Abbreviations

309

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

ART history
/\ man, for

is,

in

its

essentials,

the history of

no one can write the story of art in


more than a superficial way without following

JL JL

out the relation of each school to the ideas of its period


and its people. But it is even more than that: it is the
history of the development of

man

as revealed

by

his

Elie Faure, in the present history, pursues this


art.
idea with a fidelity and an understanding that it has
never received till now. Indeed, one may almost

say that such a work as this could not have been


written earlier, for it has been only gradually that

we have come

to understand the relation of art to the

character and surroundings of the races

Various works on

isolated

artists

it

represents.

and schools have

with their subject from this standpoint, but


there existed no survey of the world's art as a whole

dealt

until the four

The

volumes of

professional,

this series

whether

critic,

were written.
teacher, or artist,

pages the fullest application of the


modern theory of history (for the governing idea here
is one that goes beyond the limits of art history), while

will find in these

the layman will follow the epic of man's development


in

company with a passionate

has the
a fallacv

lover of beauty

who

communicating his enthusiasm. It is


to believe that a book for the general reader

gift of

IRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

should dilute the ideas

The contrary

cialists.

works addressed to spe-

of

is

meet the needs

to

true:

of

persons of diverse interests, more intensity of idea


is

more breadth

required,

of a treatise for specialists,

subject

cause

will

diffuseness

them

is

demanded

whose concern with

their

dryness

and

to

overlook

a valuable theory

if

than

of scope,

is

new

established or

facts are arrived at.

For a comparison

of the older

and the newer views

of art historv, the reader can scarcely be referred to

M.

anything clearer than

new

the preface to the

Faure's

edition of this

own

discussion in

work (page xxxv)

His brief reference there to the synoptic tables at the

back

of

may be supplemented by

each volume

assurances

from various close students

received

the special schools and epochs,


for the thoroughness with

who

which this most objective com-

names and dates has been made.

ence chart

is

as a road

map

characteristic

History of Art
tionally

The

refer-

does a traveler.

is

as the

The

text of

more than amplify such

most

tables.

which distinguishes Elie Faure's

that

it

shows the mass

living brain

and heart

of facts func-

of

mankind.

loyalty with which, in the preface mentioned,

M. Faure
due

thus constantly before the reader, serving

art histories does little

The

of

agree in vouching

pilation of

him

the

defends the work of the archaeologist

is

in part to his appreciation of the material that

the searchers for detail have placed at his disposal,

but doubtless in part also to the fact that he himself

knows the labor

of obtaining the first-hand inforn7a-

tion on which the history

and interpretation

of art

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE
At no one

are built.

not fear to lay too

he

fall

however (and one need


on this point), does

place,

much

xi

stress

into the error of imagining that an assembling

of facts

history.

is

Even when

writing of arts like

the F^gyptian and the Greek, as to which his study

on the

historic sites has given

him a

special authority,

even when treating of the Gothic period, as to which

knowledge

his

is

so profound as to

apply the word

lock Ellis

make Mr. Have-

"unsurpassable" to the

chapters of this history on Gothic art

modern

his

understanding of his task causes him to refer constantly to the philosophy,

social

life,

and

ideals of

the people under examination, and not to their art


alone.

He

goes farther, and by a series of dramatic

confrontations makes us realize the differences

the arts and their debt to one another.

among

Thus,

in the

pages on the Gothic he has before his eyes the color


of

Mohammedan

to western

art

which was

Europe when

its

of such

importance

returning crusaders brought

back to the glassmakers of the cathedrals their

mem-

Yet M. Faure's main guide in


this part of his study is the life of the mediaeval commune; he shows its relation to the appearance or
ories of the Orient.

nonappearance

and

its

of great cathedrals in the

French

cities

use as a basis for an explanation of the differ-

ence between English and French Gothic.

We

are

thus relieved in very large measure from the t^'ranny


of taste

and

of arbitrary assertion that plays so large

a part in most art writing.

In the present volume, again, the


of

Greek

art

rise

and decline

are not treated as matters that have

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

xii

been permanently decided by experts; neither does the


author justify his statements
to be followed only

terms of aesthetics

in

by those persons who have had a


The sources of Greek

special experience in the arts.

anyone

art are studied with a view of allowing

inter-

ested in the subject to see the reason for the "focus"

that would be produced


light

when the elements

were fused, the golden period

relation to the ideas of philosophy

had

so great

Dusk

an

effect

on the

considered with

is

and

and

arts,

the

of

liberty

which

as Greece turns

Mankind (with which variant of Wagner's word "Gotterdammerung" M. Faure entitles


his chapter on the decline), we are again shown, in
the ideas at work in the race, the reasons for the new
to the

phases of
is

later or

intricacies

of

its

art

and not simply told that one statue

worse than another, or involved in technical

from which we only escape with the

classic

"c?e gnstibus.''

feature of the history, which, the English reader

will recognize

with the four volumes before him,

scope of the work.


to represent the

It

is

one

modern idea

is

the

of the proofs of its right

Beginning with

of art.

the accessions to our knowledge a century ago,

when

important Greek works came to northern Europe,

we have

for

a hundred years

been extending the

boundaries of the art considered

classic.

The mas-

terpieces of Japan, China, and India have been reach-

ing us only since the middle of the nineteenth century.

The

last of the exotic arts to

affect

been that of the African sculptors.


approaches that of

M. Faure

in

Europeans has

No
its

other history

full

and

clear

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

xiii

study of the contribution of these more lately recognized arts to the widening of our horizon and to the

changes in our understanding which they have caused.


It

is

not alone that the art of the last half centurv

different

is

built

from that

of earlier times because

it

is

on a wider base, but that to-day we see the whole


new eyes. As our thought evolves

of the past with

there will unquestionably be further changes in our

estimate of the past, but the


the present

summary

resulting from

work may confidently be expected

to hold

its

rank as an important one in the history of the subject.


For we have here the ideas of a period of intense
research and criticism,

when our thought has

and a point

in

that period

attained at least a temporary

tranquillity through its grasp of the

new elements

command and through an outlook on


represents the creative men of the epoch.
its

It

is

to be

doubted whether

to a radical degree,

sance to which
])eriod,

at

that

later critics will differ,

from the judgment

M. Faure

art

of the Renais-

points in his volume on that

for the great critical activity of the last half

century has been specially occupied with the Renais-

and M. Faure knows well the results of this


Perhaps it will be around the volume on
Modern Art that later discussion will mainly center,
sance,

study.

for

issue

here

the

currents

of

interpretation

M.

from conflicting sources.

sometimes

Faure's analysis,

however, must have a permanent interest, for

it

is

based on too deep an understanding of the political

and

social

structure of the

to be entirely superseded.

European countries ever


It

is

the philosophy of a

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

xiv

man whose

drama

role in the

by the great breadth


drawn on them all in

of his time

of his activities

enriched

and who has

on art

his writing

is

the central

interest of his career.

Faure

Elie

and

physician,

is

knowledge and point

of

view

the

scientist's

to be traced in his

is

History of Art as well as in his masterly essay on

He

Lamarck.

is

one of the founders of the L^niversite

The thought on
which informs those books by M.

Populaire and one of


social

questions

Faure that treat


of ethics

and

of

its

lecturers.

economic and

of war, recurs

rather he looks on

all

racial

when he

evolution,

writes of art, or

of these things as inextricably

mingled.

As we reach his pages on the later nineteenth centurv and the twentieth (for the last volume carries
us to the art produced since the war), we find the
author giving not only the original judgments that
characterize his history from

its

beginning, but trans-

mitting to us the ideas of the artists themselves, for


as a result of his personal acquaintance with
of the chief

workers of his time, he

is

many

enabled to speak

not onlv of them but for them.

And

yet the tone of these pages

from that

of the

is

but

little

remainder of the work;

different

the arts of

the past have been so alive for the writer that his

words seem to come most often from one who had


seen the work produced.
for the facts of history
in the order

While searching untiringly


and presenting their essentials

and relationship that the most modern

scholarship has

made

available, the idea behind the

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE
whole work must
preface to the

(as

new

M. Faure

himself explains in the

edition before cited) be tinged with

the personality of the writer and


his time.

simply

"The

utters

historian

xv

piece

of

who

by the character

calls himself

folly."

of

a scientist

In these matters

judgment is inevitable, for to write the history of art


one must make one's decisions as to what it is. The
writing of it is in itself a work of art as the style of
Only one who feels the
Elie Faure is there to prove.

emotions of art can

works and make


their history.

It

tell

others which are the great

clear the collective


is

poem formed by

precisely because Elie

adding something to that poem


to tell us of its meaning.

Faure

is

that he has the right

Walter Pach.

INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST

FRENCH EDITION
A RT,
/^k

-^

which expresses

It

escapes

life, is

as mysterious as

formulas, as

all

need of defining

it

(1909)

pursues

life

us,

because

ht'e.

But the

does.

it

enters

every hour of our existenee, aggrandizing the aspects


of that existence

bv

its

lower forms.

honoring thern

b;y

distasteful

for us to

it

is

more elevated forms

its

make

the effort to hear and

\o observe, it is impossible for us


see, it is

No

or dis-

matter how

not to hear and to

impossible for us to refrain wholly from form-

some kind of opinion of the world of appearances


the meaning of which it is precisely the mission of

ing

art to rcA^eal to us.


anil
*h('

metaphysicians

Historians, moralists, biologists,

those

all

secret of its origins

and

or 'u^T compelled to ask

its

who demand
purposes

why we

are

of

life

sooner

recognize ourselves

INTRODUCTION

xviii

in the

works which manifest

But the too restricted

Hfe.

Hmits of biology, of metaphysics, of morahty, and of


history compel us to narrow the field of our vision

moving immensity of the poem


and has begun again to sing
It matters
forget ever since he has been man.

when we

enter the

man

that

and to

sings, forgets,

not which of these studies has interested us, the feeling


for

beauty

will

be found to be identical

And without doubt

it

is

them and draws them on


is

human

the goal of

in all of

this feeling that

them.

dominates

to that possible unity which

activity

and which alone makes

that activitv real.


It

is

only by listening to the heart that one can

speak of art without belittling

We

it.

are

all,

in

measure, partakers of the truth, but we cannot


truth

itself,

unless

we

out and, having found

some

know

desire passionately to seek


it,

feel

it

the enthusiasm to pro-

Only he who permits the divine


voices to sing within him knows how to respect the
mystery of the work which inspired him to induce
claim

other

widely.

it

men

betray

to share in his emotion.

Gothic

the

workmen

or

Michelet did not

Michael

because he himself was consumed by

which

the

Angelo,
passion

the nave of the cathedrals and that

uplifts

other passion which unchains


of the Sistine.

its

storm

in the vaults

Baudelaire was a great poet because

he penetrated to the central hearth from which the


spirit

of

Moreover,
it is

the heroes radiates in force and in light.


if

the ideas of Taine did not die with him,

because his

and because

his

artist's

nature

dogmatic

is

greater than his will

stiffness is continually over-

introdik:ti()N

xix

flowed by the incessantly renewed wave of sensations

and

of images.

Taine came at the hour when we learned that our own

was bound up with the acts of those who have


preceded us on life's road and even with the very
structure of the earth from which we spring.
He
destin^

was, therefore, in a position to see the form of our

thought issue from the mold of history.


life."

It enters us

and the

will of

sion of our

it,

men

ideas,

soil,

the

through the atavistic preparation

color of our sky,

which determines

"Art sums up

with the strength of our

as well as through the passions

which

it defines.
For the expresemploy
we
the materials which our

eyes can see and our hands touch.


that Phidias, the sculptor
a clearly defined world,

who

It

is

impossible

lived in the South, in

and Rembrandt, the painter

who lived in the mist of the North, amid a floating


world two men separated by twenty centuries during
which humanity

lived,

use the same words.

suffered,

Only,

it

is

and aged

should

necessary that

we

should recognize ourselves in Rembrandt as well as


in Phidias.

Not

until

we have expressed

in

some

sort of language

the appearance of the things about us do these things

and retain their appearance. If art were


nothing more than a reflection of societies, which pass
like shadows of clouds upon the earth, we should ask
no more of art than that it teach us history. But it
exist for us

recounts
It goes
of time,

man

to us, and, through him, the universe.

beyond the moment,


it

it

lengthens the duration

widens the comprehension of man, and ex-

INTRODUCTION

XX
tends the

life

etermtyTn

and

limit of the universe.

It fixes

moving

momentary form.

its

man

In recounting

know

teaches us to

to us, art

and understand ourselves. The strange thing is that


there should be any need for art to do this. Tol-

book

stoi's

meant nothing

moment when,

ful

He came

else.

strongly fortified

at a pain-

by the

results

of our research work, but bewildered by the horizons

which

opened, we perceived that our effort was

it

and sought to compare the results


attained in order to unite in a connnon faith and
march forward. We think and believe what we need
to think and to believe, and it is this which gives to

becoming

diffused,

and

thoughts

our

indestructi})le

that

thev

all

have.

say at the

Art

is

foundation

of

Tolstoi said what

moment when he

said

it

humanity which
was necessarv to

it.

the appeal to the instinct of

men .^_ We
awakens

throughout our history,

beliefs,

recognize one another by

in us,

tions

may

all

in

the echoes

it

which we transmit to others by our

enthusiasm, and which resound in the

throughout

communion

generations, even

not suspect it.y

If,

d(_^eds

of nien

when those generaduring the hours of

depression and lack of comprehension only a few of

us hear the

call,

it

is

that in those hours

possess the idealistic energy which later

is

we

alone

to reanimate

It has been
the heroism asleep in the multitudes.
That
said that the artist is sufficient unto himself.

The artist who says so is infected with


The artist who believes it is not an
pride.

not true.

is

an

e\'il

iTolstoi,

What

is

Art?


INTRODTTTTON

xxi

he had not needed the most universal of


our languages, the artist would not have created it.
He would dig the ground to get his bread on a desert
If

artist.

No

island.

one has more need

approbation

of

men.

He

and

of the presence

speaks

because

he

feels

their presence around him, and lives in the hope


sometimes despaired of but never relinquished that

thev

come

will

at last to

understand him.

function to pour out his being, to give as

can of his

life,

to

demand

of others

It

much

is

his

as he

that they also

him as much as they can of themselves, to realize


with them in an obscure tind uuignificent collaboraa harmony all the more impressive that a greater
tion
number of lives have participated in it. The artist,

give

to

whom men

give everything, returns in

full

measure

4.'

what he has taken from them.


Nothing touches us except what happens to us or
what can happen to us. The artist is ourselves. He
has behind him the same depths of humanity, whether
enthusiastic or depressed; he has about him the same
which each

secret nature,
artist

is

of his steps broadens.

the crowd, to which

defines us

all,

we

all

belong,

The
which

with our consent or despite our resistance.

He has not the power to gather up the stones of the


house which he builds us (at the risk of crushing in
his breast

and

of tearing his hands),

on any road save

we travel at his side. He must suffer


from that which makes our suffering, and we must make
that on which

him suffer. He must feel our joys and he must derive


them from us. It is necessary that he live our griefs
and our inner victories, even when we do not feel them.

INTRODUCTION

xxii

"'""The artist can feel and dominate his surroundings

when he considers them as a means of creation. vL


Only then does he give us those permanent realities
which all acts and all moments reveal to those who
only

know how

and how to

to see

human

survive the changes in

These

live.

society as the

the s^a survives the agitations of

surface/

its

realities

mass
Art

of
is

always a "system of relations," and a synthetic system, r This

is

true even of primitive art, which shows

passionate

the

despite

its

pursuit

an

of

essential

sentiment,

Every

indefatigable accumulation of detail.

image symbolizes

in brief the idea

which the

artist

creates for himself of the unlimited world of sensations

and forms.

Every image

is

an expression of

his

desire to bring about in this world the reign of that

order which he knows


been, since

its

how

to discover in

most humble

to

it

all

men.

Art has

origins, the realization of

the presentiments of certain

needs of

it.

men

who

answer the

Art has forced the world to yield

the laws which have permitted us to establish

mind over the


Emanating from humanity, art has revealed
humanity its own intelligence. Art has defined

progressively the sovereignty of our

world.
to

the races;

matic

alone

effort.

If

it

bears the testimony of their dra-i

we want

I must understand what

art

to

know what we

are,

we

is.

Art initiates us into certain profound


actual

possession

realities whose
would enable humanity to bring

about, within and arovjid,

which

is

itself

the fugitive goal of

its

the supreme harmon;^

endeavor;

desire such possession, howeve.r,

as

its

we do not

effect

would


INTRODT'CTTON
be to

und thereby

inoveiiient

kill

surely something infinitely


to be
also

by

it is

those

feel

of

the force of

our

has, at

its

sensibility

formed in order that

it is

action.

and

our

We

and Guyau

sphere.

its

are useful

All

the

instruments for us,

of art attracts us only

the formulation of our

it

admit

of our-

events, nothing of that disinter-

all

images in the world

and the work

of the

experience,

we may be the masters

attempted to limit to

ognize in

is

imagined

Born

ested aloofness to which Kant, Spencer,

himself

Art

hope.

do not understand it. Perhaps


more practical than is thought by many of

association

it

kill

greater than

th.ose_^ffiho

who

selves,

xxiii

because we rec-

desire.

that ol)jects of primary utility

freely

our clothing, our furniture, our vehicles, our roads,


^our houses seem to us beautiful when they serve

But we

their purpose adequately.

placing above

that

is,

stoutly persist in

outside of Nature, the supe-

organisms in which she proclaims herself our


bodies, our faces, our thoughts, the infinite world of
rior

and of the landscapes in which these


organisms live, and by which they are mutually defined
ideas, of passions,

so that

we

are unable to separate them.

not go far enough when he asked himself

Guyau
if

did

the most

most beautiful, and with


him we recoil from the decisive word as if it would
Yet we know our dream to be imperstifle our dream.

useful gesture were not the

ishable,

since

we

shall

never attain that realization

Let me
of ourselves which we pursue unceasingly.
quote a sentence uttered by him among all men whose
intelligence

was

freest,

perhaps,

from any material

INTRODUCTION

xxiv
"Is

limitation:

body," said Plato, "is


us that

to

strates

the function of a beautiful

not

it

that

are

we

find

not

all

which demon-

its utility

And

beautiful?

is

it

which we find beautiful


fessions

not

it

sounds, pro-

colors,

faces,

everything

these beautiful in the measure

them useful?"

Let our idealism be reassured!

accumulation of emotion and of


the point on

It

only by a long

is

will that

man

reaches

road where he can recognize the

life's

forms which are useful to him.

It

this choice alone,

is

made by

certain minds, which will determine for the

futiu'e, in

th? instincts of multitudes, what

from the domain

to pass

of practice.

painful but

and

It

is

our general development,

domain
is

it

the

constant purification of our intelligence

of our desire,

which create and render necessary

forms of civilization

certain

destined

is

of speculation into the

and easy

translate into the direct

AMiat

their material needs.

which
is

minds

positive

satisiaction of all

most useful to

man

is

the idea.

The

beautiful form, whether

the breasts of a

arms

of

form

is

woman

it

be a tree or a

river,

or her sides, the shoulders or

a man, or the cranium


the form that adapts

of a

god

itself

the beautiful

to

its

function.

The idea has no other role than that of defining the


form for us. The idea is the lofty outlook and tlie
infinite extension in

most imperious

of

the world and in the future of the

our instincts.

It

sums up and

proclaims this instinct as the flower and the fruit

up the plant, prolong


being,

it

and perpetuate

it.

sum

Every

even the lowest, contains within himself, at


INTRODUCTION
once in his

least

adventure

eartlily

the artist

is

when

he loves

And he whom we

the poetry of the world.

all

xxv

the one aniont? living heings wlio,

presence of universal

life,

in

call

the

maintains the state of love

in his heart.

The obscure and formidable

\oice whicli reveals to

to woman the beauty of woman and man,


and impels them to make a decisive choice so that
they may perpetuate and perfect their species, ne^el

man and

to

ceases

resound

multiplied by

all

the

in

artist,

the voices and the

strengthened

murmurs and

sounds and the tremblings which accomi)any

he

voice

is

forever hearing

it,

and
the

That

it.

every time that the

grasses move, every time that a violent or graceful

form proclaims
it

along his pathway.

its life

He

hears

as he follows, from the roots to the leaves, the rise

of the sap

from under the earth

branches of the
rising

and

trees,

falling as

to the trunks

and the

every time that he looks at the sea

if

to respond to the tide of billions

of life-cells that roll in

it,

every time that the fructi-

fying force of heat and rain overwhelms him, every

time that the generating winds repeat to him that

human hymns

are

made up

of the calls to voluptu-

ousness and hope with which the world

is

filled.

He

seeks out the forms which he foresees, as a

man

animal

His desire

in

the grip

love seeks them.

of

passes from one form to another, he compares


pitilessly,

forth,

and from

comparisons

there

them

springs

one day, the superior form, the idea wiiose

recollection will weigh

not

his

or an

on

imparted his own

his heart so long as

life

to

it.

He

he has

suffers

until


INTRODUCTION

xxvi

death, because each time that he has

brought an Idea to

fruitful,
is

born

in

light,

made

a form

the image of another

him, and becaase his hope, never wearied of

reaching out for what he desires, can only be born of


the despair at not having attained his desire.

He

makes those
around him suffer. But around him, and fifty cenThe
turies after him, he consoles millions of men.
work he will leave behind him will assure an increase
of power to those who can understand the logic and the
his tyrannical disquietude often

suffers;

enjoy

the illusion

men will
moment

In listening to him,

certitude of his images.

which he

enjoyed for a

the illusion, often formidable but always ennobling,


of absolute adaptation.

It

is

the only divine illusion!

We

give the

name

of

a god to the form which best interprets our desire


sensual, moral, individual, social,

no matter what,

our vague desire to comprehend, to utilize


lessly to

With

heart.
jections,

to us,

life,

cease-

extend the limits of the intelligence and the


this desire

we invade

the

lines,

and the volumes which proclaim

and

it is

in the

the pro-

form

this

meeting with the powerful forces

that circulate within the form that the god reveals


himself to us.

From

the impact of the spirit that

animates the form with the


life
it

springs forth.

unless

it

We

shall

spirit

that animates us,

never be able to

utilize

responds wholly to those obscure move-

ments which dictate our own actions. Rodin sees


quivering in the block of marble a man and a woman
knotted together by their arms and their

we

shall

legs,

but

never understand the tragic necessity for


f

INTRODUCTION
such an embrace

we do not

if

feel

xxvii

that an inner force,

mingles the hearts and tie flesh of the bodies

desire,

thus welded

Wher:

together.

wrests from

Carriere

the matter of the universe a mother giving the breast

we

to her child,

union

we do not

if

not understand the value of that

shall

feel

that an inner force, love, dic-

tates the bending of the torso and the curve of the

mother's arm, and that another inner force, hunger,


buries

infant

the

expresses nothing

ment escapes us
image

does not directly determine the

it

which

shall

and

epics, the

frescoes,

power

irresistible

translate

loftiest archi-

and the

of liberty, the glory

the

of

The pediments,

it.

symphonies, the

sweep

tectures, all the

that

not beautiful, and the finest senti-

is
if

The image

her bosom.

in

infinite

which we erect to ourselves, are

and
in

living

temple

mysterious

this

accord.

In every case,

it is this

agreement which defines

all

the higher forms of the testimonies to confidence and


faith

which we have

our idealistic

all

"radical"

left

on our long road.

which no finalism

effort,

has directed.

thing than the reality of


of adaptation creates

may

in

the

sense which the philosophers are giving

to the world

it

It defines

it

Our idealism is no other


our mind.4 .The necessity

and maintains

it

in us,

that

be increased and transmitted to our children.


as a possibility at the foundation of our

It exists
original

moral

life,

as the physical

in the distant protozoan.

lute
'

is

man

Our research

is

contained

for the abso-

the indefatigable desire for the repose that

H. Bergson.

Creative Evolution.

INTRODUCTION

xxviii

from our decisive triumph over the group


But, for
of blind forces which oppose our progress.
our salvation, the farther we go, the more distant the

would

result

goal becomes.
I

The goal

of life

living,

is

and

it is

to ever-

moving and ever-renewing life that our ideal leads us.


When we follow the march of time and pass from one
people to another, the forms of that ideal seem to
change.

But what changes,

basically,

is

the needs

time or the needs of given peoples whose


future alone can show, across the variations of appearances, the identity of their nature and the character
of a given

Scarcely have

of their usefulness to us.

Egypto-Hellenic world before we

we

left

see, stretching

us like a plain, the kingdom of the mind.

the

before

The temples

Hindoos and the cathedrals break into its


frontiers, the cripples of Spain and the poor of Holland invade it without introducing even one of those
types of general humanity through which the first
of

the

had defined our needs. ^\Tiat does it matter?


The great dream of humanity can recognize, there
artists

again, the effort toward adaptation which has always

guided

it.

Other conditions

different forms of- art

for understanding

path

them

and the

life

have appeared,

us feel the necessity

in order to direct us in the

of our best interests.

of the people,

of

have made

life of

Real landscape, the


the middle

life

class, arrive

and powerfully characterize the aspects of every day,


into which our soul, exhausted with
retire

and

refresh

The

appeal of

dream,

may

misery and

made, that we may get back to ourknow ourselves, and strengthen ourselves.

despair, even,
selves,

itself.

its

is

INTRODUCTION
If

we turn

Greeks,

xxix

to the Ecryptians, to the Assyrians, the

Hindoos, the French of the Middle

tlie

iVges,

the Itahans, and the Dutch, one after the other,

it is

tliat we })elong now to one group of surroundings,


now to one epoch, now to one minute, even of our

time or of our Hfe, which has need of a given people

more than
the sun;,

which have formed us are each

an equal share

entitled to

we have

successively

We

we seek
warm. The

are cold

we seek the shadow when we are

great civilizations

lacked.

When we

of another one.

our gratitude, because

of

asked of each the things we

have lived tradition when it was to our


it, and have accepted revolution when

interest to live
it

We

saved us.

was abandoning
seeing

found

new
its

have been

itself

destinies, realists

provisional

idealists

when the world

to discouragement or

when

it

We

stability.

was

fore-

seemed to have

have not asked

more reserve from passionate races or more ardor


from positive races, because we have understood the
necessity of passion and the necessity of the positive
spirit.
It is we who wrote the immense book wherein

for

our

recounted

Cervantes has

and our practical common

generous

We

sense.

enthusiasm

have followed

one or the other of the great currents of the mind,

and we have been able to invoke arguments


equal

value

to

call idealistic art,

justify

our inclinations.

what we

call realistic art,

tary forms of our eternal action.

the immortal
tion

moment when

and the forces

It

is

of

almost

What we
are momen-

for us to seize

the forces of conserva-

of revolution in life marry, for the

realization of the equilibrium of the

human

soul.
^

INTRODUCTION

XXX

Thus, whatever the form

now

to us, whether true

both in

And

because

end

Each

simplicity.
it is

adapted to

be,

must extend

may

itself

their infinitely

complex

infinitely

whieh translate universal

same,

infinite

and the fact by

itself

sur-

these relationships, never twice

is

it

offered

in its possible

They count only through

numerous relationships with


roundings.

is

or true in our desire, or true

the object by

are nothing.

the

which a thing

immediate appearance and

its

destinies,

in

fragment

feelings

itself in silent

work,

the

of

humble that

end, however

its

an

of

echoes through-

out the whole of the depth and breadth of the work.


Its sentimental tendencies are, in reality, secondary:

"Beautiful painting," said Michael Angelo, "is religious


in itself, for the soul

to

make

beautiful painting
tion,

elevated by the effort

is

to attain perfection

and

God

!"

Idealistic or realistic, a thing of the present

work

of general conditions, let the

to live, let

it

which the

be one,

species,

must eliminate

has

God;

a reflection of that divine perfec-

is

a shadow from the brush of

not this oneness

it

to mingle with

like

and

day or

in order

The work which has

first of all!

dies,

live,

the ill-formed

creatures

evolving toward higher destinies,

little

by

The work which

little.

one, on the contrary, lives

the least of

in

its

is

frag-

The breast of an ancient statue, a foot, an


arm, even when half devoured by subterranean moisments.

ture,

within.
like

warm

quivers and seems

hand, as

if

vital forces

were

to the touch of the

The unearthed fragment

a wound.

Over the

modeling

still
is

alive.

it

from

It bleeds

gulf of the centuries,

the

INTRODUCTION
finds

iuiikI

with the pulverized debris,

relations

its

xxxi

animates the organism as a whole with an existence


which is imaginary, but present to our emotion. It
it

is

the magnificent testimony to the

human

im])ortance

of art, engraving the efl'ort of our intelligence

we

seats of the earth, as the bones

on the

find there trace

the rise of our material organs.

To

mind and

realize unity in the

the work

is

to transmit

to ol)ey that need of general

expresses
artist

by the law

harmony, the

of

scientist

the

the law of continuity,

order by

this

and durable

The

order which our universe imposes on us.

just

to

it

man

by the

law of solidarity/- These three essential instruments


of

our

human

adaptation

science,

relations of fact with fact;

tions of the fact with

the relations of

from one end

man

demonstrate

what serves

us,

very greatly.

which defines the

which suggests the

man; and morality which seeks

with

man establish

its

is

to us. fffhey teach us

logic

what harms
There

human

instruments.

for our use,''^

and spiritual world to the


relations whose permanence and
Nothing

us.

])roblems which

The mission

personal intelligence,

is

else

matters

neither error nor truth, neither

ugliness nor beauty, neither evil nor

the use in

rela-

of the material

other, a system of
utility

art,

of

good outside

we give

of

to our three

our sensibility, of our

to establish the value of them,

through searching out, from one to the other, the


mysterious passages which will permit us to grasp the
continuity of our efiort, in order to comprehend and

accept
little,

it

as a whole.

utilize

what we

By

so doing

call

error,

we

shall, little

ugliness,

and

by

evil,

INTRODUCTION

xxxii

as

means

to a higher education

in ourselves, that

Harmony

we may extend

and reahze harmony


about

it

us.

a profound law, which goes back to

is

primitive unity, and the desire for

it is

imposed on us

by the most general and the most imperious

The forms we

realities.

see live

human mind can

sitions the

source of the forms, just as

it

only through the

And by

transitions which unite them.

of all the

these tran-

return to the

common

can follow the nourishing

current of the sap starting from the flowers and the

Consider a landscape

leaves to go back to the roots.

stretching back to the circle of the horizon.

covered with grasses, with clump of

plain

trees, a river flow-

ing to the sea, roads bordered with houses, villages,

wandering beasts, men, a sky

The men

or of clouds.

feed on the fruit of the trees and on the

meat and milk

of the beasts,

their skins for clothing.

and

full of light

and

leaves,

if

which yield

The

the grasses

their fur

and

beasts live on grasses

and the leaves grow

it

because the sky takes from the sea and the rivers
the water which it spreads upon them. Neither birth

is

nor death

life,

pe-manent and confused.

All aspects

of matter interpenetrate one another, general energy

and reflux, it flowers at every moment, to


wither and to reflower in endless metamorphoses;
the symphony of the colors and the symphony of the
murmurs are but little else than the perfume of the

is

in flux

inner

symphony which

issues

from the circulation

of

forces in the continuity of forms.

The

artist

comes, seizes the universal law, and renders

us a world complete, whose elements, characterized by

INTRODUCTION

xxxiii

harmoni-

their principal relations, all participate in the

ous accomplishment of the ensemble of

Spencer saw the bare heavenly


the nebulae, solidifying,

by

little

l)o(lies

the water, diversifying


ing higher

its

its

branches,

escaping from

the water con-

little,

densing on their surface, elementary

functions.

its

from

arising

life

appearances, every day

its

lift-

twigs, its fruits, and, as a

spherical flower opens to give its dust to space, the


heart of the world expanding in its multiplied forms.

But

it

seems that an obscure desire to return to

The

origins governs the universe.

planets,

issue

its

of

the sun, cannot tear themselves from its encircling


force, though they seem to want to plunge back into
solicits atom, and all living organisms,
the same cell, seek living organisms to
from
coming
make that cell again through burying themselves in

it.

Atom

each other.

Thus the

man

just

contents himself

with living, thus the scientist and the artist delve


into the world of forms and feelings and cause their
consciousness to retrace

its

steps along the road which

that world traveled, to pass from


geneity to

its

Let the

artist,

therefore, be

homo-

thus, in a heroic

he plays
attain

the greatest

within

defined for

role.

Scientific

role.

this

themselves

them

to

be

science through the world


of its

work,

it

proud

of

his

Of these heralds

illumination and of pain.

ment

And

present diversity.

ancient

they re-recreate primitive unity.

effort,

bear

its

life

of

of

hope

In every case he can


activity,

social

self-sufficient.

of forms,

Art touches

which

enters the social plane

activity

sufficiently

signification

is

the ele-

by addressing


INTRODUCTION

xxxiv
itself to

There are great savants

our faculty of love.

who cannot arouse emotion in us, men of great honesty


who cannot reason. There is no hero of art who is
not at the same time (through the sharp and long

conquest of his means of expression) a hero of knowl-

human

edge and a

him the earth and space and

living within

moves and

all

that lives, even

all

to the verv tissue of the stones

he should not

feel

the sufferings

of those

he knows
is

it

the

life

artists of

It

is

all

who

are

how could

made

work

all

that

be that

it

as he
it

is.^^

\Miether

or not, his art

of the artists of yesterday

to-morrow;

it

reveals to the
effort.

men

All action

of
in

action in space have their goal in his action.

his place to affirm the

of Jesus, of the thought


of

feels

of the emotions, the passions,

to-dav the solidaritv of their


time,

he

that seems dead

or not, whether he wants

of a piece with the

and the

When

hero of the heart.

Lamarck.

And

it is

agreement

of the

thought

Newton, and of the thought


on that account that Phidias

of

and Rembrandt must recognize each other and that


we must recognize ourselves in them.

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION


HAVE

been on the point of suppressing the pages

which serve as an
of this book.

boyish

and

After

Introcliicfioti

judged them

to the first edition

still

tearful in their philosophy,

and badly written as


tion.

(11)20)

myself.

And

moment,

it

well.

have given up

those pages represent a

all,

since I

judge them

and obscure

my

inten-

moment

have attempted to express that

no longer belongs to me.

Perhaps one ought to write works composed


several

of

volumes

in

tion once finished

of

a few months, their documenta-

and the ideas they represent having

The unity of the work


But the ensemble of the worker's
effort would doubtless lose.
Every time he thinks
he has been mistaken, a living desire awakens in him,
which pushes him on to new creations. In reality,
been thoroughly

set in order.

would gain thereby.

each writer writes only one book, each painter paints


only one picture.

the mind of
to

its

Ever}'

He

is

destined,

in

does

this

which will not be comwork over and over again,

complete the thought

pleted.

new work

author, to correct the preceding one,

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

xxxvi

wherever his sensation or thought was rendered imperthe preceding

in

fectly

When man

work.

interro-

gates and exerts himself, he does not really change.

He

only rids his nature of what

deepens that portion that

burn

work before

their

it

it, and
Those who

foreign to

is

own.

is

his

is

known, because

it

no

longer satisfies them, are credited with great courage.


I ask myself

whether there

is

not

greater courage

still

in admitting that one has not always

has become, in becoming what one

is

been what one


not yet, and in

permitting to remain alive the material and irrefutable


witnesses of the variations of one's mind.

no more supj)ressed the Inirocljicvolume than the chapters which follow

I have, therefore,
of

tion

this

where, however, ideas will also be found that I

it,

have great

difficulty in recognizing to-day.^

cannot

change the face that was mine ten years ago.


even

if

mine

is

for

at the present day.^


less

it is

not hate
in one's

them

young now.

just because one


remembrances

it

for the

is

of

case, hateful or not,

And

one that

I should lose, doubtless,

And who knows

If

ore does

the signs
because one

older

mind, as one disdains

the

In any

should I exchange

I could,

youth

of

in

one's

youth

regrets
body.'^

one cannot modify the

same time destroying the harmony of the old face, and thereby compromising the features of the future face. For the
greater part of the ideas which we think constitute
features of a face without at the

The

neither

general meaning of

form.

have introduced into this new edition additions


add to nor subtract from anything from the
They bear almost exclusively on the
the work.

variants that

or subtractions

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

xxxvii

our present truth have as their origin precisely those

which we beheve constitute our past error. When we


consider one of our early works, the passages which

most are those which we love least. Soon


we see no more than these; they fascinate us; they
strike us the

mask the
they

is

On

work.

book again
we ask ourselves why, and the

pursue us;

still

result

entire

however

closing the

that we open
we had not suspected. Thus
spirit, made sharp and subtle by

little

our courage

roads for ourselves which


it is

that the critical

the disappointments and sufferings of one's intellectual

development, becomes,

and doubtless the most

little

by

little,

the most precious,

active, auxiliary of the creative

spirit itself.

am

a "self-taught" man.

shame and without

pride.

confess

This

it

weighs on me, has served at least to inform


I

was not

3'et,

at the

moment when

wrote

without

volume, which

first

me

that

it,

if

out of

the social herd. I was already repelled from entering

the philosophic herd.

The

fact

is

that preconceived

notions of aesthetics were so far from presiding over

my

education in art that

artist

is

of art

many

which becomes

of these old

less

pages there

of a finalism which, I hope, has

from

my

emotions as an

which have led me, progressively, to a

osophy
In

it

mv

mind.

The reason

is

and
will

less

phil-

dogmatic.

be found traces

almost disappeared
that I have evolved

with the forms of art themselves, and that, instead


of

imposing on the idols I adored a

asked these idols to teach

me

religion, I

have

h\\, in

fact,

religion.

revealed the same one to me, as well as the fact that

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

xxxviii
it

was quite impossible to

is

universal.
I

have had to make an

harmonious conception

men commune.
an

strable,

you

expended, I

it

poem

remains an undemon-

is

may be pardoned

my

book.

mark of the thirtieth year, among those,


who have not the privilege of being free men

the

least,

twenty and slaves at

if

Yet, in consideration of the

hope that

the didactic solenmity of the beginning of


It

which

in

even a mystical, conception,

like to call it that.

effort

it

effort in order to reach a

of the plastic

Even now

intuitive,

because

fix it precisely,

at

at

\Mien analysis begins to

forty.

corrode one's early illusions, one draws oneself together,

one wants to keep them intact, one defends oneself


against the

one

selves;

new

which are outlining them-

illusions

insists

on remaining

faithful to ideas

and

images, to means of expression that are no longer a


one.

l)art of

One surrounds

aesthetic

mold

oneself with a hard

which hampers one's movements.

and moral evolutions

Is

of

not that,

in all

the past and the

present, exactly the passage from the

first

instinctive

ingenuousness to the free discovery of a second ingenuousness, exactly such a passage as


stiffness
this, I

of all

archaisms.^

little

among

am

should be very well pleased

acter of the beginning of

If I

to the tenseness of

if

we

see

in

the

not mistaken in
the tense char-

my

book corresponded even


the first and most innocent

the builders of temples, the painters of tombs,

and the sculptors of gods.


I have been reproached with having written not a
"History

of Art,"

but rather a sort of poem concern-

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION


This reproach has

the history of art.

ing

wondering.

xxxix

me

left

have asked myself what, outside

of

pure and

simple chronology, the recital of inner events

could be,

when the material

expression of those events

In the sense

consists entirely of affective elements.

in which the historians understand history, synoptic

have prepared them. There is


no history except that summed up by these tables

and

tables suffice,

which

is

not, fatally, submitted to the interpretation

of the historian. 1

actions

is

What

infinitely

and

his sensations,

more

is

true of the history of man's

so of the history of his ideas,


I

his desires.

cannot conceive a

made up

history of art otherwise than

of

a poetic

transposition, not as exact, but as_ living as possible,


of the plastic

poem conceived by humanity.

attempted that transposition.

It

say whether I have succeeded with

To

is

not

my

have

place to

it.

state the question a little differently,

it

seems to

that history should be understood as a symphony.

me

The

description of the gestures of

for us,

no

use,

no sense even,

if

on the profound relationships

show how they


try,

especially,

men

has no interest

we do not
of

try to seize

these gestures,

to

We must
dynamic character,

link together in a chain.

to

restore

their

that unbroken germination of nascent forces engendered


bv the ceaseless plav of the forces of the past on the
forces of the present.

work

One

Every man, every

Or

every

a musician or an instrument in an orchestra.


cannot regard, it seems to me, the cymbal player
is

or the triangle player as of the


^

act,

rather,

what

history

is

same importance

as the

there that the historian does not interpret?

xl

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

violoncellos or of the
is

mass

The historian
symphony which

of violins.

the leader of the orchestra in that

the multitudes compose with the collaboration of the


artists,

the philosophers, and the

historian's role

men

The

of action.

that of making clear the essential

is

characters, to indicate their great lines, to

make

their

volumes stand out, to contrast their lights with their


shadows, to shade off the passages and harmonize the
It

tones.

is

so for the art-historian far

the historian of action


action registers
traces,

because

whereas the importance

for

the importance of

automatically in

itself

more than

of a

and

its results

work

of art

an

is

affair of appreciation.

The historian
who calls himself
folly.

should

be

The

partial.

historian

a scientist simply utters a piece of

do not know, nor he

either,

any measuring

instrument which shall permit him to graduate the


respective importance of Leochares and Phidias,

Bernini and Michael Angelo.

It

seems that

of

this

is

admitted with regard to literary history, and that no

one thinks of getting wrought up


letters forgets

dilate

if

the historian of

Paul de Kock, voluntarily or not,

upon Balzac.

Neither

is

anyone surprised

if

to

the

professor at the Sorbonne, writing a history of France,


gives

more importance

to the gestures of

to those of Clarke or Maret.

when

The

Napoleon than

purists protest only

the partiality of sentiment intervenes to judge

Napoleon^ Clarke, or Maret.

They do not

realize that

the mere statement of facts already supposes a choice

made by men

as a whole or

by the events themselves,

before the historian begins to intervene.

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION


When

the question

is

xli

one of contemporary history,

the part of the orchestra leader

is

much more arduous

The view of the facts as seen from a


more or less strong or persistent influence
of the events on minds, the memory that they have
left, all these impose on him who writes a commentary
to perform.

distance, the

of

the

certain

past,

summits,

certain

depressions,

And to recreate a living organism


visible to all.
from them he need do no more than join them with
From

a curve.

nearer by,

worse for him

alone decides,

intuition

and the courage to make use

of

So much the

it.

who does not dare and cannot

leave to

the future the task of saying whether he has done well


or

ill

in dealing

with the works and the

men

of his time,

as an artist does with the light and shade which he


distributes

on the object.

It

is

possible that, from

the orthodox point of view of history,


to

slightest

the slightest

that

affirm

it

is

a heresy

study by Renoir, the

water color by Cezanne belongs much more

effectively

to

the history of art than the hundred

thousand canvases exhibited


risk that heresy.

in ten years in all the

And, notwithstanding, one must

salons of painting.

The poet

of the present

makes the

history of the future.

Let us go farther.

The

man
woman

gesture of a hungry

who stretches out his hand, the words that a


murmurs in the ear of the passer-by on some
vating

evening,

gesture have a
tory of art
in

and the most

infinitesimal

much more important

itself

ener-

human

place in the his-

than the hundred thousand canvases

question, and the associations

of interest

which try

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

xlii

to impose

them on the

public.

The

orchestral multi-

tude brings into prominence the playing of artists like

Cezanne and Renoir, and

it is

they, in turn,

clear to us the value of the multitude,

who make

which

is

com-

posed, onl\- to an insignificant degree, of the mass of

mediocre works.
crv in a silence

Amid them

full of indiscreet

voice arises like a

its

mimicrv and excessive

Our orchestra takes its elements from the


widely scattered manners and customs, from the whole

gesture.

of their action
it

is

on the evolution and exchange of ideas

in the discoveries,

the needs, the social

conflicts

of the moment, the obscure and formidable upheavals


that love and hunger provoke in the depths of collective
life and the hidden springs of the individual conscience.
I

am

called

quite willing to mention even the

"artistic,"

which

floats

on the surface

torv bv means of institutes, schools, and


trines, like a

movement
of his-

official

doc-

rouge badly applied to a woman's face.

It plays its little part in the great plastic

symphony

wherein Renoir and Cezanne in our time, for example,

Rubens and Rembrandt in another, play the


most illustrious role. But it is only by indirect means
that the spirit created in the crowds by this "artistic"
movement, reacts on each new affirmation of a great
who is unaware of practically all its manifesartist

like

tations.

modern

think that

historian

and Renoir

who

if

the risk

is

greater for the

gives prominence to

in his narrative, his

attempt

is

mate, from the "scientific" point of view as


historian of the past

the

custom

Cezanne
as legiti-

for

the

of quite candidly

giving more importance to Phidias than to Leochares.

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION


The

fact

we have been for more than a cenWinckehnann approximately


far too
that

is

tury since

much

inclined to tolerate a growing confusion between

and

history

art

One might

archaeology.

confuse literature and grammar.

by

describe,

man

that

xliii

has

is

well

monuments

on his journey, to measure them, to

left

is

it

as

one thing to

their external character, the

define their functions

and time

It

and

them in place
to tell by what

style, to locate

another thing to try

monuments plunge to the heart of


races, how they sum up the most essential desires of
the races, how they form the recognizable testimony
secret roots these

the needs,

to the sufferings,

the illusions, and the

mirages which have hollowed out in the flesh of

men,

all

and dead, the bloody passage from sensation to mind.


It is thus that in wanting to write a
living

history that should not be a dry catalogue of the


plastic

works

man, but a passionate narrative

of

of

the meeting of his curiosity and education with the


.forms that

lie

in his path, I

have committed

know worse

errors

errors,

commit some

of

may have committed


archaeology.

and although

of these besides, I will

Although

have not

failed to

not go so far as to

say that I do not regret them.

Archaeology has been profoundly useful.


ing

and finding

likenesses,

^nd

original sources,

filiations,

of schools, little

sity in the

form

and the relationships

by

of the

little, in

By

seek-

by establishing family
of

works

the face of the diver-

images (from which so

many

warring schools of aesthetics have been inspired to


create

silly

exclusivisms), archaeology has defined the

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

xliv

original analogy of these

works and schools and

almost constant parallelism of their evolution.


where, behind the

has aided us to rediscover

artist, it

Those among

the man.

capable of entering into

who have to-day become


immediate communion with

us,

the most unexpected forms of

take note that such

*the

Every-

art,

communion

evidently do not

the fruit of a long

is

previous education, for which archaeology

is

doubtless

the best preparation, however convinced of the fact

Those who

it is itself.

tempt against the

rise

up with the greatest conof

insensibility

the

archaeologist

are probably those who owe him the greater part,

if

not of their sensibilitv, at least of the means which

have permitted them to

refine

it.

To-day we laugh

worthy persons who grant scarcely a pitying


look at the lofty spirituality of Egyptian statues, or
at the

who recoil in disgust before the grandiose bestiality


Notwithstanding, there were
of Hindu bas-reliefs.
I
artists who jelt like those same worthy persons.
should not affirm that Michael Angelo would not have

shrugged his shoulders before an Egyptian colossus,

and

am

quite sure that Phidias would have thrown

Rembrandt's canvases into the


plastics,
itself, it

is

classification

fire.

zoology.

in

Archaeology, in

Unknown

to

has fundamentally recreated the great inner

unity of the universal forms and permitted the universal

mind.

man
That

to

affirm himself in the

this universal

himself in the social realm


of maintaining, although

that some men,

among

it

man
is
is

will

domain
one day

of the
realize

a thing I shall beware


a possible thing.

But

the great diversity of the idols,

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION


car seize upon the one god
a thing as to which I

them.

rejoice with

draw

to

xlv

who animates them

may

all,

is

be permitted, I hope, to

Doubtless

forth from the idols

I shall

some

even try soon

of the features of

this god.'

But not here. The scope is not broad enough.


And I hope my reader is too impatient to approach
the recital of the adventures which I have tried to

we

relate for him, to consent to pick its flower before

have had the joy

However,

of breathing its

perfume together.

should not like to have the slightest mis-

understanding exist between him and me, as we stand


at the threshold of this book.

him that

want

my

for the utility

have

have even

feeling as to that point.

Not only

art useful, but

is

only thing that

opening

constitute, more-

to dissipate the ambiguity.

not ceased to think that art

strengthened

They

and often common plea

over, an obscure
I

have already warned

I scarcely recognized myself in these

pages of a work already old.

of art.

is,

it

is,

is

useful.

without the least doubt, the

after bread, really useful to us

all.

if we eat, it is really that


we may keep up the flame which permits us to absorb
that we may recast it and spread it forth the

Before bread, perhaps, for

world of beneficent illusions which reveals


modifies

itself,

without a break, around

itself

us.

and

From

the caveman's or the lakeman's necklace of bones to


the image d'Epinal tacked to the wall of the country
tavern, from the silhouette of the aurochs

dug

in the

wall of the grotto in Perigord to the ikon of the bed*T^c

i-pirit of the

Forms (forthcoming).

xlvi

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

room before which the muzhik keeps his lamp burning, from the war dance of the Sioux to the "Heroic
Symphony," and from the graven design tinted with
vermihon and emerald hidden
hypogees to

gigantic

the

in

fresco

the night of the

which

shines

in

splendor in the festival hall of Venetian palaces, the


desire to arrest in a definite

form the fugitive appear-

we think to find the law of our universe,


our own law, and through which we keep

ances wherein
as well as

and

alive in ourselves energy, love,

fested with a constancy

Whether

never abated.

whether

it

is

mani-

and a continuity which have


this be in dance or song,

be in an image or in the narrative recited

to a circle of auditors,

inner idol

effort

which

pursuit and which

Philosophers,

it

is

always the pursuit of an

we think, each
we never end.
speaking

in

time, to be the final

of

this

"disinterested

play," affirm the irresistible need, which has urged us

from

the

times,

earliest

to

externalize

the

secret

cadences of our spiritual rhythm in sounds or in words,

But the

in color or in form, in gesture or in steps.

need asserts

itself

from

this point of

view

as,

on the

contrary, the most universally interested of the deeper

functions of the 'mind.


selves,

Moreover,

all

games

in

them-

even the most childish, are attempts to establish

order in the chaos of confused sensations and senti-

ments.

Man

in his

movement

thinks that he adapts

himself unceasingly to the surroiniding world in

And he

movement.

l)elieves

that

this

its

adaptation

takes place through the fleeting certitude he has of


describing

it

forever in the intoxication of expiession,

PREFACE
as soon as

xlvii

he imagines that he has grasped a phenom-

enon as a \vhok\
is

THE NEW EDITION

']()

what

'^riuis,

most useful to men

is

play.

The

love of play, and the search for

ardent curiosity which

The

civilization.

a condition of

is

civilizations

and the

it.

i)lay,

create

have

should

'

said,

those oases sown the length of time or dispersed in


.space,

alone,

noW'

now

interpenetrating,

fusing

at

other times, attempting schemes, one after another,

unanimous

for a

understanding among

spiritual

possible, probable understanding, but

undoubtedly destined,

it

if

one that

is

be realized, to decline, to

and around

to seek within itself

die,

men

it

the elements

A civilization is a lyric phenomenon,


by the monuments which it raises and leaves
after it that we appreciate its quality and its grandeur.
It is defined to the extent that it imposes itself upon
us through an impressive, living, coherent, and durable
of a renewal.

and

it

stvle.

is

What men understand

almost

unanimouslv

as "civilization" at the present hour has nothing at


all

the
the telegraph only a toolf^

to do with itr/t'-The tool of industrv

the macliine, electricity,

Whole peoples can employ


rially
in

interested

purposes,

railroad,

is

it

for

immediate and mate-

without any opening up

them, by that employment, of the deep springs of

attention and emotion, of the passion for understand-

and the

ing,

gift for

the great aesthetic


for a

moment

this point

ago, the

of

expressing which alone lead to

style

wherein a race communes

with the spirit of the universe^

view the Egypt of

China

five

From

thousand years

of five centuries ago are

more

civilized

PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION

xlviii

than the America of to-day, whose style


bornv

'

And

is

the Japan of fifty years ago

Japan

ized than the

of to-day.

It

is

is

still

to be

more

civil-

even possible

that Egypt, through the solidarity, the unity, and the


disciplined variety of

its

through

artistic production,

the enormous duration and the sustained power of


its effort,

offers the spectacle of the greatest civiliza-

tion that has yet appeared on the earth,

manifestations

forms

We

we

all

Egypt are only

call civilized since

of dissolution

and that

and dissociation from her

style.

should have to live ten thousand vears more in

order to know.
Style, in

any case

which defines

that

for us,

steps established

and harmonious curve

clear

on the road we

follow, the lyrical

by those who preceded

us, style

We

but a momentary state of equilibrium.

go beyond

it.

We

can only replace

negation of "progress," which

is

it.

It

is

is

cannot

the very

possible only in the

tools.
Through the latter and in proportion
number and the power of the means invented

realm of
to the

by man, "progress" increases the complexity of life


and by the same token the elements of a new
equilibrium.
The moral order and the aesthetic order
thanks
to
these tools, make up vaster symphocan,
nies, more mixed and complicated with influences
and echoes, and served by a far greater number of
But "moral progress," like "aesthetic
instrunients.

progress,"
offers to

is

merely bait which the social philosopher

the simple

man

in order to incite

and

style,

play their indis-

his effort. jvEvil, error, ugliness,


in the

development

of a

new

and increase

folly will always,

PREFACE TO THE

NEW

EDITION

xlix

pensahlc role as a real condition of ima<?ination, of


meditation, of idealism, and of faith.
ning' flash of

harmony that

Art

a people or a

is

man

a light-

conquers

from the darkness and the chaos which precede him,


follow him, necessarily surround

theus
light

is

up

condemned

him.

And Promemay

to seize the Are only that he

for a second the living

the calm of his hrowrf-^

wound

in his side

and

ANCIENT ART

Vezere at Eyzies

Chaptor

HE

BEFORE HISTORY

I.

(lust

coal,

of bones, primitive

weapons,

the old human


energy- come down to

and buried wood

as well as solar

us tangled like roots in the fermentation


of the

earth

is

the giver of

dampness under the earth. The


life and the murderess, the dif-

fused matter which drinks of death to nourish

Living things are dissolved by her, dead things


in her.

She wears down

the stone, she gives

golden pallor of ivory or of bone.

life.

move
it

the

Ivory and bone

become rough as stone at


her touch. The wrought flints have the appearance
of big triangular teeth; the teeth of the engulfed monbefore they are devoured

sters are like


skulls,

gentle

tiie

pulpy tubercles ready to sprout.

vertebrsp,

and somber

and the

turtle shells

The

have the

i)atina of the old sculptures with

ANCIENT ART

their (luality of absoluteness.

ings resemble those

to

lis

fossil

I'he primitive engrav-

imprints which have revealed

the nature of the shell formations, of the plants

Austria (Cavern of WillendorfF). Statuette


of a woman, olithic iliinestone (Vienna).

and the

insects

arborescences,
prehistoric

which Tiave disappeared,


ferns,

museum

elytra,
is

and nerved

of

turbans,

leaves.

a petrified garden where

A
tlie

BEFORE HISTORY
slow uclioii of earth and water on

work

unifies the

Above

lies

great deer

of

man and

the forest of

buried materials

lie

the work of the elements.

tlie

the open wings

of

the mind.^

The

discomfiture which

experience- on seeing our

we

most

ancient bones and implements

mingled with a
roots

and

soil full of

insects has

thing of the religious in

tiny

someit.

It

teaches us that our effort to


extricate the rudimentary ele-

ments

of

harmony

social

from animalism surpasses, in


essential power, all

our sub-

sequent efforts to realize in

mind a superior harmony


we shall not
attain. There is no invention.
The foundation of the human
the

which, moreover,

edifice

is

made

discoveries,

and

of

everyday

its

Chipped

(Museum

flint

of Saint Germain).

highest

towers have been patiently built up from progressive


gener.ilization.^..

Man

copied the form of his hunting

-The

illustriiting of this cliapter having presented special difficulties, we


our warmest thanks to Messrs. Capitan and Breuil, on one hand, and
to the firm of Masson et Cie., on the other, witiiout whom we should not

offer

have been able to carry through our task. The works of Abbe Breuil,
most of all, constitute the basis which will heTiceforth be indisi)cnsable for
It
the artistic illustrating of any book deNoted to the j)rehistoric period.
is,

thanks to his admirable pastels, that the troglodyte frescoes of Perigord


Spain iiave been given back to us in what is most pn)bal)]y tlieir

anfl of

original character.

ANCIENT ART

and industrial implements from beaks, teeth, and claws;


fruits he borrowed their forms for his first pots.
His awls and needles were at first thorns and fishbones;
from

he grasped,

in the

overlapping scales of the

and setting

the articulation

structure, of joints

and

the

bones,

of

Here

levers.

is

in

idea of

the sole point

of departure for the miracle of abstraction,

mulas wholly purified

fish,

for for-

and
here that we must

of all trace of experience,

And

for the highest ideal.

it

is

seek the measure at once of our humility and strength.

The weapon, the

tool,

the vase, and, in harsh

mates, a coarse garment of skins

own

forms, foreign to his

man
and
a

fashions.
is

still

He

such

are the

cli-

first

substance, that primitive

surrounded by beasts of prey

is

assailed constantly

He

chaotic nature.

by the hostile elemejits of


sees enemy forces in nre,

in storms, in the slightest trembling of foliage or of

water, in the seasons, even, and in day and night,

of his arteries

and day and night, with the beating


and the sound of his steps, have given

him the sense

of

until the seasons

rhythm.

thing of immediate
of speech;

T?\.rt is, in

utility, like

the

the beginning, a

first

stammerings

something to designate the objects which

surround man, for him to imitate or modify in order


that he may use them; man goes no farther. Art

cannot yet be an instrument of philosophic generalization, since

But

man

could not

know how

to utilize

it.

he forges that instrument, for he already abstracts

from

his surroundings

he applies to

his

own

some rudimentary laws which

advantage.^

The men and youths range

the

forests.

Their

BEFORE insrORY
weapon
or the

is

at first the

women, with
hidden
or

l)raneli torn

from the oak

The

the stone picked up from the ground.

ehii,

in

knotty

old

tlie

men and

the chihiren, remain

the dweUing, an improvised halting? place

From

rotto.

his first

man comes

stumbling steps

the

fleeing beast

which repre-

sents th? im.nediate future of the tribe;

the evening

rips with

to

an ideal

make muscle

meal, de our d to

Woman, on

mothers.

the

for

before her only the near and

later on, the fire that

be dried;
is

she, doubtless,

the

who

is

has

contrary,

present reality

the

the skin to

the child to nourish;

meal to prepare;

milk

for the hunters;

to be tended.

finds the first tool

It

and the first


It is from her

she who is the first workman.


and conservative role that human industry
takes its l)eginnings. Perhaps she also assembles
teeth and pebbles into necklaces, to draw attention
])ot;

it

is

realistic

to herself

and to

please.

closes the horizon to her,

But her
and the

positivist destiny

first

veritable artist

man, the explorer of plains and forests,


rivers, who comes forth from the
caverns to study the constellations and the clouds;
it
is man, through his idealistic and revolutionary
is

man.

It

is

the navigator of

function,

who

is

to take possession of the objects

by his companion, to turn them,


the

by

made

little,

into

instruments that express the world of abstrac-

tions

which appears to him confusedly.

the beginning
that

little

the

equilibrium

woman, the center

Thus from

two great human forces


which
of

will

never

immediate

life,

be

who

realize

destroyed;
brings

up

the child ajid maintains the family in the tradition

ANCIENT ART

man, the focus of the hfe


of the imagination, who phmges into the unexplored
mystery to preserve society from death through his
directin<^ of it into the courses of unbroken evolution.

necessary to social unity;

Mammoch,
(Tarn-et-Garonne).
carved reindeer horn {Museum of Saint Germain).

Cavern of Bruniquel

Masculine idealism, which


for

moral conquest,

conquest.
killing

skins,

is

later

becomes a desire

at first a desire for material

For primitive

man

it

is

question

of

animals in order to have meat, bones, and

and

of

charming a

woman

so as to perpetuate

the species whose voice cries in his veins;


tion of frightening the

who want

men

to carry off his

hunting ground.

To

have their center

of the neighboring

life

a quesi..*ibe

mate or trespass on

create, to

to invade surrounding

it is

in

pour forth
fact, all

his

his

his being,

impulses

in the reproductive instinct.

It

is

his point of departure for all his greatest conquests.

BEFORE HISTORY
liis

future need for moral coiiimiiuioii and

devise an instrument through

will to

liis

may adapt
He

which he

himself intellectually to the law of his universe.

already has the

weapon

the plate of

the knot of his

in

handles

carved

bright

bird

plumes

necklaces of claws or teeth,

for

tatooings,

tools,

Ills

Jiair,

he needs

flint;

the ornam<Mit that charms or terrifies

deco-

colors

rating his skin.

Art
of

men

the

tribe

One

born.

is

the

of

skillful

is

bone, or

in

CUttmg a lorm

^
i
i
^i
(Kesslerlotli).
S\viTZERi^\Ni) ^l\

grazing,

engraved

{Museum

in jiainting

on

d
lii'indeer

reindeer

liorn

of Saint Germain).

on a torso a bird
open wings, a mammoth, a

with

On
of

return from the hunt he picks

his

wood

bit

of

or a flower.

lion,

to give

up a piece

the appearance of an animal, a

it

clay to press

bone

into a figurine, a flat

it

on which to engrave a silhouette. He


twenty rough and innocent faces bending over

enjoys seeing

work.

He

enjoys this work

itself

his

which creates an

obscure understanding between the others and himself,

between him and the

of plants that

world.

He

he

obeys

the need to set

human
profit

loves,

infinite

something

down

world of beings and

because he

is

more

the

life

positive

of that

also

science so that the whole of the tribe


b}'

to the old

them.

men, to

certain acc{uisitions of primitive

Words
tlie

l)ut

women

inadequately

may

describe

gathered about, to the

ANCIENT ART

10

children especially, the form of a beast encountered


hunted.
in the woods who is either to be feared or

The

artist fixes its look

Art

strokes.

is

and

its

form

in a

few summary

born.
II

The
tire

oldest

race,

humanity known, which

defines our en-

inhabited the innumerable grottos

and

flow-

forests of a region

once

high Dordogne, near the rivers


ing through reddish rocks and

of the

full

of fish

thrown into upheaval by volcanoes. That was the


central hearth; but colonies swarmed the whole length
of the banks of the Lot, of the Garonne, of the Ariege,
and even to the two slopes of the Pyrenees and the

Grotto of Chaffaud
{Museum

Cevennes.

The

(Vienna).

Does, engraved bone

of Saiut Germain).

earth was beginning to tremble less

from the subterranean

forces.

Thickly growing green

trees filled with their healthy roots the peat

bogs that

hid the great skeletons of the last chaotic monsters.

The hardening

of the crust of the earth, the rains

and

the winds that were regularized by the woods, the

BEFORE fiTSlORY

seasons with their increasingly reguUir rhythm, were


into

introtkicing

nature a more apparent

suppler and more logical species,

had appeared

primitive matter,

the cold waters, where the

and the

lion of the caves

submerged
by little.

less

little

mammoth,

came

liarmony.

bison,

woods.

wild goats,

The

descended

reindeer,

from

the

still

harbored

numbers of
and aurochs living

the friend
iVlps,

the

If

the rhinoceros,

to drink,

the hippoixitanuis, there were great

oxen,

in

the

of

Pyrenees,

horses,
in

the

which

ice

and

the

Cevennes to the edge of the plains, lived there in


numerous herds. Man had emerged from the beast
in an overwhelming silence.
He appeared about as
he

is

to-day, with straight legs, short arms, a straight

forehead, receding jaw, and a round and voluminous

By

skull.

that

the action of the mind he

harmony which was beginning

him, into an imagined world which,

would become

is

little

and

his veritable reality

to introduce

to reign

around

by

little,

his reason for

action.

The primitive evolution of his conception of art is,


as we may naturally understand, extremely obscure.
At such a distance everything seems on the same
plane, and the divisions of time we establish are
doubtless illusory.
The paleolithic ])eriod ended with
the quaternary age,

at least twelve thousand years

and the art of the troglodytes, at that


distant epoch, had already attained the summit of
before us,

its

curve.

.The development of a civilization

in proportion as it

is

primitive.

is

slow

The first steps are


The millions of

those that are the most uncertain.


ANCIENT ART

12

flaked axes found in the caverns


rivers, the

and

in the beds of

few thousands of designs engraved on bone

or on reindeer horn, the carved hafts and the frescoes

discovered on the walls of the grottos, evidently represent the production of a very long series of centuries.

The

variations

the images preserved cannot be

of

explained only by the differences of individual tem-

The

peraments.

up

art of the troglodytes

of obscure gropings.

It

not

is

made

develops with a logic and

an increasing intelligence about which we can only


guess, and of which we can trace the great lines, but
which we

by

step

What

doubtless

shall

never be able to follow

step.
is

sure

that the paleolithic artist belonged

is

to a civilization that

was already very

old,

one which

sought to establish, through interpreting the aspects

was destined to live,


Now no civilizahowever advanced, has any other incentive or

of the surroundings in

which

it

the very law of these surroundings.


tion,

any other purpose.

The

reindeer hunter

the least limited of primitives, he

man.

He

possessed art and

is

the

is

not only

first civilized

fire.

In any case, the farther we descend with the geological

strata into the civilizations of the caverns, the

more

it

extent

from

reveals itself as an organism coherent in its

the Central Plateau to the Pyrenees

and coherent
traditions,

power

its

in

its

depth through

already

ritualized

its

customs,

of evolution in submission to the

of strong,

human

societies.

set of tools improves,

and

From
its

century-old

and

its

connnon law

layer to layer its

art, starting

from the

BEFORE HISTORY
hiini})lest

industry

and culminating

13
in

moving

the

frescoes of the grottos of Altamira, follows the logical

proceeds from the ingenuous imitation

that

incline

of the object to its conventional interpretation.

Cavern of Combahrelles
on

Mammoth,

(Donlogiie).

interior wall (Revue de /'AVo/c dWnthropologie,

First

scratclied
\\)iH).

comes sculpture, the object represented through


its

profiles,

having a kind

of

then the bas-relief, which sinks and effaces

becomes engraving;

it

suffices

comparisons.

the

for

The

on a

wall.^

rejection

of

reindeer hunter

is

porary primitive, polar or equatorial;


^

in

Thus

it

is

that

tlic N'cinis

sculpture that \Vf kuow,

despite

its

itself until

finally the great pictorial con-

vention, the object projected

This

all

second real existence;

of Willendorff, the

is i)rohal)l,>'

most

the

customary

not a contemstill
aneifiit

less

is

human

he
fiuiii

si-voral (Iccadcs of centuries carlii-r,

admirable character, than the works of N'czere and of Altamira.

ANCIENT ART

14

that he has left us are superior


Inoits, to
to the greater part of the production of the
to those
all those of the Australians, and especially
a child.

The works

primitive

The present-day

children.

of

has

not

attained a stage so advanced, in his mental evolution.

As

to the child,

he does nothing lasting;

it is

on sand

or on scraps of paper that he traces his first lines, by


chance, between other games. He has neither the

Fond de Gaume (Dordogne). Bison, in polychrome, fresco;


after the pastel by Abbe Breuil in La Vaverne du Fond de
Gaume (Capitan, Breuil, and Peyrony).
will

that

nor the patience nor, above

must

exist before

all,

the deep need

he can imprint on one hard

substance with another hard substance the image he


has in his mind.
this;
1

James Sully

has verj^ well shown

the child adheres to an almost exclusively sym-

James

Sully, Sfiidirs in Childhood.

BEFORE HISTORY
bolie representation

ol*

ir>

nature, to a stanimcrin^' scries

of ideographic signs which he changes

at

eaeli

he has no care either for the relationships

attempt;

of the forms or for their proportions, or for the

acter of

tlie

object wliicli

lie

{Rente de VEcoJe

is

it,

19()'-2);

grazing,

after

within range of his eye.

draw

freseo

i)astel

1)\-

Hrcnil.

without even casting a glance

draws only from a


seen people

Reindeer

(V Anthropohxjic,
Al)l..'

cliar-

represents erudely. witliou'

Fond de Gaume (Dordogne).

studying

new

It

is

at

it

if

it

probable that he

spirit of imitation,

because he has

or because he has seen pictures and

knows that the thing is


deformed by the abuse

possible.
of

If

he were not

conventional

language

which takes place around him, he would model before


he ])ainted.

Among
an

image

the reindeer hunters,


of

entirely

it is

infantile

quite rare to find

character.

In

fact,

such an image nnist be the work of a bad imitator


who has .seen an artist of his tribe carving or engraving.

ANCIENT ART

16

Or

the south of Spain,

else, as in

dent

later

school,

Altamira

belongs to a deca-

it

than the great period, of which

doubtless the highest manifestation.

is

then presents,

It

decadences, a double character

like all

quite comparable to that of the stam-

of puerility

mering attempts

South Africa, and

of the negroes of

where the ideographic scheme


The real childhood of humanity

of artistic refinement,
is

visibly pursued.

has

us nothing, because

left

childhood of a man, of continuity in


of the troglodytes of Perigord

art of

human

youth, the

like the

was incapable,

it

is

The

effort.

not this impossible

childhood, but the necessary art of

first

art

human

synthesis which the world, naively

interrogated, imposes on the sensibility of a

man, and

which he gives back to the community.

It

the

is

synthetic intuition of the beginnings of the mind,

which

rejoins, across a

hundred centuries

of analysis,

the generalizations of the most heroic geniuses,


the most civilized ages.

in

Does not natural philosophy

confirm the greater part of the presentiments of the

mythological cosmogonies ?

Where should he
synthesis

if

find

not in his

reindeer hunter

is

the elements

own

life.^

hunting and

Now

of

the

fishing.

this
life

He

first

of the

charac-

by his whole art sculpture, bas-relief,


engraving, and fresco. Everywhere we find wild
animals and fish. From these, which are associated

terizes

with

all

it

his earthly actions,

love for animal form which

natural
l)lay of

sculptures

he draws that profound

makes

his

bone-structures

work resemble

twisted

muscles, beautiful skeletons sculptured

by the
by the

BEFORE HISTORY
atavistic

powers

17

of adaptation to function.

All

day

long he sees these animals living, peaceful or hunted,


grazing or fleeing; he sees the panting of their flanks,
their jaws opening or shutting, their hair

blood or sweat, their

mossy

wrinkled

skins

At evening,

like rocks.

matted with
like

trees

in his cavern,

or

he skins

the dead animals, he sees the bones appear under the

torn flesh, the tendons shining on the hard surfaces;

he studies the beautiful smooth vaults of the cavities

and the heads


vertebrae, the

mament

of joints, the arch of the ribs, of the

round levers

of the pelvis

and

of the limbs, the thick arof the shoulder blades, the

fr-

Fond de Gaume
after the pastel

(Dordogne).

Gaume

ivory and horn,

it is

in

polychrome, fresco;

La Caverne du Fond de

His hand, which

works

in

by touch with skelerough curves, silent and sustained


the joy of his hand to feel the same

is

tons, sharp ridges,

and

in

(Capitan, Brenil and Peyrony).

jaws sown with teeth.

planes;

Wolf,

by Abbe Breuil

familiarized

ANCIENT ART

18

same surfaces born of its own work.


by great flakes, carves the handles of
daggers, chisels the pohshed ivory into the forms of
projections and the

The

artist,

beasts, the

mammoth

with

reindeer, the wikl goat,

Sometimes he even
the forms of the

its

four feet together, the

and skinned or

tries to

woman

h'ving heads.

rediscover in his material

he loves, of the female trog-

whose haunches are broad, whose bellv is


covered with hair and broken down with maternity,
lodvte

whose warm

flesh

welcomes the fulfillment

of his desire

or lulls his fatigue.

more rapid process of engraving,


The whole of the
the field of exploration widens.
glacial fauna invades art.
The mammoth, the cave
bear, the bison, horse, aurochs, and especially the
Later, with the

the

reindeer
its

reindeer in repose or walking slowly,

head to the ground to crop the grass; the reindeer

galloping,

its

nostrils

to the wind,

back, fleeing before the hunter;

its

horns on

its

sometimes the hunter

armed with a spear and


creeping toward the animal. Nothing surpasses the
direct force of expression of some of these engravings.
The line is drawn with a single stroke and bites deeply
himself, quite naked, hairy,

into the horn.

The

artist is often so sure of himself

that he does not even join his lines, but merely indicates the direction of the principal ones which portray

the attitude and

mark the

head made up simply

character.

of nostrils

We see a horse's

and jaws; the

cate legs of a reindeer with sharp hoofs,

its

deli-

horns

spreading like seaweed or like great butterflies, sharp


of breast

and thin

in the

rump; hairy mammoths, on

BEFORE HISTORY
their

massive

feet,

with

vast

trunk, small skull, and sharp

19

curving spines,

little

eyes;

long

bison with

their mountainous backs, their formidable neck and

fighting beasts, running beasts, irresist-

hard hocks;

FoND DE Gauwe (Dordogne). Bison, fresco; after the pastel


by Abbe Breuil {Revue de VEcole d'Aufhropologie).
wild flights under the branches

ible masses,

violent

of the hunter

life

is

all

the

evoked by these strong

images, with their rude frame of rivers, great cool

woods, grottos, dry days, and the cold

scintillation

of the night.

Never was a human

society'

so thoroughly a part

of its surroundings as the tribes of reindeer hunters.

Hunting and

fishing are at once the

means and the

and the rude existence is pursued even


in the evening, in the cavern which forms part of the
crust of the earth, and from which it was necessary to

purpose of

life,

dislodge the lion antl the bear.

The

tales of the

hunt-

ANCIENT ART

20

work of the
the questions of the cliildren, the
and in wood, the women,
artists, the workmen in stone
forest and the water, from
all tell the story of the
the ground, from
the skins and the furs stretched on
the vegetable
ivory,
the implements of bone and
of dead
the beds of dry leaves, and the fagots
ers,

fibers,

from which
branches to the stalactites of the vault
evenings
moisture drops. On winter evenings, the
of fires

and legends, the dying or rekindling

Altamira
pastel

sketch

(Spain).

by Abbe

They

on

cV Altamira

who

so

much

who

return, the

defy the hunter, those of whose

the tribe has eaten so

divinities for the tribe.

(Cartailhac

shadowy back-

the

are the dead beasts

beasts to be killed

meat
has wrought

bison, charging, fresco; after the

La Caverne
and Breuil).

in

apparitions

fleeting

ground.

Female

Breiiil

lights

much,

that they

From

of

whose bones

it

become protecting
it was thought

that time

BEFORE HISTORY

21

proper to set up their image in the most distant and

dark corners of the cavern, whence their power would


Fresco
be increased by obscurity and mystery.
^

appears,

broad synthetic paintings, ocherish, bhick,

sulphurous, almost terrifying to behold in their shadows

and through

and bison,
posite

unfathomable antiquity reindeer


and mammoths, sometimes com-

their

horses

men

monsters,

with

heads

the

of

animals.

we find all the beasts in


a disordered troupe and, amid them, admirable fig-

Sometimes, as at Altamira,

ures that only a great artist could create, through

drawing,

purposeful

epitomized,

definite,

watered

subtle modeling that undulates like

through

the

skillful transitions;

the character

life

of

it

through
silk,

and

violent,

is

prodigious.

is

Ill

The

the caverns

fresco of

is,

therefore,

visible trace, probably, of religion,

forth pursue

its

course in

the

which

will

with

art.

common

first

henceIt

of the contact of sensation and


At the beginning, everything, for the
natural, and the supernatural appears

born, like art,

the

world.

primitive,

only

is

with

is

of

knowledge.

Religion,

thenceforward,

is

what man does not know, has not


vet attained, and later, what he wants to know and
attainhis ideal. But before the coming of the

the miracle;

supernatural,

because
'

num

it

is

everything
lends to

Salomon Reinach,

I! Arl

et

all
la

in

nature

forms, to

Magie.

explains

all forces, his

itself

own

ANCIENT ART

22
will

and

his

own

It

desires.

is

to attract

him that

him that the thunder


anxiety that the wind makes the

the water murmurs, to frighten


rolls,

to

awaken his
and the beast

trees tremble,

is,

like himself, filled

with

So he must pro-

intentions, with malice, with envy.

and adore its image, that it may let itself be


captured and eaten. Religion does not create art;
on the contrary, it is developed by art, and is planted
triumphantly in the sensuality of man by giving a
pitiate

concrete reality to the happy or terrible images through

which the universe appears to him. At base, what


he adores in the image is his own power to render the
abstraction concrete, and through

means
But

of

to increase his

it

comprehension.

religion

is

not always so docile.

revolts, and, to establish its

disappear.

That

Neolithic periods,

is

It

sometimes

supremacy, orders art to

doubtless what happened in the

sixty

centuries perhaps

after

the

waters of the deluge had engulfed the civilization of


the reindeer.

For a reason that

is

not yet well known,

the air becomes warmer, the ice melts.

The ocean

currents doubtless modify their original course, west-

warmer and the tepid water of the


drawn up by the sun and carried by the winds
towards the mountains, falls in torrents on the glaciers.
Water streams through the valleys, the swollen rivers
drown out the caverns, the decimated tribes flee from
ern Europe grows

oceans,

the disaster, follow the reindeer to the polar regions,


or wander poverty-stricken

arid

at

random, driven

from one resting place to another by the deluge or


by hunger. With the daily struggle against elements

BEFORE HISTORY

23

too strong for them, with the dispersal of fainihes,


the loss of traditions and of implements, discourage-

ment comes, then

indifference

and the decline toward

the lower grades of animalism, which had so painfully

When

been climbed.
favorable,

when

the surroundings become more

the earth dries in the sun,

when

the

Altamira (Spain). Wild boar galloping, fresco; after the


pastel by Abbe Breuil in La Caverne d' Altamira (Cartailhac
and
sk}' clears

Breuil).

and the withdrawing

of the glaciers permits

the grass to grow green and flourish in the moraines,

everything
shelter,

is

to be re-established

social

relationships,

the supply

and the slow,

ascent toward the light of the mind.


reindeer

hunters,

the

first

prehistoric middle ages give

We

conscious

Where

of tools,

obscure
are the

society.'*

The

no answer.

must await another dawn


humanity which has elaborated

to reveal the new.


itself

in

the night.

ANCIENT ART

24
It

is,

moreover, a paler dawn, chilled by a more pos-

itivist

industry,

already turned from

and implements
in the

mud

powerful

less

religion

its

life;

is

The weapons
found by millions

its natural source.

of stone that are

and eastern

of the lakes of Switzerland

human

France, over which the re-established


erected their houses to get shelter

from

now

are

polished

the

like

Gray, black,

purest metal.
or green; of

tribes

hostile attacks,

all

colors, of all

axes, scrapers, knives,

sizes;

and

lances,

arrows

they

have that profound elegance


which

comes from

always

close adaptation of the


Pottery of the lake-men

.^
Sautt GerDiaui).
{Museum njro

4.

to the function

it.

The

lake

organ

u created
+ J
which
1

dwelling

so-

and raised wheat,


and was able to discover the ingenious system of
dwellings built on piles, offers the first example of
a civilization of predominantly scientific tendencies.
ciety,

The

which manufactured

organization

lated,

Vezere.

of

life

textiles

is

certainly

better

regu-

more positive than in the ancient tribes of


But nothing appears of that ingenuous

enthusiasm which urged the hunter of Perigord to


recreate, for the joy of the senses

and

in the search

human communion, the beautiful moving forms


among which he lived. There are, indeed, in the mud,
among the polished stones, necklaces, bracelets, some

for

potteries

and numerous other witnesses to a very

advanced industrial

art,

testifying

to

the economic

BEFORE HISiORY

25

character of that society; but not a sculptured figure,


not an engraved figure, not a hil)elot which would

man of lie
common origin and

lead us to believe that the

presentiment of the
of all

the sensible forms which

Doubtless when

men had

fill

lakes

had any

vast solidarity

the universe.

retired to the cities

on the

lakes, the beneficent contact with the tree and with

Menhirs at Plouhermel (Morbilian).

the beasts of the forest occurred less frequently than


in

the days of the split stone;

were

less often inspired

play of animal forms.


these

men

of

There

religious

is

men

the spectacle of the living


there

is,

mark

in the failure of

more than a

sign

of reprobation

and

to reproduce these forms,

of indifl'erence.

l)robably

by
But

unquestionably

])rohibiti()n.

Already

at

the

same epoch there ap])ear in Brittany and in England


those somber })attalions of stone, menhirs, dolmens,
cromlechs, which have not told their secret, but which

ANCIENT ART

26

could scarcely signify anything else than an explosion


of mysticism, a phenomenon which would be perfectly
compatible, moreover^especially in a period of hard
with the positivist activity which the daily
life

and shelter
double, the primitive form of the
struggle

for

bread

appearance behind the material

Dolmen

and

objects.

From

at

demned;
is

seen in

it,

Enleven (Morbihaii).

that time onward the spirit

everything, the form


first,

The
soul, has made its
phantom of beings
necessitates.

is

to be disregarded, then con-

because the dwelling of the

much
because

then

ethical religions

manent obstacle

later, at

to

the

in it will

dawn

same

thing.

evil spirit

of the great

be seen the per-

moral liberation,

things considered, the

is

which

Even

is,

all

before the

beginning of history, there appears, in groups of men,


that

need to destroy the equilibrium between oar


BEFORE HISTORY
science

and our

desires, a

need that

is

27

perhaps essential

for the (k^moHshing of a wearied society, in order tliat

field

may

he

left free for

How e V e r

newer races and conceptions.

that

may be, nothing tliat


suggests the human
form has been picked

up under the

dol-

mens, which also


shelter flint axes

and

some jewels and


ten or

twelve cen-

turies before our era

the

metallic

first

arms, lielmets, and


bucklers, bronze and

Theie

iron swords.
is,

indeed, in

ron, a

Avey-

sculptured

menhir that represents, with

puerility,

extreme
female

figure; there are, in-

deed, at Gavrinis, in

Neolithic age.

Morbihan, on other

(Britis-h

l\)li.slR'(l

flint

Miisevm).

menhirs, moving
arabesques like the lines on the surface of low water,
undulations or the tremblings of seaweed, which must

But, aside from

magic.

be signs

of conjuring or of

these few

exceptions, Celtic architectur(> remains unite.

We

never

shall

know what

force

it

was that

raised

ANCIENT ART

38

these enormous tables of stone, erected these virile

emblems

to the sky, this

whole hard army

of silence

which seems to have grown unaided from the

soil,

as

if

which makes the

to reveal the circulation of the lava

earth tremble.

With the
prehistoric

last-raised

period

coming to clear

in

ofiF

stones ends the story of the

Rome

the Western world.

the forests, bringing in

is

steps the

its

Orient and Greece, dying Greece, and Assyria and

Egypt already dead, after each had attained an incomparable summit. Such is the rhythm of history. On
thousand years ago, lived a

this soil, fifteen

civilized

It dies without leaving visible traces; five

society.

or six thousand years are needed for another rudiment


of a social

But

organism to be born

in the

same

countries.

already, in the valley of the Nile, in the valleys

Euphrates and the

of the

Tigris, a

powerful

human

harvest has grown up, which flourishes for a moment,

bv little. Athens mounts to the


history at the hour when the moors of Brittany

onlv to wither

peak

of

little

were being covered with their dull flowers of stone;

Rome comes
flood

that

quickens

to reap

great

great peoples.
like a

them;

is

goes

down

in the

then the rhythm

peoples grow up on the cadavers of

In duration and in extent, history

boundless sea of which

whose mass

Rome

from the north;

rolls

made up

men

is

are the surface and

of countries,

climates,

the

revolutions of the globe, the great primitive springs,

the obscure reactions of peoples, one on the other.

When humanity
abysses will be

shall begin to write its annals, the


filled

up, the sea will

seem quieter.

BEFORE IIISITmY
But perhaps

tliis

is

nolliing hut

illusion.

29

people

left of hini

Wlieu he has disappeared nothing is


unless he has taken the i)recaution to leave

his imprint

on the stones

like a uiau.

is

of the road.

h-k^l^^A)

Art of Gaul.

The

Gallic Hercules

{Museum

of Aix).

The Nile
Chapter

GYPT

is

EGYPT

II.

the

first

of those undulations

make on

which civihzed

societies

face of history

undulations

to be born of nothingness

the sur-

that seem

and

to return

to nothingness after having reached a

summit.

She

is

the most distant of the defined forms

which remain upon the horizon


the true mother of men.

of the past.

But although

lier

She

is

achieve-

ment resounded throughout the whole duration and


extent of the ancient world, one might say that she

has closed herself within the granite


destiny.

It

is

like

circle of

a solitary

a motionless multitude,

swelled

with a silent clamor.

Egypt

sinks without a cry into the sand, which has

taken back, successively, her

feet,

her knees, her thighs.

ANCIENT ART

32

and her

flanks, with only her breast

jecting.

The sphinx has

age,

his

inexorable

still,

eyes,

in

and brow pro-

his

crushed

by

outlined

rigid

vislids,

which look inward as well as outward into the

dis-

Woman
to xxv Century B.C.)kneading (Florence, Archaeological Museum).

Ancient Empire (xxx

tance, from elusive abstractions to the circular line

where the curve

of the globe sinks

downward.

To

what depth do his foundations go, and how far around


him and below him does history descend? He seems
to have appeared with our first thoughts, to have followed our long effort with his mute meditation, to be
destined to survive our last hope.

the sand from covering

him

We

shall

entirely because

prevent

he

is

part of our earth, because he belongs to the appearances amid which


uKMiiories go.

we have

lived, as far

Together with the

back as our

artificial

moiuitains

E(rYPT

'.V.i

with which we have sealed the desert near


the only one of

liini,

lie is

our works that seems as permanent as

the circle of days, the alternation of the seasons, and


ilie

stupendous daily drama

Ancient Empire (xxx


seated

The

xxv Century

B.C.)-

The

scribe (Louvre).

soil, of this people whose


makes up three-quarters of the advenhumanitv, seems to have demanded lines of

immol)ility of this

monotonous
ture of

to

of the sky.

life

ANCIENT ART

34
stone to bind

it,

and these

lines define the soil

we know

people even before

their history.

From

thing around the pyramids endures.

and the
Every-

the Cata-

Ancient Empire ('-2.500 B.C.?) Hawk's head, in gold {Cairo


Museum). After an illustration in Die Plastik der Mgypter
(published by Cassirer).
racts to the Delta,

the Nile

alone between two

is

identical banks, without a current, without a tribu-

tary, without

the centuries,

an eddy,
its

rolling on,

barley, of wheat, of corn,


l)itiless

from the depths

regular mass of water.

palm

blue sky, from which the

trees,
fire

of

Fields of

sycamores.

flows ceaselessly

Ancient Empire (xxv Century


detail {Museum of

B.C.?).

Wooden

the Louvre).

statue,

ANCIENT ART

36

dark during the hours of the day


when the eye can look at it without difficulty, lighter

in sheets, almost

rising tide of stars spreads its light

when the

at night

from the sands. In the


light, where the hot air vibrates, shadows are sharply
outlined on the ground, and the unalterable colorsindigos, baked reds, and sulphurous yellows, turned
to molten metal by twilights of flame, have only, as
Torrid winds

there.

rise

changing green

their transparent veil, the periodically

voices hesitate as

Beyond
ful

these six

which

they feared to break crystal walls.


hundred leagues of fixed and powerif

the desert

life,

of the cultivated land.

and gold

silence in

than the absolute

without
circle

any other

which

is

visible limit

also the horizon of

the sea.

The desire felt


imposes

itself

there to seek and give form to eternity,

the

on the mind

since nature retards death itself in


of

transformation

Beneath the

unbroken.
that dry
its living

rotting.

and

more despotically
its

recasting.
soil

necessary acts

Th^^

granite

are petrified forests.

is

In

wood that has been abandoned retains


fibers for centuries, cadavers dry up without
The inundation of the Nile, the master of
air,

the country, symbolizes, each year, perpetual resurrection.

march

Its rise

and

fall

are as regular as the apparent

of Osiris, the eternal sun,

who

arises

each morn-

ing from the waters and disappears each evening in

the sands.

From

the 10th of June to the 7th of Octo-

ber he pours on the calcined countryside the same

black mud, the

The

mud

which

is

the father of

fat,

life.

Egj'ptian people never ceased to contemplate

ICGYPT
death.

It

spectacle

the

offered

37

without precedent,

and without anotluM* example to follow


of

the

universe.

It

believed

that

the world of the senses only so long as

(xvii Century).

{Florence, Archaeological

endure.

It

forms

It accepted
it

seemed to

Scribes

Museum).

pursued the persistence of

life in its

changes

imagined alternate existences for itself.


the desire all men have to survive mortal death

of aspect.

And

movement

organized

alone died, amid an immovable nature.

Middle Empire

of a race

it,

intent for eighty centuries on arresting the

It

caused the Egyptians to endow the soul with tJuit


individual eternity of which the duration of cosmic

phenomena gave them the vain


In their estimation
at death.

But, no

man

less

api)earance.

entered upon his true

than

life

in al! tlie conceptions of

\J

ANCIENT ART

38
ininiortality

which succeeded

theirs, did

the desire of

the Egyptians for immortahty escape the irresistible

need to assure a material envelope to the ever-living


was,

It

spirit.

necessary

therefore,

to

construct

where the embalmed body should be

secret lodging,

sheltered from the elements, from beasts of prey,

from men.

especially

objects

that

food

must have with it its familiar


it was necessary above all

It

the

unchangeable envelope of the

double which should not leave

pany

into

it

divinities expressing the

urrection of appearances
ly

the Nile

bodies,

And

since nothing

shelter forever the symbolic

immutable laws and the

Osiris, fire,

and its
Egyptian art is

and the sacred animals w^hich

rhythm

silences.

religious

and funerary.

It

with the strangest collective madness in history.

poem
The

since its

wisdom.

to death lives,
'artist

saved

it

the

began

But

touches the highest


philosopher.

ples,

mountains raised by the hands

own

cliffs

of

Tem-

men, the Nile's

cut into sphinxes, into silent figures, dug

out into labyrinthine hypogees,

tombs

res-

and the heaven-

regulate the rhj^thm of their migration by the


of its tides

accom-

again, should

it

the final shadow.

was necessary to

dies, it

and

and water;

image,

its

to the river.

All

Egypt

make
is

a living alley of

there,

even present-

day Egypt which has required the most unchanging


of the great modern religions;
all Egypt, with its
broken enigmas, its cadavers buried like treasures,
perhaps a billion

And

that

with

its

mummies

lying

Egypt which wanted

bodily form

is

dead.

in

the

darkness.

to eternalize its soul

The Eg^'pt that does

Middle Empire

(xvii Century B.C.)Sowekhotep III {Louvre).

Colossus

of

ANCIENT ART

40
not die

is

and

ite,

human

granthe one which gave to stoneware, to


Thus the
basalt the form of its mind.

to

soul perishes with its

as soon as

is

it

human

capable of cutting

external material

stone,

of generations, the

its

imprint in an

memory

bronze, wood, the

paper which

But

envelope.

book

recopied, the

is

which is reprinted and which transmits from century


acquires
to century the heroic word and the songs^ it
that relative immortality which endures so long as
those forms shall endure in which our world has con-

tinued long enough to permit us to define

and,

it,

through those forms, to define ourselves.

/
II

The
gorical

knew

temple, which sums

no

and

doubt,

pressed the only truth


instinctive

by the

primitive

the

of

force

up Egypt, has the

by

we know

life in its irresistible

oasis,

syntheses

that

very

as durable

cate-

which
ex-

fact

that

affirmation.

of

Formed

the Egyptian soul repeated the essential

teachings of the oasis


of the temple.

on the walls and

in the

columns

shaped the granite of the temple

It

into rectangular masses which rose in a block to the

hard

line of the angles,

with the profile of the

cliffs,

with the straight-lined course of the river, with the


hot sap that

made

the palm trees tower over the fields

of emerald, of gold,
is

and

of vermilion.

Dogma, which

a step, an ancient certitude confined within formulas

open to our senses for the repose of our spirit, assumes


invincible power when it is submitted for the adora-

EGYPT

41

tion of tlie inultitiules in a garb in whifli tliry find

again their true

very

where they

famihar horizons, and

tlie

j)ass their lives

and whence

The

l)orn.

lionse

his

their

life,

material of the places

of

men

has

can

in-

He

materialized.

ing the

dogma,

the

of

power by

god

is

can make

priest

which the desire


sure his

hope

their

install-

the smallest,

in

darkest, most secret retreat


of

The

the edifice.

shiper will accept

it,

W'Orif

he

recognizes the visible face


of his
in

accustomed existence

the thousands of other

mute gods that border the


rigid

avenues leading to the


that

giant pylons,

people

the courts and the porticos,


juid that are

men mingled

with

the monsters

oasis

and the

of

the

desert, lions,

rams, jackals, cynocephali,

and hawks. Amid the thick


columns, laid low to-day by

conquerors and covered by

by sand, or

-111
httmg the formidable

the waters and


.,,,.,..
Still

discloated skeletons of the

MiuDi.K Lmi'ihk (xvi

^.

The

cMitury

l,ea.vr f .)ftVring.s

(Louvre).

ANCIENT ART

42

hypo-style halls high above the desert, he will find him-

monotonous palm groves, his


with open spaces, the
strange woods, his
straight, thickset trunks of his trees with heavy crowns
self.

He

will recognize his

thickets

New

The

Empire (xv Century B.C.).

herd, mural painting

from Thebes {British Museum).

and opulent, pulpy fiber, crushed between the hardened


mud of the ground and the vertical rays of the sun.
The columns have the gathered thrust, the roughgrained roundness of the palm trees and the short,
flattened

surface

assembled

into

of

their

bouquets,

tops.

leaves

Leaves
of

the

of

lotus

papyrus,

palms, and rows of dates swell the capitals with the

compact and powerful

life

of tropical vegetation.

On

looking beneath his feet he will see again the water


lilies,

the lotus, the heavy plants, the flora of the

fecund river where moor hens and ducks thrive, as


well as fish

and crocodiles; he

will

perceive the lizards.

EGYPT
the snakes, the

iirjieus

43

that ivarms

itself

on the hot

sand where the red-brown elytra of the scarabs sow

And when he

bits of metal.

raises his eyes

it will

l)e

to divine, below the familiar constellations that sow

the blue space, the birds of the solitudes, the slender

New

Empire (xv Century


from Thebes

The

B.C.).

birds,

mural paiuting

MuMum).

(British

hawk suspended on

ibis,

the vulture, the symbolic

rigid

wings between the sky and the desert.

where,

on the heights

everywhere living

of

script

columns,

walls,
will

Everyobelisks,

flower for the joy of

his senses, in painted bas-relief, in hieroglyphic inscriptions.


its

Its oj)a(iue

burnt reds,

its

emeralds and
suli)hur,

and

its

somber turquoises,

its

gold will rei)eat

ANCIENT ART

44

and the history


which his ancestors were so long in making with their
blood, their bones, their love, their memory, and the
arful or charming forms which accompanied them.
to

him the

the Hterature,

science,

this formal, language, the priest

Entrenched behind

may

surround his action with a mystery by which he

New

Empire (xv Century B.C.)

Colossal head of

Amenothes

III (Louvre).

He knows much. He knows the moveHe arranges his temple as an


observatory, protected by lightning conductors. He
profits.

ments

of the heavens.

possesses the great principles of geometry

and

But his
people know of it

that these

gulation.

science
is

is

secret.

revealed

All

by certain

trian-

tricks

of

EGYPT
and

spiritualism

45

which mask

of niagic

tlic

sometimes

and often profound meaning of the occult


])hi]osophy which the hieroglyphs and the s\ iiiholic

puerile

figures are

meant

to eternalize

on the face of the desert.


The Pharaoh, the human
the instru-

form

of Osiris,

ment

of the theocratic caste

is

which overwhelms him with


power so as to domesticate
him.

Below

it

and him, with

some intermediaries,

officers,

chiefs of cities or of villages,

governors
batons,

is

armed with
the multitude.

their

For

a few hours of repose in the

burning night, on the ground


of

hardened nind, for bread

and water, they have nothing


bnt the

life

plowman

New

or reaper,

mason

Hawk

Empire.

the enslaved

of

Louvre).

or

stonecutter forced labor and blows. [A hun<lred generations are used up to build the pyramids, men are
})roken at tasks

beyond the strength

of

man, women are

deformed before their age because they have been too


miserable and have borne too
are turned aside

many

and warped before birth under the

weight of a servitude centuries old.


mare.
of

In the far background there

future metamorphoses,

light for the poor

children, children

man who

A
is

frightful night-

the bare hope

a troubled and
will

flickering

have no tomb.

ANCIENT ART

46

How

is

that, in this hell, the

it

Egyptian did not

seek and find the dangerous consolation of absolute

The

spiritualism?

desire

living

Naturalistic and

death.

is

polytheistic

his religion retained the love of the

we base our

hope.

than

stronger

from

its

origin,

form upon which

His statues gave to mystery an

and he never adored

indestructible skeleton,

human

his

gods

The surroundings in which he had to live did not permit him to


become absorbed in unrestrained contemplation. The
save under animal or

daily

struggle

educations.
in

Egypt.

for

bread

is

forms.

the surest of positivist

As a matter
is only by incessant

of fact, nature is ungrateful

It

effort

to resources constantly renewed, in

and thanks

their

and courage, that the Egyptian learned

ingenuity

to utilize to

his profit the periodical excesses of the Nile.

to put

into practice a

study, centuries old,

He had
of

the

habits of the river, of the consistency and the qual-

mud: he had
works, dikes, embankments,

ities

of

the

to

undertake formidable

artificial lakes, irrigating

and

canals, the cuttiijg of sandstone

of granite;

he

had to continue these works ceaselessly and begin

them again

to prevent

them from being buried under

the deposits of the river, from being swallowed up

and disappearing.

The pyramids

parable power of his engineers.


of

his

life

reveal

And

if

the incom-

the hardness

turned his mind toward death, at least

during his passage over the earth he

left

the impress

of a profound genius for geometry.

strange people, expressing, in theorems of basalt,

the most vast, the most secret, the most vague aspira-

EGYPT
The

tions of its inner world!


lute

and somnolent

on the stone of
mystery
all

of

its

New

all skies,

Empire.

spirit of

K^ypt

is al)s()-

like the colossuses stretched

And

tombs.

ever-renewing

epochs, under

47

It)is,

life,

there

yet,

outsiih'

forever

like

is

out

of the

itself

nothing- that

is

in

not

tironze statuette (TjOinre).

accessible to our emotion in the radiant

human and

which seems to well up from these motionless


The Egyptian
figures wMth their definite planes.
artist is a workman, a slave who works under the
silence

baton

like

the others;

mystic sciences.
of priests, of

war

he

We know
chiefs,

is

not initiated into the

a thousand

and

names

of city chiefs;

of kings,

we do

nol

ANCIENT ART

48

know one name


thought of

of those

mute

Art was the anonymous voice,

voice of the crowd, groimd

ing within

expressed the real

Egypt, that which hves forever in the

stone of the tombs.

the

who have

down and

observ-

the tremor of the mind and of hope.

itself

Sustained bv an irresistible sentiment of the

life

it

was forbidden to spread out, it allowed that sentiment to burn with all the power of its compressed

into depth.
not true startling and illuminating as are the
It

faith

is

metaphysical intuitions that,

w^ith

Chaldea

it

is

power, the

their

priestly castes pass on through time, in

Egypt

as in

not true that the mysterious images

which symbolize these intuitions owe to them their


beauty.

With the

of everything.

artist, instinct is at

It is life, in its

the beginning

prodigious

movement

wherein matter and mind merge without his thinking


of disuniting

them, that lights the spark in him and

directs his hand.

It is for us to disengage from the


work of art its general signification as we disengage it
from sensuous, social, and moral life, which it sums
up for us in a flash. The Egyptian artist followed
certain ideas, more often restrictive than active, which

the priest dictated to him.

that a lion with a

When

the priest

human head be

demanded

cut in granite, or

man

with the head of an eagle and open hands


through which the flame of the spirit seemed to pass
a

into the world, he jealously kept to himself the occult

meaning of the form and the gestures, and the sculptor


drew the enthusiasm which made the material quiver
from the material alone and from the faith he had in

New

Empire fxiv Century

B.C.).

Sokliiiicf

(Louvre.)

ANCIENT ART

50

the myths he animated.

If

the monster was beauti-

it
was because the sculptor was
profound occultist counted for nothing in

ful,

living.
it,

The

the naive

artist for everything.

We know
selves,

really only

what we have learned by our-

and personal discovery

The

enthusiasm.

our sole source of

is

highest generalizations have started

with the most obscure and strongest sentiment, to


purify themselves step
gence.

and

They

fatally,

by step

as they rise to intelli-

are open to the artist

who must,

take his course toward them.

faculty of giving

life

logically

But the

to the language in which phil-

osophers communicate these generalizations to us

is

not logically and fatally imparted to the intellectual.

The
is

generalization

is

never a point of departure,

it

if the artist had begun with occultwork would have been condemned to the

a tendency; and

ism, his

stiffness of death.

by

Now, even when

the will of the priest,

through the love of the sculptor.


tion proceeds

in a l^lock,

stiff

as a cadaver,

the Egyptian statue lives

and the

Only human evoluinstinct of the artist

accords with the mind of the philosopher in order to


give to their abstract or concrete creations the same

rhythm which expresses a general need

felt in

common.

Ill

However that may

be,

it

was the crowd and nothing

but the crowd which spread over the wood of the


sarcophagi and over the compact tissue of the hypogees,
the pure, living, colorful flowers of

its soul.

It whis-

EGYPT
pered

its

life

in the

51

deep shadows so that that Hfe

should shine in the light of our torches

The

the hidden sepulchers.


for the king or the rich

man,

fine
it is

Eafpire.

work

of the fields.

and

his

was the

walls, in fuuer.d

Great temple of Thebes.

processions, in adventures of

the

()])en

tomb was dug out

true,

luxurious existence to be traced on the

New

when we

war or

of

hunting or

He was to be shown

in

surrounded

bv his farm workers, bv his familiar


was necessary to tell how his bread was
nuide, how his beasts were cut up by the butcher, how
bv

his

slaves,

animals;

his fish

it

were caught, how

his fruits

his birds

were captured, how

were offered him, and how

his wives

made

their toilet.
And the crowd of artisans worked in
obscurity; they thought to tell the charm, the power,

the happiness, the opulence, and the

life

of the master;

ANCIENT ART

52

they told, above


activity,

all,

their misery, but also their fecund

inner wealth,

intelligence,

utility,

own

furtive grace of their

What marvelous
statuary, which

and the

life.

painting!

It

freer

is

than the

intended almost solely to render

is

the image of the god or the deceased. Despite its


abstract grand style it is familiar, it is intimate; sometimes

turns to caricature;

it

always

it is

malicious or

tender, like this naturally human and good people,


which is crushed little by little by theocratic force,
and which descends into itself to consider its humble

In the modern sense of the word there

life.

science of composition, no
tian

drawing

one

let

and

a writing that

is

know

legs

it

well,

with

all

these

stiif

must be learned. But


whose heads

silhouettes

uousness they

live,

sure,

how

move, with what ingen-

their silence

An

precise,

decisive,

and then see

in front view,

silhouettes

animation and murmur!


plan,

its

is no
Egyp-

are always in profile while their shouldeis

and breasts are always

how

sense of perspective.

is

peopled with

extremely well-organized

but quivering.

When

the form appears, especially the nude form, or as


is

divined

through

suspends his whole


of the spirit

may

a
life

transparent
in

it,

shirt,

the

it

artist

that nothing but a light

shine from his heart, one which shall

illumine only the highest summits of

continuous

of

contour,

that

single undulating line, so pure, so nobly sensual,

which

sensation.

Trul>

memory and

that

evinces so discreet and strong a sense of character, of

mass, and of movement, has the appearance of being


traced in the granite by the intelligence alone, without

New

Empihk

(xiv Century B.C.).


{Florence, Arc/ialoyical

I'ortrait of a

Museum).

woman

ANCIENT ART

54

Then come streaming the deep

the help of a tool.

blues, emeralds, ochres, golden yellows,

lightly, never thickly applied.

It

and vermilions

is

like perfectly

New

Empire (xiv Century B.C.). A princess, stone (Berlin


Museum). After an illustration in Die Plastik der Mgypter.

clear

water into which one would

stirring

do not

it

bj'

muddy

let

fall,

without

a tremor, unchangeable colors:


it,

but

the bottom be seen.

let

they

the plants and pebbles at

New

Empire.

Temple

of

Touthmes

III at Kuriiak.

ANCIENT ART

o6

The

intensity

the logic of the

the sentiment,

of

structure break the chains of hieratism and the impulse

These

to style.

trees,

these

stiff

flowers, this

whole

movement

of the

conventional world has the heav^'


seasons,

fruitful

Egyptian art

The

exists.

seed

the

of

is

sees

life.

But he has such


moved and

of

which he describes

life

that sense, to issue

from the exact attitude,

gesture,

to

a sense so directly

life,

so limpid that everything of

seems defined by

returns

it

artist effaces himself.

an innate sense

longer

as

perhaps the most impersonal that

His

stiffness.

from the natural


which one no

in

resembles

impersonality

that of the grasses which tremble at the level of the

ground or

wind with a

single

resistance, or that of the

water

bowing

of the trees

movement and without

which wrinkles into equal

same

direction.

The

in the

circles

artist

is

of

And

nourishment.

dogma imposes upon him


which issues from
life

What
with

the

the

and as

full of

convention

savor

which

is

animated

bj^

and swelling with

the very
juice as a

soil.

he recounts

their

in

not apparent, because that

is

his being

of his being, healthy

product of the

moving

a plant that gives fruits

similar to those of other plants,

and

all

tanned

is

his life itself.

skin,

their

The workmen

muscular

shoulders,

nervous arms, and hard skulls work wholeheartedly,

even when the rod

is

used;

their faces

remain gentle

the smooth-shaven faces with the prominent cheeks;


and

it is

not without a kind of fraternal irony that the

artisan decorator or statue maker,

himself so often, shows

them busy

who has

represented

at their task, rowers

EGYPT

57

and sawing, masons asscinl)baked mud, licrdsmen leading their

sweating', hutclicrs cutting


ling

bricks

of

passive beasts or delivering the females, fishermen,


hunters, jovial farmhands holding up frantic ducks

New
by the

Empire (xni Century


tips of their

B.C.).

Temple

of Ibsamboiil.

wings and, squirming rabbits by

their ears, cramming fat geese, carrying cranes in their


arms and holding their beaks closed with a firm fist
so as to prevent them from screaming.
AVe see the
rearing of the heads, the ambling or mincing gaits,
hear the bleating, the bellowing, and the sound of

wings.

The domestic animals

and cats

have

the

oxen, asses, dogs,

their massive or peaceful or joyous

or supple look, their unceasing rumination, the tremor


of the skin or of their ears, their undulation as

they

ANCIENT ART

58

and surety with which they


The panthers walk as if on velstretch their paws.
The ducks and
vet, pushing out their flat heads.
with their flat
geese waddle, digging and quacking
The stupid fish gape in the drawn nets; the
bills.

creep,

and the

silence

is

transparent, and the

up

in their jars or the

trembling water

come

to dip

plunge into

it

it

are saturated with

its

women who
animals who

coolness.

Oranges

which are held


and dates have their weight in baskets
plant, and
up bv arms as pure as the stem of a young
when
which are balanced like flowers. The women,
brushes
slim
their
they bedeck themselves or moisten
of reeds bending
to rouge their mistresses, have the air

down

to the

dew

in the grass.

The world has the

shudder of the morning.


This natural poetry, fundamentally

silent
,

familiar,

carried

is

ardent

and

by the Egyptians into everything

jewels, their
that comes from their fingersinto their
innumerable knicklittle intimate sculpture, those

knacks which encumber their sepulchers, where they


belonged.
follow the dead person to whom they had
And it is in the domestic objects of the kitchen and the
All their fauna,

workshop.

all

their flora live again

same very sensual and very chaste


aU is motionless and alive; and all has
profundity. Whatever their materialwood, ivory, gold, silver, or granite they
in the matter wrought, its weight and its

there with that

sentiment;
the

same

bronze or
preserved,

delicacy, its freshness

grain

if

mineral.

if

of the vegetable world,

Their

spoons

abandoned at the water's edge;

resemble

its

leaves

their jewels, cut into

^^^^Otm
New

Empire (xiv Century

B.C.).

Hypostyle Hall

of Kuriiak

ANCIENT ART

60

the shapes of hawks, reptiles, and scarabs, have the

look of those colored stones that one picks up in the

bed

of rivers,

on the seashore and

of volcanoes.

in the

Fndergroinid Egypt

which are

It breeds living fossils

is

neighborhood

a strange mine.

like the crystallization

of organic multitudes.

IV

But

all

spirit is

far
of

the intimacy,

all

the furtive

charm

of its

mud warren,
On the surface

hidden there,

like the fellah in his

from the palaces and the temples.


the soil we get the philosophic Egypt.

Only under

the Ancient Empire, five or six thousand years ago,

the

Memphite

school of sculpture essayed an expres-

Egypt remembered

sion of every-day existence.

old

epochs of liberty, perhaps, before the sphinx himself,


epochs of which we shall some day find traces under
ten thousand years of alluvial deposits, lower than
Art, moreover,

the foundations of the pyramids.

always

realistic

know how
of the

to

at

It does

beginnings.

its

not yet

form those synthetic images, made up

thousands

forms encountered on the long

of

ascending road toward civilization,


to realize as soon as

general idea.

is

it

Primitive

cerned with his

own

attempt at resumes

which art

gets to the threshold of the

man

life.

is

almost solely con-

Certainly he

of sensations,

makes

terize well visible

moment.

It

is

his

but at resumes of

things before his eyes^ not of tnose which pass

the vision of the

tries

beyond

in order to charac-

forms that he leaves nothing of them

EGYPT

61

but the summits of their undulations and of their


The "Seated Scribe," which
expressive projections.
is

of that ancient epoch,

in the

New

is

E^r[>IUE (xni Century).


detail

plishes.

he

is

of a terrifying truthfuhiess,

num's direct application

He

is

to tlie task he

accom-

Sarcophagus of Ranicses

III,

(Loiirre).

not yet a type of average humanity;

already the average type of a profession and a

His attention to his work, his suspended energy,


that arrested life which makes his face flame like a

caste.

ANCIENT ART

62

torch and that animates his fixed

body are due

to the

planes which define him, and to the trenchant mind,


free of disquietude, of the

man who

Of

cut them.

same period are the peasants who march stick in


hand, the men and women who start, side by side on
the voyage of death, as they embarked on the voyage
the

of Hfe.

The Egyptian

of that

time possessed the equihbrium

Each wheel of the social machine


acted, at that moment, with a vigor and an automatism
which marked a life that was spontaneously disciplined,

of his functions.

but free to define

The
the

itself.

classic sculpture

Middle Empire

From

Memphis.

that

ary and religious:

The

end

until the

work
boudoir and

animals of the plow, of

household cares, of the adventures of every-day

was

left to

of

it

storv of the harvest, of the active

men and

of the

moment and

was scarcely more than funerstatues of gods and statues of

the world of the Nile,

doubles.

came Into existence only under


when Thebes had dethroned

painting and to the

life,

workmen of art. The


workman too, but

sculptor of the gods was indeed a

he was

raised,

by the importance

strength of his faith,

well

of his task

above

might say that he had turned

his

and the

misery.

One

back on the

oasis,

his

that he contemplated only the regularity of the days

and the

years, the sleeping

and the awakening

of the

seasons, of the river, the sad desert, the impassible

face of the sky.

We

must not be too greatly surprised at seeing him

thus different from the

man who gave

that account


EGYPT
of the scribe with so

much

63

passionate attention.

From

Egyptian art seems changeless and forever Hke

afar,
itself.

From

near by,

it

offers,

like that of all the

other peoples, the spectacle of great evolutions, of


progress toward freedom of
expression, of researches in

imposed hieratism.

Egypt

from us that it all


is
seems on the same plane.
so far

One

forgets that there are

twenty centuries,

fifteen or

the age of Christianity

between the "Seated


Scribe" and the great
period, twenty -five

classic

or

thirty

centuries, fifty,

perhaps twice
that

separates

Pericles

the time
us

and Phidias

from

be-

tween the pyramids and


the Saite school, the last
living manifestation of the

Egyptial

New

Empire.

Woman

seated,

t)ronze statuette {Louvre).

ideal.

The arresting of Egyptian sculpture in the movement of free discovery, sketched with so much vigor
by the Memphite school, was doubtless provoked by
a long historical preparation whose elements are too
little known for us to define them with sufficient precision.

The Ancient Empire was

Theban Empire is warlike.


more directly from the priestly

It

peaceful.

draws

its

The

authority

caste, in order to retain

ANCIENT ART

64

the obedience of the industrious and gentle people


whom it wanted to use in its ambition for conquest.

The

fixed, limits the flight of sculpture and,

growing more

by imposing

upon it, condemns it to research


type, which will narrow it more and

limits

of a restricted

more.

It

becomes denser-J)ogma,

mystery

theological

becomes the

The

of engineers.

religious expression of a people

statues will define the

aspect of Egypt,

arrest

permanent

between regular dikes,

life

cause the world to begin and end with them as the


cultivated land ends and the desert begins with the
limit of the river

mud.

Egyptian sculpture becomes


a century-old study

a changeless architectonic frame;


of form,

having penetrated the laws of its structure,


will henceforth enclose

has affixed this frame which

the portrait of the god or the portrait of the deceased,


the dwelling place of the double.

Forms

Everything changes.

and effaced on the surface of the


There is

are born

earth as easily as figures on a blackboard.

nothing

changeless

which

relationships

save

the

animate

almost

them,

mathematical
binding

together with the invisible chain of abstraction.


great sculpture of

and formulates

Egypt materializes that abstraction

in

granite a geometrical

seems as durable as the laws


of the

ideal

that

which govern the course

heavenly bodies and the rhythm of the seasons.

Sculpture
positive
is

them
The

of

is

at once the

plastic

most abstract and the most

expressions

positive,

because

it

impossible to evade the difficulties of the task through

verbal artifices and because the form will live only on

condition that

it

be logically constructed, from what-

EGYPT
ever side one considers
of that construction
of

is

it;

65

hecause

cil)stract,

luw

more and more generalized mental operations.


D

New
Before

Empire.

was an

it

sculi)tor

art,

Spoons

for

rouge (Louvre).

sculpture was a science, and no

can produce durable work

the generating elements of


it

tlit-

revealed to us only by a series

it

in

if

he has not found

Nature

was the Egyptians who taught us

herself.

that,

and

Now
it

is

ANCIENT ART

66

perhaps not possible to understand and to love sculpture if one has not first undergone the severe education they afford us.

The head
which

style

char-

its

few decisive planes, but the body is


of architectural science which will

canon

in a

One

not be reached again.


or beside

remains a portrait, to

given by the subordination of

acteristics to a

molded

their statues

of
is

foot

is

in front of the other

the statue, almost always crowned with

it;

the pschent,

is

nude, standing with the arms

half

glued to the sides or seated, the elbows at the thorax,


the hands on the knees, the face looking straight
ahead, the eyes fixed.
forbidden to

make

down with
visage,

bands.

is

forbidden to open

its

its

pedestal in order to mingle

One would say that it was tied


But yet it bears within it, in its

where thought wanders with the

innnobilized body, the whole

in its

its lips,

a gesture, forbidden to turn

head, to arise, to leave

with living beings.

It

life

the walls of the tombs, the bursting


ows. A wave runs through
whose sound is stifled. The

it,

and

light,

spread out on

life

of the shad-

a subterranean wave,

statue's profiles

have the

sureness of an equation of stone and a sentiment so

vast that everything of which

we

seems to reside in

It will

secret.

The

legs,

sewn up

will

not

priest
its

attain

it

silently.

has enchained

mouth with mystic


the

philosophic

are in ignorance

its

never

tell

its

arms and

its

formulas.

Egypt

equilibrium

that

sense of the relative which gives us the sense of the

measure

of

our action and, in revealing to us our true

relationships

with things in their ensemble, assigns

EGYPT
to

US,

ill

the

harmony

of

67

the universe, the role of

it imposes on us.
conscious center of the order which
which she was
She will not know the freedom toward

tending in the period of


Memphis, and which the
painters suspect as

grope about
of

ness

in"

The

the tombs.

to de-

priest forbids her

mand

they

the dark-

of the

confused

movement of nature an
agreement between his
and the aspirations
of sentiment which she can
not repress and which

science

shine from the basalt as

from an arrested sun.

Master

of the soul, or at

least holding by the wrist

hand that expresses

the
it,

the priest permits

all

things to the king,

who permits

all

things to the priest.

From the l:)eginning


of the Middle Empire to the

the New,

end

Egypt

Saite Epoch.

Horu-s. bronze {Louvre).

of
retiu-ns to the spirit that erected

the

pyramids.

She will cover herself with giant temples

and

colossuses,

with

Ramesseum, Memnon,

Jbsambonl,
piles

of

Luxor,

stone,

walls,

Karnak,
pylons.

ANCIENT ART

68

statues of disproportionate size, sphinxes, mill wheels


of stone

under which the king in

multitude which, in turn,

is

his pride grinds the

consoled by

its

pride in

moment everything is possible


sculptor-geometer. One does not know whether

making gods.
to the

At

this

he cuts the rocks into colossuses or whether he gives


He peneto the colossuses the appearance of rocks.

immense halls
bottom with immense

trates into hills of granite, scoops out

them from top to


and painted hieroglyphs, gives

there, covers
bas-reliefs

their front

which faces the Nile the aspect of giant figures as


figures whose
decisive as the first profiles he traced

great pure faces stare, for three or four thousand years

without the turn of an eyelid, at the terrible sun,


which sculptures them with absolute shadows and
lights.

The monsters he

erects

avenues, the monsters which

tell

as

the

borders

of

nothing and reveal

everything, are rigorously logical, despite their man's


or ram's

head on a

lion's

body.

That head

is

attached

naturally to the shoulders, the muscles barely indicated

have

their

normal insertions and direction, the bones

their necessary architecture, and from the tips of the

claws and the silent planes of the sides, from the

rump

and the back to the round cranium and to_^the meditative face, the vital forces circulate with one con-

tinuous flow.

When

the artist cuts straight from the

block these absolute forms whose surfaces seem deter.

mined by geometrical volumes penetrating one another


according to imnui table laws of attraction, one would
say that he retains, in the depth of his inexhaustible
instinct, the

remembrance

of the

common form from


EGYPT
whicli

all

(i9

animal forms, and, be;N'ond

others come:

the animal forms, those of the original sphere

whence

the pknets issued and whose curve was sculptured


by the gravitation of the heavens. The artist has the
right to create

can make

of

monsters

he

if

them beings which

can conceivably

live.

Any form

adapted to the universal conditions of life is more living, even if


it

exists only in

our imagination,

than a form based on


fulfilling its

but

reality

function badly.

The

dried-out cadavers, which the


of

by

Egypt
bit,

will finally

soil

absorb bit

have not the reality of

her sphinxes and her fearful gods

with men's bodies and the head


of

hawks and panthers, where

the spirit has laid


all

its

spark.

In

directions and from whatever

point one considers them, they

undulate like a wave.


sav that
light

an insensible

of

line

turns about them, slowly

caresses an invisible
its

One would

embrace

reveals, itself search-

ing out the place

intervention

form which

of

without

the

the

sculptor

to be inflected or

where
Saite Epoch ((iTO JJ.C).
where it is to insinuate itself, bareDoll, wood [BrUi.s-h
Museum).
ly to modulate the undulatinig
it

is

ANCIENT ART

70

progression of the sculpture

by imperceptible passages,

as music does.

But

this definitive science

An

the statue maker's art.

will

eventually destroy

hour arrives when the

mind, directed along a single road, can discover nothing

more

there.

Doubtless the immobility of Egypt had

But the

never been more than an appearance.

mind, even

of her

scarcely varied

and

roundings that

she tried to define herself in

if

forms, changed but

ideal

was always with the same

it

man had

expended a prolonged

new

for the teachings of her soil

little,

to

And

reckon.

approach that

effort to

sur-

she had
ideal.

had not died. She


struggled.
But the Theban empire was immobile.
The dogma no longer moved; the social order had
It

was

for this reason that she

mold which the monarchy


out if it recommences
the same conquests every day. Under the Rames-

been poured into

sides,

its

granite

Enthusiasm wears

sealed.

itself

the overstrained effort of the preceding dynasties

was disunited.
invasions, and

Continual war with outside powers,


foreign

discouraged

influences

unsettled the spirit of the Egyptians.


centuries

statue
facility.

by the

of

uninterrupted production,

maker handled

material

After fifteen
the

w^itli

Theban

too great

Occultism was, however, cultivated as


priestly classes

directed the artisan.


action.

his

He had

that concentrates

lost
life

and

much

and was thus the master that


But he had lost the power of
that prodigious sense of mass
in a decisive

form

of

which

all

the surfaces seem to rejoin the infinite through their


unlimited curves.

Each year he

delivered

by hundreds


EGYPT

71

same comThe school was formed. Geometmercial model.


rical idealism had fixed itself in a
formula and sentiment had exhausted

statues manufactured in quantity from the

itself

through contimudly encounter-

ing those unscalable walls of stone

which

forbade

Egypt died

to

it

of her

need

go

farther.

of eternity.

to be a
She was even to
have, before passing on the torch
to younger hands, a fine reawak-

But her death was

slow one.

ening

action.

to

With the

Saite

when
Greece emerged from the myth into
history, she profited by the decadence
time

dynasty,

about

of Assyria

and that

of the interior

the

Medo - Persian

organization of

the

power, to recover courage, in view

Once
more she looked about her and into
herself, and discovered in her old
soul ^infused with
freshness bv the conof her re-established security.

fused presentiment of a

new

ideal

supreme

flower, as

warm

autumn.

She cradled

as an

Saite Epoch.

Quccu Karomana,

bronze statuette {Louvre).


ANCIENT ART

7'2

nascent Greece with a farewell song,

and very

quite

still

gentle.

Saite art returned to original sources.


as

direct

virile,

the

ancient

Memphite

was

It

But

art.

seems softer than Theban


ness

more

is

art, it is

because

Now, we no

active.

its

has

it

almost rediscovered the science of Thebes, and

as

if

tender-

longer find only

funerary statues.

Saite art escapes the formula;

produces

portraits,

faithful

scribes again, statuettes of

on the ground,

their

it

and

precise

it

nervous

women, personages seated

hands crossed on

their knees, at

the height of the chin.

Egypt did not

fail

to obey that consoling law which

decrees that every society about to die from exhaustion


or which feels itself dragged into the current of revo-

turn back for a

shall

lution,

moment

to address a

melancholy farewell to woman, to her indestructible

power which
has

youth,

society,

usually

in full flight

in

the course of

misunderstood.

are too idealistic, too

vigorous

its

Societies

rising

much concerned

with the conquest and the assimilation of the universe,


to look in the direction of the hearth they are abandonIt

ing.

look

is

only on the other slope of

backward

to

bow

life

that they

more discouraged

their wiser or

enthusiasm before the force that conserves while everything

around

illusions

it

wearies,

droops

and

which are presentiments, and

J^gypt at her decline caressed the

dies

beliefs,

civilizing energy.

body

of

woman

with that sort of chaste passion which only Greece

knew

afterward, and which Greece perhaps did not

express so religiously.

Feminine forms, sheathed

in

Saite Epoch

(vi

Century B.C.)-

personage, l)ronze {Louvre).

Seated

ANCIENT ART

74

young

a clinging material, have that pure lyrism of

The

plants that reach up to drink the daylight.

silent

passage from the slim round arms to the shoulders, to


the ripening breast, to the waist, to the belly, to the
long, tapering legs,

freshness

and to the narrow, bare

and the quivering firmness

Ptolemaic Empire

yet opened.

The

over the forms like

(i

Century B.C.).

feet has the

of flowers not

Temple

of

Denderah.

caress of the chisel passes


lips

they would not dare to press.


gives himself to her

and

slips

brushing a closed corolla which

whom

till

Man, grown

tender,

then he had thought

only to take.

In these last works Egypt confides to us her most


intimate thought about the young

men

women and

seated like the boundary marks of roads.

thing

is

the

Every-

a restrained caress, a veiled desire to penetrate

Egypt abandoned herself unresistingly to its current.


As a musician hears harmony,
the sculptor sees the fluid of light and shade that makes

universal

life

before

EGYPT

to

the continuous world by passing from one form to


another.

Discreetly he joins the projections that are

barely indicated by the long, rhythmic planes of the

The model-

thin garment which has not a single fold.

.i.-i^ i

Ptolemaic Empire

(i

Temple

Century B.C.).

of

Denderah,

bas-relief.

iiig

passes like water, over the most compact mate-

rials.

wave flows between the absolute lines of a


movement, it has the balanced undulathat one would call eternal, like the movement
Its

geometry
tions

of the sea.

in

Space continues the block

bronze by taking up from

its

illumination that arises from


of

dying Egj'pt

tries

of basalt or of

surface the confused

its

depths.

The mind

to gather together the general

ANCIENT ART

7()

energy dispersed through the universe, that


transmit

And

it

to

men

it

may

to come.

alL
The walls of stone that inclosed
Egypt are broken by invasion, which
recommences and finds her at the end of her strength.
Her whole inner life runs out of the open wound.
Cambyses may overturn her colossuses; Egypt cannot

the

that

soul

is

of

on the sur-

offer a virile protest; her revolts are only

and accentuate her

face

AMien the Macedo-

decline.

nian comes, she willingly includes him

and the oracle


victory.

of

Amnion

finds

it

among her

gods,

easy to promise him

In the brilliant Alexandrian epoch her per-

sonal effort was practically

7iil.

sages and the apostles of Judea

her spring,

now almost

It

was the Greek

who came

dried up, but

to drink at

still full

of

deep

mirages, that they might try, in the unsettled world,


to forge from the debris of the old religions
old sciences a

new weapon

for the idea.

and the

She saw,

with an indifferent eye, the dilettante from Hellas


visiting

and

describing

Roman parvenu

raising

monuments, and the


them again. She let the

her

sand mount up around the temples, the

mud

fill

the

canals and bury the dikes, and the weariness of

life

slowly covered

up her

heart.

She did not disclose the

true depth of her soul.

She had lived inclosed, she

remained inclosed, shut

like her coffins, her temples,

her kings, a hundred cubits high,

whom

she seated in

her oasis, above the motionless wheat, their foreheads


in

the solitude of the heavens.

never

left

their knees.

They

Their hands have

refuse to speak.

must consider them profoundly and seek

in the

One
depth

EG\TT
of oneself the

their

somnok^nce

eternit\

Then
The

echo of their mute confidences.

science of Egypt,
for

77

is

awakened confusedly.
and

its religion, its despair,

that endless

murmur

of

t<'n

need

thousand

contained

monotonous years the whole of it is


sigh which the colossus of Memnon exhales

its

in

the

at sunrise.

The Euphrates at Babylon

Chapter

III.

THE ANCIENT ORIENT

THE AN( TFAT ORIENT


And

yet

how mobile

this face

with the light of an undying

is

There

79
it

glows

hearth of contemplative

we

see concentrated the rigorous will

to attain the visible

and practical purpose and not to

aspirations, here

Chaldea (xxx Century

go beyond

The

it.

in the ruins of Tello,

more

positive,

if

Egyptian mind
Scribe,"

their

centuries;

B.C.?).

statues,

Lion (Louvre).

which the dunes covered

bear witness to a mind infinitely

not more sure of

itself,

than ever the

was, even at the time of the "Seated

contemporary by a margin

of

a few

and in the old Orient centuries count no

Egypt had prol)ably built the


Pj-ramids ])y then, and had given the Sphinx's visage
to a rock; the next age was to plunge her still tleeper
into mystery and turn her gaze inward more and more.
more than

The

years.

statues of Tello are neither gods nor syml)ols;

they have nothing mysterious about them but their

ANCIENT ART

so

antiquity and that silence which haunts the old stones

found amid the


is

the image

As

in

stiff;

relics of life

beneath the ground.

Here

of a builder-prince, a rule across his knees.

Egypt,

it

is

true, these decapitated bodies are

them

rigid planes cut

and the limbs remain

Chaldea.

at rest;

into rectangular figures,

but the shoulders have

Archaic figures {British Museum).

a terrible squareness, and the hands, instead of reposing on the thighs in the

abandon

and strongly clasped, as


of the bones, the

moving

and the rough grain

if

of thought, are joined

to indicate the articulation

relief of

the muscles, the folds

of the skin.

Two

heads found

near them have the same energy.

they were natural rocks that


waters,

such

is

their

One would fliink


had been rolled by the

compactness, their coherence,

their sustained roundness.

In facial feature primitive Mesopotamia was, however, the sister of the plain of the Nile.

The

Tigris

THE AX( TEXT ORIENT


and the Euphrates, whose

alluvial

81

deposits nourish

Mesopotamia, penetrate the country through hundreds


of canals which cross one another around the cultivated fields. Covered with palm trees and date trees,

Chaldea (xxx Century

B.C.?).

Palace of Tello,

head, stone {Louvre).

wheat and barley, always at its harvest


time, always at its seed time, Mesopotamia was the

with

Eden

fields of

of the Biblical legends, the

granary of western

brought fruits
and bread. By way of the Persian Gulf it launched
But renewing its strength from
its fleets on the sea.
the tribes which descended from the high plateaus.
Asia, to which its caravans

and

its rivers

ANCIENT ART

8^

by

communicating

rivers

its

connected

with

the

oceans of the south, with Armenia and with Syria


which bounds the European Sea, surrounded by more

advanced and more accessible peoples, it remained


less shut in than Egypt, and did not, lOvc the latter,

consume

itself

at

its

own

To

flame.

the east

it

made

fecund the Medo-Persian Empires, and through them


penetrated into India and even into China. To the
north

extended

it

modern

of the

itself

through Assyria until the dawn

civilizations.

To

the west

it

awakened

Phoenicia, which opened the route from Mesopotamia to the valley of the Nile and to the world of the
archipelago.
Finally, the

more

Chaldean theocracy probably adhered

closely to primitive instincts

than the priestly

caste did that governed the people of the Nile.

was

in

It

Chaldea that astronomy was born, to which

her engineers of hydraulics and her architects added


the unerring instruments of geometry and mechanics.
It

was during her

longs

its

brilliant nights,

glow, which

is

when

the earth pro-

due to the cloudless sky and

the flatness of the land, that the shepherds of the


earliest times, as well as those

who came

later to seek

the coolness of the upper terraces, had observed in


the clear sky the turning of the constellations.
positivistic education of the

The

Egyptians aimed at more

material needs and, because of this,

left

untouched the

source of the great moral intuitions to

which the
people turned for a consolation, and which the Chal-

dean people,

less

harshly

governed,

interpreted

in

terms of navigation and trade, while the king-priests

Chaldea (xxx Century

B.C.?).

(Louvre)

Statue of Goudea

ANCIENT ART

84

Babylon interpreted it in the higher serenity which


comes with the contemplation of the movements of
of

the heavenly bodies.

Before the time of those powerful statues, which

seem to foretell the


end of this people's
and which

evolution

are certainlv the final

flower of a culture centuries

art

Chaldean

old,

almost an entire

is

baked

mystery.

Its

clay,

hard

less

than

the granite of the valley of the Nile or the

marble

of Pentelicus,

turned

has

nothing

dust;

to
left

is

but

some sunken foundations.

Onlv stone,

which is scarce in
Mesopotamia, can
resist

of

Assyria

(ix

Century B.C.)- Genius

with the head of an eagle, bas-relief


{houme).

Assyro-Chaldean

we

under the tide

earth

that

and corrodes

like

and ends by

positivism

to

Egyptian

water

reclaim-

ing everything.

find the distance

gnaws

From

idealism

which separates the consistency

baked clay from that of granite. Between the


soil of the country and the intelligence of men, there

of

THE ANCIENT ORIENT

85

have always been such close analogies which we find


are logical and necessary as soon as we understand
that the mind invents nothing

We

see, therefore,

to give

it

discovers

everything.

that a material which endures ought

the idea of permanence, and that a material

'^^''^f'^^^r^^^'::^^

^\

^-

*I

xVssYRiA

(viii

Decoration
Century B.C.).
Nimrod, bas-relief (Louvre).

which crumbles should give

it

of

a door of

the idea of fragility and

of the practical utilization of the instruments

furnish.

Thus,

also,

it

can

a sky whose mathematical revo-

have been scrutinized gives the idea of consecrating the precise means which it offers for mapping
lutions

it

out.

And

so has disappeared the very skeleton of those

monstrous

cities

which

sheltered

the

most active

peoples of the ancient world, and the most practical.

ANCIENT ART

86

modern sense

the

in

rose there

is

tiges of city walls,

None

the

Where Babylon

the word.

of

nothing but pahn groves on some ves-

around which the sand heaps up.

on the two banks

less,

Babylon encircled

its

of the

Euphrates,

multitudes in a belt of walls

twenty-five leagues in length, ninety feet in thickness,

two hundred and

with

bristling

bitumen, with

its city walls,

dull,

its

and reddish

monotonous

uniform,

and there touched with


toward the heavens

in color, here

buildings,

and

canals, its reser-

the loridges and quays of the river

enamel, the city of Semiramis


its

towers

palaces, temples, houses,

street pavements, the banks of


voirs,

fifty

Built of bricks and

studded with gates of bronze.

lifted

almost solid blocks with

gardens on their terraces, thus resembling the Iranian

which are bare as far up as the cool plateaus,

foothills,

where

forests

and flowers grow.

Above

these arti-

woods were towers, made up of stages built one


upon the other. The plains call for gigantic constructions from which they can be surveyed from afar
and commanded, and which shall be infinite like themThe tower of Babel was never to be finished
selves.

ficial

and, as

if

to explore the ocean of the stars

from nearer

by, the temple of Baal rose to a height of two hundred

meters.

The tower
desert

seals of

of

Babel

absorbing

is

is

now a

little

by

formless

perhaps no longer
it

which the

hard stone which continued to be produced

during the whole civilization

and

hill

Apart from the

little.

is

much

that

of
is

Nineveh, there

solid

is

under the sand,

possible that Chaldea has nothing

more

to

THE ANCIENT ORIENJ^


The sand

reveal to us.

those

cuneiform

still

87

gives up, at times, one of

inscriptions

which

are

tlie

most

ancient writing known, and by which the Chaldeans

Assyria

(viii

Century B.C.). King


{British Museum).

fighting, bas-relief

wrote their legal documents, their acts of purchase

and

of sale, the great events of their history, the recital

of the deluge

history and legend intermingled.

The

few bas-reliefs of Tello must have been an exception


in the industry of the time.

to inspire in

man

The

desert

is

too bare

the desire for multiple forms and

hixuriant decoration.

It needs, rather, the outer

life

of the

Assyrians with their wars and hunts, to l)ring

al)out

But

it

more prolonged contact with


brings about nothing which

indicated in the bas-relief of Tello,

is

living

forms.

not strongly

where vultures

ANCIENT ART

88

carry off in their claws and tear with their beaks strips
of

human

and

bodies,

with

in the dense black statues

prominent muscles.
II

The

northern Mesopotamia inherits from

of

art

Babylonian art just as Ninevite

Chaldean
speak

men

about the same, for the

is

of the social order

soil,

its

artists

the sky, and the

Only, with the transfor-

are not very different.

mation

from

civilization did

The language which

society.

and the conditions

of

life,

The priestchief, who has

Chaldean positivism has become brutality.

savant has given place to the military


usurped to his profit and that of his class the tempo-

command which

rary

companions

his

The

in battle intrusted to him.

no longer, as
of the priest;
chief,

in

in

hunting and

king, in Assyria,

is

Egypt, the figurehead and instrument

he

is

the Sar, the temporal and spiritual

obeyed under pain

of

The Assyrian

death.

astronomer knows Chaldean science, to be sure, but


his role

limited to compelling the heavenly bodies

is

to voice the desires and interests of his master.

dean star worship,


religion,

positivistic

the Sar

real beings

their

is

This Sar

is

He

is

and

personified just

terrible devourers of

fire

men, and

armed hand.

saturated with hereditary vices, deformed,

before he comes to
old.

naturalistic

power was; the sun, the planets, and

as political

now

essentially

has been transformed with the

The symbols have been

social state.

are

an

Chal-

reign,

by an autocracy

centuries

developed in a frightful solitude by a

Assyria

(viii

Century B.C.)-

Officer, l)as-relief

(Louvre).

ANCIENT ART

90

world of women, of eunuchs, of slaves, officers, and


Luxury and the weight of material life
ministers.

have crushed
is

his heart.

He

is

a sadistic beast.

He

enervated with ennui, with indulgence and music.

;-/

J
'J-

""

THE ANCIENT ORIENT

91

war chariots crush men and beasts and the


bodies of my enemies. The monuments which I

"My

erect are

made

of

cut the heads and


all

those

whom

liuman corpses from whicli I have


I

lie

I cut off the luiuds of

limbs.

I caj)ture ahve."

Suffering exists in proportion to sensibility.

Assyria

(viii

Century B.C.). Lioness


{British Museum).

resting,

It

is

l)as-relief

possible that the Assyrian people did not feel the horror of living, since they never

felt

its

real joy as did

the Egyptian crowds, which confided to the granite of


the

tombs the sweetness and poetry

Killing

is

an intoxication.

By

of

their

soul.

dint of seeing blood

by dint of expecting death, one grows to love


blood, and everything that one does in life smells of
death. Massacre always; battles, and the military

flow,

tide rising or ebbing to carry devastation

Nineveh or

to

turn

it

round about

back upon the surrounding

ANCIENT ART

92

Always the swarming of the nameless masses


putrefaction and misery, in the poisonous vapors
the waters and the devouring fire of the heavens.

peoples.
in
of

When

this people

buildings,

when

butchery,

it

it

not cutting throats or burning

is

not decimated by famine and

is

one function

only

has

to

build

and

decorate palaces whose vertical walls shall be thick

enough to protect the


his slaves

Sar, his wives, his guards,

and

^twenty or thirty thousand personsagainst


invasion,

the sun,

or

Around the

perhaps revolt.

great central courts are the apartments covered with


terraces or with domes, with cupolas, images of the

absolute vault of the deserts, which the Oriental soul


will rediscover

when Islam

shall

have reawakened

it.

Higher than these, observatories which are at the

same time temples, the ziqurais, the pyramidal towers


whose stages painted with red, white, blue, brown,
black, silver, and gold, shine afar through the veils
of dust

which the winds whirl

in spirals.

Especially

at the approach of evening, the warring hordes

the nomadic pillagers,


the

desert

streaked

must recoil in fear.


and resembles those

who

see the

and

somber confines

of

with this motionless lightning,


It

is

the dwelling of the god,

steps of the plateau of Iran lead-

ing to the roof of the world, which are striped with


violent colors

by subterranean

fire

and by the blaze

of the sun.

The

gates are guarded

lions with

On

human

by

terrific brutes, bulls

heads, marching with a heavy

and
step.

the whole length of the interminable walls they

herald the

drama which

unrolls within

the

mytho-

THE ANCIENT OUIENT


and

logical

the

men

of stones

and

from

war,

in

tops of towers into the shower

spears, kings choking lions, the bloody

These

expression.

lie

whose cruelty

epic

men

living hell, the slaughter of

falling

93

increased

is

legs

stiff

in

bv

its

])rofi]e,

mechanical
those torsos

Assyrian Art (vni Century H.C). Basket,


model ill stone (Britifih Musemn).

seen in profile or front view, these arms articulated


jjincers

like

And

dying.
silent

all

if

are

this life thus

rhythm which,

some

resisting,

in

Egypt, communicates to

bas-reliefs of the palaces of

seem to pursue

some

formed never attains that

character of such high spirituality,

as to

killing,

its

it

it

gives the ferocious

Nineveh a force so rigorous


demonstration by its own

impetus.
It

is

bv

this burst of life, arrested in a

^^conventional but passionately

few attitudes

that

alive

all

archa-


ANCIENT ART

94

Certain writers

isms correspond one with another.

have

by a too easy process

tried,

of

reasoning, to

associate the ancient forms of art with the attempts

The Egyptians and the Assyrians

of children.

are

supposed to have traced mere sketches of a superior

As

which was to be reahzed by the Greeks.

figure,

the images

made by

children,

it is

true, the eye

is

in

seen

in front

view and very wide, ilhiminating a face in

profile.

It

is

need

satisfied the

shares with

untiringly

development;

and

the very condition

is

he did so in following

the

willingly

or Ninevite artist

which the child also

for continuitv,

beings and which

all

of his logical

Theban

true that the

uninterrupted

the contours, the definition of the eye

the

lids,

and the

and

floats as

But

it is

profile of the face,

soon as

it

is

by the edge

whose plane

of
of

flees

presented in front view.

only in decorative bas-relief or in painting

the language of convention

that

Egypt and Assyria

which,

reveal this inadequacy of technique

takes

line

awav nothing from the

however,

force of the sentiment

and leaves intact the incomparable conception of


mass and of evocative line. Assyrian art and Egyptian
art represent a synthetic effort

whose power

whose profundity and

of intuition are such that

think childhood capable of anything

when
sion

the Egyptian turns to his true

sculpturehe

reveals in

never again contain so


if

much

it

it is

puerile to

similar.

means

And

of expres-

a science which will

ardor and mystery, even

the social and moral preoccupations of other peoples

animate

it

with a different

more comprehensive

life.

life,

The

indeed a freer and

art of the old peoples

THE ANCIENT ORIENT


develops

itself

within

itself;

it

95

accepts the fixed limits

of the great metaphysical systems

and thus

vented from expressing the multiple and

complex relationships between the being


and the world in movement. Only

to

man, who

is

pre-

movement

in

political

Assyria (vin Century B.C.) The lion hunt,


{British Museum).

religious li})erty will

is

infinitely

and

bas-relief

break the archaic mold, to reveal

already defined in his structure, his

place in the universe.

Assyrian society was particularly far removed from

such preoccupations.
tures of
hero.

war

The

his strength.

derness.

showed a

It

was interested only

in

adven-

was the
glory and

or of hunting in which the Sar

walls of his palace declare his

No

When

desire to better

life,

no moving ten-

thev did not celebrate a killing thev

line of soldiers

on the march to a

killing.

ANCIENT ART

96

When

the Assyrians

left their

burning

to go

soil

down

saw nothing but the effort of the rowers,


they leaned over the waves only to see fish seized by
crabs.
There was nothing like this in Egypt, which
again and again took refuge in that concentration of
mind which gives a quality of inner life and a mystery
to its art.
There is nothing like this even in Chaldea,
where we find feminine bodies outlined in a furtive
to the sea they

caress.

ruins,

within

Amid
and

the

him.

incessant

the

wars,

invasions,

the artist had not the time to look

griefs,

He

served

mental reservations.

He

his

master,

followed

him

and

without

in his military

expeditions against Chaldea, against Egypt, against

the Hittites, and the tribes of the high plateaus.


his train

he hunts the onager

In

in the plains, or goes

with him to seek the lion in the caverns of the Zagros

Mountains.

and not at

He
all

leads a violent

contemplative.

life, full

He

of

movement,

recounts

it

with

brutality.

Assyrian art

an almost

is

of a terrible simplicity.

flat silhouette,

one that

is

Although

barely shadowed

by undulations, alone marks out the form that form


is bursting with life, movement, force, savage character.
One might say that the sculptor ran a knife over the
course of the nerves which carry the murderous energy
to the back, the limbs, and the jaws.
The bones and
muscles stretch the skin to the breaking point.

Hands

upon necks, and draw the bowstring


the blood spouts thick and
black.
Only the human face is without movement.
Never does one see its surface light up with the dull
clutch paws, close

teeth tear, claws rend;

Assyria

Century B.C.). Wild beasts wounded


dead, bas-relief (British Museum).

(viii

and

ANCIENT

98

glow

of the

Egyptian

It

faces.

hard,

always the same

A3XT
is

altogether exterior,

closed, very

monotonous, but

immense eyes, its


very much
arched nose, its thick mouth, its dead and cruel ensemIt is meet that the king, whose head retains its
ble.
tiara and its oiled, perfumed, and curled hair and

by

characterized

its

beard, should be calm as he strangles or cuts the throat


of the monster,

drunk with

fury.

It

is

meet that the

details of his costume, as well as those of his hair-

dressing,

should be minutely

described.

The poor

artist has to concern himself with pitiful things.

flatters his master,

ornaments

his garments,

He

and cares

for his weapons and war equipment he makes his hair


;

glossy;

he represents him as being impassible

strong in combat, larger than those

and

who accompany

him, dominating without effort the furious beast which

he

kills.

legs,

The

terrible

character of the breasts, the

the arms in action, the wild animals rushing to

the attack with muscles tense, bones cracking, or jaws

masked by the artist.


What matter? At that time when a man could not
free himself he had to assume his share of the serviThe Ninevite artist comprehended that is,
tude.
the one really accessible liberty. He was infinitely
stronger than those whose horrible power he had the
grinding,

is

too often

weakness to adore.

The

too elegant, the too coura-

geous Sars with their royal ornaments and their trappings, bore us, and that is the revenge of the sculptor.

What he loved
how he saw the

seizes

us

animals:

overpowers

us.

Ask him

lean horses with thin legs,

nervous, drawn heads, with throbbing

nostrils;

ask

THE AXCIeNT orient


him

to

show you the growHng dogs

99

as they pull at

their chains, or the bristling lions, or the great birds

run through by arrows and

There he
after

is

him,

among

falling

incomparable, superior to

Egyptians,

x^geans,

all

the trees.
before and

Greeks,

Hindoos,

Chinese, Japanese, the Ciothif image makers, and the

Assyria

fviii

The

Century B.C.)-

bas-relief (British

men

of the

Renaissance

in

trophies of the hunt,

Museum).

France or

in Italy.

Under

the palm trees with their rough-skinned fruits he has


surprised the beast at rest,

paws

as

it

muzzle resting on

its

digests the blood

it

seen the beast in combat, tearing

mad

with hunger and rage.

circulate

with

blind

violence

has drunk.
flesh,

The
in

opening

He

its

has

bellies,

forces of instinct

these

contracted

muscles, these beasts falling heavily on the prey, these

ANCIENT ART

100

bodies raised upright, with limbs apart and open claws,


in

these wrinkling muzzles, these irresistible springs,

and these death struggles as ferocious as leaps or


victories.
Never will uncompromising description go

Here a

farther.

are run through

lion

by a

vomits blood because his lungs


spear.

There a

lioness in fury,

her teeth and claws out, drags toward the hunter her

body paralyzed by the arrows that have pierced the


marrow of her spine. They are still terrible when
dead, lying on their backs, with their great paws falling
It

idly.

is

poem

the

murder, and of

of strength, of

hunger.

Even when he puts

day his subjects of


murder in the horrible

aside for a

battle or the chase, his orgies of

chorus of death clamors and roars, the Assyrian sculptor


continues his poem.

Almost as well as the sphinxes

of the sacred alleys of

who guard

the gates give that impression of animal

which makes the strangest creations

unity

imagination re-enter
statue

an

Egypt, the violent monsters

maker

eagle's

of

the order of nature.

Nineveh

lion,

hair,

the

of a

man, a man's

The bull, the lion, the


merged; we get the body or

the hoofs or breast of a bull, the wings

or claws of an eagle, the hard head of a

long

But

of a bull.

and the man are

eagle,

our

not content with fixing

head on the shoulders

head on the neck


claws of a

is

of

beard,

and high

tiara.

man, with his


and lion,

Man

eagle and bull, the being has always the potentiality

and tense harmony it fulfills its


symbolic function, and its violent synthesis of the

of life;

in its brutal

natural forms represents

to

our eyes the power of

THE ANCIENT ORIENT


the

armed animal.

monster

is

generally

As

Egypt, the head

in

human

an

cent homage rendered by the

law which

man

101
of

the

obscure and magnifi-

man

of violence to the

bears essentially within him, the law

which says that blind force


force of the mind.

is

to be overcome

by the

Ill

the horizon of the ancient world this disciplined


The peoples who received
force was rising slowly.
from Assyria the heritage of our conquests and who

On

alreadv had taken over from Iranian husbandry

and the plow, the worship

cult of bread

central

of

force

civilized

life,

the

first

its

of fire, the

philosophic

which Ormuzd and Ahriman


the people of the mountains of the East
personified
were entering history with an ideal less harsh. Masters
notions of good and

evil,

high plateaus, the Medes, after long struggles,


had overturned the empire of the rivers, to spread
over Asia Minor. Then Cyrus had given the hegeof the

and soon all western Asia, from


the Persian Gulf to the Euxine Sea, Syria, Egypt,
Cyrenaica, Cyprus, and the banks of the Indus obeyed

monv

to the Persians,

Only the breasts of the Greeks could


stop the wave at Marathon. But this incessant bindIf
ing together of men and ideas had done its work.
to
subject
remained
the armies of the King of Kings
the frightful discipline which they inherited from the

his successors.

Sars of Assyria, political Persia at least left to the


countries

it

had

just

about as they pleased.

conquered the liberty to

live

The enormous Medo-Persian

ANCIENT ART

102

Empire became a kind of federal monarchy whose


component states, under the direction of the satraps,
kept their customs and their laws. The atmosphere

Phoenician Art.
of the Oriental

world became more tolerable, as was

the case in the Occident


it

entirely.

their

Frieze (Louvre).

Men

when Rome had conquered

cultivated their fields and exchanged

merchandise and ideas

in

comparative peace.

The attempt at a first synthesis, even, was about


be made among the peoples of the Levant.

to

THE ANCIENT ORIENT

108

That attempt would hardly produce a final result


Egypt, fatigued by
either in Egypt or in Greece.
forty or sixty centuries of effort, was being swallowed
up under the deposits

of the river.

HisPANO-Piirp:xiciA.N

Head from

young and too much


ideal of victory

from

Art

(v

Greece was too

Century B.C.).

Elclie {Louvre).

alive not to extract a personal


all

world intrusted to her.

the elements that the ancient

As

to the people of

Syria,

they had already failed in various attempts which


thev had made.

The Phoenicians

lived only for trade.

Thev were forever on the sea, or on the search for


unknown coasts, possessed with a fever for wandering

ANCIENT ART

104

which was fed by their mercantile nature.


with the Mediterranean peoples

with their products

whom

Mingh'ng

they flooded

textiles, vases, glassware,

wrought

metals, trinkets, statuettes hastily imitated from

the original nations for

and intermediaries
tion their hearts.

means

of

bequeath

whom

they

they were the agents

had not the time

They were

all

to ques-

satisfied to serve as a

exchange for the ideas of others and to


the

to

world

the

alphabet,

positivist

invention which the extent and complication of their

commercial writings rendered necessary.

Cyprus, the

combined
heavy and

eternally servile, subjected to their influence,


fallen

with

Assyria

nascent

Greece

in

doughlike forms wherein the force of the one and the


intelligence of the other

were reciprocally hurtful in

the attempt to unite them.

As

to the Hittites, caught

between the Egyptians and the Assyrians and pushed


into northern Syria, thej' were never sufficiently masters

of themselves

justification

of

to

seek in the outer world any

their desire to

cut stone into those

rude bas-reliefs on which remains the moral imprint


of the conqueror.

The

Semites, through the gravity and the vigor of

their history,

might have had the ambition to pick

up the instrument of human education which Assyria


was letting fall the more so since they had absorbed,
by peaceful conquest, the populations of Mesopotamia,
and since their race dominated from Iran to the sea.
But their religion repudiated the cult of images.
Their whole effort was emploj'ed in raising a single
And
edifice, the house of a terrible and solitary god.

THE ANCIENT ORIENT

10."

The Temple

that effort did not produce a final result.

of Solomon was not worthy of that Jewish genius, so


grandly synthetical, but closed and jealous, which

Palace of Persepolis.

Persia.

wrote the poem of Genesis, and whose voice of iron


lias

traversed the ages.

Persia

alone,

civilization,

mistress

could

by

of

the hearths of Oriental

concentrating for a

final

leap

the weakening energies of the peoples she had con-

quered
in

attempt

resume

the soul of antiquity,

of

the course of the two hundred years which separated

lier

appearance

conquest.
ilated

the

in

the

world

and the Macedonian

Egypt, Assyria, and Greece


qualities

of

all.

For two

she

assim-

centuries

she

represented the Oriental spirit declining in face of the

Occidental

spirit

which was issuing from the shadow.

ANCIENT ART

106

She had even the exceptional destiny not to disappear


entirely from history and to show to changing Europe
now very civilized, now very barbarous a genius

sufficiently supple to

of

the Hellenic

welcome, in their turn, the ideas


the Latin

world,

world,

the Arab

world, the world of the Hindoos and of the Tartars;

and yet her genius was sufficiently independent to


emancipate her from their material domination.
If we refer to the testimony of her most ancient

monuments,

disengage a freer and


of Assyria,

when

the period

of

we

less

she was trying to

tense spirit from the force

perceive quickly that the archers of

her processions are not so cruel, that the beasts -whose


throats are cut are not so fearful, that the monsters

which guard the gates or support the architraves

have a

less

The

brutal look.

hieratic spirit of con-

quered Egypt and especially the harmonious

intelli-

gence of the lonians of the coasts and islands

who

were called in by Darius give to these feasts of death


a character of decoration and pageantry which masks

The genius

their ferocity.

ripening,

subsisting at

them.

And

side.

its

Persia from speaking,


lating

of Greece,

which was then

could not endure an original form of art

It

is

it

as

it

could not prevent

denatured her words in trans-

not even necessary to see the

Assyrian monsters before looking at the figures of

Susa in order to
life,

that thev

realize that the latter

are heraldic in

rather bombastic in style.

their

have but
silhouette

The Sassanian

little

and

kings, their

and the great military scenes cut in the


rock at several places in the mountain chain which
prisoners,

THE ANCIENT ORIEN


liorders the Iranian plains
of the rivers,

have a

appearance,

despite

Persia continued

Persia

(vi

to

far

the

10'

1^

and dominates the region

more grand

redoubtable

.ind

discernible

evidence

that

borrow from the peoples with

Century B.C.).

Frieze of the Archers at Susa

(Louvre).

whom

she fought

Assyrians.

Asia

^the

alone

Romans
and

after the

Egypt have possessed

the unshakal)le and gigantic faith that

stamp the form


these

terrible

of our sentiments

natural

walls

Greeks and

and

against

is

of

needed to

our acts on

which the sun

crushes men, or to spend three or four centuries in

penetrating the bowels of the earth in order to deposit


in its

shade the seed of our mind.

ANCIENT ART

108

Amid

these sculptured mountains

we

find the ruins

which giant staircases

of the great terraced palaces to

lead and for the building of which Ninevite architects


had certainly come; and we are astonished that Greek
genius, which in the

same centuries was building

small and pure temples, could have


to the point of marrying without

and

which the serenity

of the

itself pliable

effort its

pomp and

this brutal display of

made

its

own

grace

sensuality, before

Egyptian genius bowed ever

as did the violence of the Assyrian genius.

It was,

however, Ionian Greece that gave the elegance and


the upward thrust to the long columns of the porticos, as

she also draped the archers and gave archi-

tectural style to the lions.


their bases

lotus and

It

was Egypt that loaded

and necks with strong wreaths


fat leaves that

grow

of plants

in the tepid

water of

was Assyria that crowned them with


by the middle of the body to supbroad
port the beams on which the entablature was to be
And the palaces of Nineveh seemed to have
placed.
the rivers.

It

bulls affixed

piled

up here

their chiseled furniture with its incrus-

tation of gold, silver,

and copper,

their cloths

heavy

with precious stones and those thick deep carpets,


changeable in color and shaded like the harvests of
the earth, opulent and vague like the Oriental soul

the carpets which Persia had not ceased to manufacture.

But the decoration

of the royal

dwellings of

and of Susa is less loaded, less barbarous,


and betokens a more refined industrv and a mind
that is humanizing. Enameled brick, with which

Persepolis

the Assyrians,

after

the

Chaldeans,

had protected

S=

>

r--

2.

5'

--

?6

C
"1
C-

ANCIENT ART

no

their walls against humidity,

is

lavished from the top

bottom of the edifice, on the exterior, under


the porticos, and in the apartments. The palace of
the Achemenides is no longer the impenetrable fortress
Still imposing by its rectanof the Sars of the north.
lightened
by its columns, which
gular heaviness, it is
to the

have the freshness

of stalks swelling

flowered with green, blue,

is

with water;

and yellow,

it

brilliant as

lacquer in the sunlight, and reflecting the glow of the

Enamel

lamps.
still

enamel which

nights of

tawny

the glory

is

It

is

the burning days and the

reflects

and the minarets

pearl in the cupolas

sunk under the black cypresses

of the mysterious cities

and the

the Orient.

of

roses.

When

Alexander reached the threshold of these

palaces, dragging behind his

of the ancient civilizations

dispersed

energy.

His

war chariots

all

the old

like the incarnate

symbol

wandering in search

of their

vanquished peoples, he was

dream

of

imiversal

empire

was to endure a shorter time than that of Cambyses


and his successors. Union is to be realized only when
willed by a common faith and when it tends toward
one

by

goal.-!-

Egypt, Chaldea, and Assyria, exhausted

their gigantic production,

of their last winter.

were nearing the end

The Jews,

in their inner soli-

tude, were marching toward a horizon that


perceived.
Orient,

Rome was

now grown

old, that artificial

three centuries later, gave


its

lethargic

cism,

smiled

it

death struggle.
at

her

no one

too young to impose on the

own

harmony

which.^

the illusion of a halt in


Greece, in her skepti-

image.

Meanwhile,

the

THE ANCIENT ORIENT


Macedonian was pretending

111

to the position of

armed

apostle of her thought, and the whole ancient world

was under her moral ascendancy. Despite all, in


that immense floating mass of civilizing energies which
liesitated about their departure for a more distant
Occident, it was still Greece that represented, in the
face of the confused reawakening of brutal

and mystical

powers, the young ideal of reason and liberty.

Persia (Sassanide).

Silver cup

{Bibliotheque Nationale).

MvcEisr.E.

THE SOUR( ES OF GREEK ART

Chapter IV.

condition that we respect ruins, that


we do not rebuild them, that, after having
asked their secret, we let them be recovered bv the ashes of the centuries, the

bones of the dead, the rising mass of


waste which once was vegetations and races, the eternal
drapery of the foliage
emotion.

It

is

of our history,
life

by the

ruin

is

their

destinj-

may

stir

our

through them that we touch the depths


just as we are bound to the roots of

griefs

and

sufferings which

have formed

painful to behold only for the

us.

man who

is"^

incapable of participating by his activity iu the con-

quest of the present.

ANCIENT ART

114

There

is

no more

how

our past griefs

they were able to determine our

There

present actions.

luxury than that of asking

virile

is

no more

virile

luxury than

that of demanding, from the imprints of those who


prepared our present dwelling, the why of the thing

(xix Century B.C.).

JiIgean Period

Phsestos, vase of the reapers, steatite

(Museum

we

that

are.

of Candia).

statue coming

moist out of the

all

earth, a rusted jewel, or a bit of pottery bearing the

trace of painting

is

a witness which

about ourselves than about the


uttered this testimony. Art lives
is

us

in the future.

It

the fruit of the pain, desires, and hopes of the people,

and the promise contained


reach

its

it is

old presentiments of
If

we

in these feelings does not

slow realization until

of the crowds;

much more
bygone men who

tells

later, in

our emotion which

men

are so troubled

the

new needs

tells

us

if

the

did not deceive them.

by the rude

idols,

the jewels.

THE SOURCES OF GREEK ART

115

the vases, the pieces of bas-rehefs, and the effaced

paintings which

we have found

at Tirynth and Mycenae

Crete (xv Century

in

B.C.)-

serpents, faience statuette

at Knossos in Crete,

Argolis,

it

is

precisely,

The goddess with the


(Museum of Candia).

them are more mysterious to


us than the things themselves, and because it is comforting for us to reahze, through these unknown beings.

because

tliose wlio h^ft

ANCIENT ART

116

under

that

the

variation

appearances

of

and the

renewal of symbols, emotion and intelligence never


change in quality. Through the continuing action,

even when obscure and without history, of the generations which

have formed

But they

lives in ours.

ture only

if

their silent

faces in which

or

if

we

we

us, the soul of the old peoples

participate in our

own adven-

animates the stone

spirit still

recognize our eternally

young

desires,

hear the sound of their passage over the earth

crumbling of the temples which they raised.


Egypt, and Chaldea itself, through Assyria and Persia
in the

which prolong their


at our steps.

our time, cast their shadow

life till

They

will

never seem to us very far

Primitive Greece, on the contrary, which does

away.

not enter the world until centuries after them, retreats


much farther back in the imagination, to the very

morning of history. Twenty years ago we did not


know whether the almost effaced imprints, noted here
and there on the shores and islands of the ^Egean Sea,
had belonged to men or to fabled shadows. It was
necessary to hollow out the

soil,

to unearth the stones,

and to cease from seeing only ourselves


order to catch a glimpse of the

in

them, in

phantom humanity

which, before the time of history, peopled the eastern

Mediterranean.

Schliemann,

who took Homer

at

his word, excavated in the plain off Argos from Tirynth

to

Mr. Evans entered the labyrinth of


Crete where Theseus killed the Minotaur.

Mvcense.

Minos

in

Myth and

history

entangle

themselves.

symbol sums up a hundred events

now

of

Now

the same

the

order;

the real event, representative of a whole series

THE SOriU'ES OF GKKKlv ART


of customs, ideas,

and adventures, seems

117

to us to i)nt

on the garb of a symbolic fiction.'


Is it the body of Agamennion that Schhemann found,
})uried in gold, under the Agora of Mycence, and is the
Ilissalrik of the

danelles the

Dar-

Troy

of

What mat-

Homer?

Between Abra-

ter?

ham and Moses,

in

the time when Thebes


dominated Egypt, the
iEgean Sea was alive.

The Pha'nicians had


advanced from island
to island,

to the

life

awakening
of

exchange

the tribes of fishermen

who peopled
clades,

Chios,

the Cy-

Samos, Lesbos,

Rhodes

the

rocks sprinkled broadcast in the sparkling

from the mounand of

sea

tains of Crete

the

the

Peloponnesus

Crete

(xiv

Century

{National Miisevm of

to

of Asia
Through them the sensual and

15. C.)-

-Tar

Aflien.s).

gulfs

]\Iinor.

cruel spirit of

the Orient and the secret spirit of the peoples of the


Nile had fertilized the waves.
Egyi)t, Pelops from Asia,
^

Victor Berard, Lcs Pheniciens

et

Danaos came from

Cadmus from
VOdijssce.

Pho'nicia.


ANCIENT ART

118

From
isle

little

moving world

lived their healthy

one

fishing, coast trade, the small business of

with another, from rapine and piracy, a whole

mean one

prises

and

of sailors, merchants,
life,

corsairs

neither a rich nor a poor one

if we think of the vast commercial enterand the great explorations which the Phoenicians

Their

undertook.

water

the

feet

in

and

their

faces

of the

to

men

the wind, the

yEgean w^ould

carrv

to

the traf-

from Tvre
and Sidon who had

fickers

just entered the


port,

under

blue,

green,

and red

sails,

and

their

their fish

olives

in

vases

painted with marine

plants, octopuses,
seaweed, and other

MyceNvE

(xiii

Century B.C.).

head, silver (Natioual

Museum,

Bull's

Athens).

forms

from

taken

the teeming, viscous


life

of the deep.

It

needed centuries, doubtless, for the

tribes of a single island or a single coast to recognize

a chief, to consent to follow

bloody expeditions to the

him

cities of

afar on cunning

and

the continent, whence

they brought back jewels, golden vessels, rich

stufl^s,

and women. And it was only then that the Achaians


and the Danai of the old poems heaped up those heavy

THE SOURCES OF GREEK ART

119

stones on the fortified promontories, the Cyclopean


walls, the Pelasgic walls under the shadow of which

crowned with gold


kings who sallied forth from the
the

like

Atrides,

later, sat at table before

two thousand years


and

with

wines,

friends

and

the barbarian

forests of the north

the meats

their
t

soldiers.

Such

origins could not

make them

but

subtle

and hard. ^Eschylus


this

when he came

felt

there,

after eight centuries, to


listen in the solitude to

the echo of the death

family.
selected
lair

the

of

cries

frightful

These pirates
sites

for

near the sea

cally

their
tragi-

Mycen.ean Period
turies B.C.).

consistent with
murder and

clay

Vase

{Museum

(xiv-xiii Cen-

of Palai-Kastro,
of Candia).

their life of

the heavy orgies which followed upon their deeds of


crime.

circle of hills

^bare,

devoured by

enlivened by no torrent, no tree, no bird cry.


the

life of

these

men

fire

and

We

find

depicted on the sides of the rudely

chiseled vase of Vaphio,

and on the

strips of wall

remain-

ing beneath the ruins of Tirynth and of Knossos.

There

are bits of frescoes there as free as the flight of the sea


birds;

the art

disintegrating.

rouge on their

is

of a terrible candor,

One
lips,

sees

women

but

is

already

with bare breasts,]

black around the eyes, their flounced

ANCIENT ART

120

bad taste of the barbarian; they


and sophisticated dolls bought in the

dresses betraying the

painted

are

Orient or taken by force on the expeditions of violence.

Here are

bulls

pursued in the olive groves, bulls gallop-

Mycen^an Period

(xii

Century B.C.).

of Vaphio, gold (National

rearing, charging

ing,

Museum,

Vase

Athens).

upon men or tangled

in great

Sometimes there are reapers who laugh and

nets.

among the sheaves of


wheat which they carry, but usually we find the questionable woman, the wild beast, and the marine monsing with tremendous gayety

a voluptuous and brutal

ster;

primitive
or

man

by chance.

that of every

life like

command by

raised to a post of

force

As guardians of the gates of their


up stone lionesses with bronze heads,

acropolis they set

heavilv erect.

away
It

in a

was a

When

thev died these

shroud of gold

leaf.

men were

laid

civilization already rotten, a

Byzantium

in

THE SOURCES OE GREEK ART

miniature, where dramas of the bedroom determined


revokitions and massacres.

It

The Dorian descends from the


rolls

cities

ended

like the others.

hke an avalanche,

norlli

over Argolis and even to Crete, devastating the

and razing the

acropolises.

Legendary Greece
would not have

enters a thick darkness from which she

reappeared

if

the barbarians had not

left,

intact under

the conflagration, such material testimony of her pas-

sage through history as the kings with the masks of


g(ild.

The Phcenicians

])onnesus, of

Attica,

desert the coast of the Pelo-

and

and the native

Crete,

of

poi)ulations, dispersed like a city of bees

host of wasps has descended,

on the shores

swarm

of Asia, in Sicily,

on which a

in every direction,

and

in

southern Italy.

Silence reigns around continental Greece.

It

was

to

be two or three hundred years before the Phoenicians

and the Achaians, driven away by the invasion, could


get back the route to its gulfs.

11

The Dorians had no word


middle ages;

to say during the Hellenic

nothing from Asia entered their land.

The ancient continent was advancing step by step, by


way of the islands, prudently regaining a little of the
lost territory.
Melos, in need of pottery, had to wait
till the Ceramists of primitive Athens had manufactured
at

the

Dipylon,

those

designs which were the


of ci\'ilize(l

life

in

vases
first

with

the

geometrical

sign of the reawakening

barbarous Greece.

We

are here

witnessing a slow dramatic ascent in the shadows of


ANCIENT ART

122

the soul, under this magnificent sky, at the center of

In order that the spark might

this brilhant world.

was necessary that the Dorian, the Phoenician,


and the ancient iEgean who has become an Ionian,
Thereupon the
repair their broken relationships.

kindle,

it

flame mounted quicker to light up the virgin

soil

with

the most dazzling focus of intelligence in history.

Homeric poems echoes picked


up from the annihilated world by the vanquished
and the radiant Greek myths which are elaborated
For

this focus, the

confusedly along the deserted shores are the heralding

dawnlights seen against this black background.


cradle of the Hellenic soul

home

bringing

repeat

from the mountain and

his goats

the Ionian sailor bringing

would

mounts with them on the

In the evening, the Dorian herds-

chariot of the sun.

man

The

home

themselves

to

his

bark from the sea

glorious

fables

which

carried over into images men's old intuitive notions


of the

phenomena

of nature, or translated the struggle

of their ancestors against the adverse forces of the

ill-organized

the

human

The

world.
soul

in

its

enthusiastic

naturism

freshness gave to

its

science a robe of light, of clouds, of leaves,

waters.

The whole

and charming soul

of

young
and of

religion, the philosophy, the austere

of the builders of the

Parthenons

anonymous and tangled poem which rises


with the murmur of a dawn as Greece reawakens to
are in this

life.

The "Greek miracle" was

necessary.

ancient world had prepared, had willed

During the

fruitful

silence

The whole
its

coming.

when the Dorians were

'

Mycen^

(xiii

Century B.C.).

The Gate

of tlie I.ions.

ANCIENT ART

124.

"accumulating within themselves the strength of their

Egypt and Assyria kept their lead. But they


were discouraged and stricken by the cold of age.
The torch, as it grew paler, leaned toward a new race.
They were to become the initiators of the Hellenic
Renaissance, as they had been the guides for the childhood of the peoples of the Archipelago.
The Dorian barbarian, after his contact with less
harsh climates, had disciplined his violence, but he
remained rough, all of a piece, and very primitive.

soil,

His

idols,

oak and

the Xoana, which he cut with a hatchet from

wood

olive

scarcely

two hundred and

fifty

years before the Parthenon, were so rude that they

seem

back than the engraved bone

to date farther

the reindeer hunters.

It

of

to a totally uncultivated

is

Egypt and Asia


high spirituality and

race that the intellectual heritage of

was

to fall;

exchange for their

in

profound sensualism they were to demand the sweep

and power
Dorian
of

the

greater

Greek

of

virility.

coasts, of the islands

The

inhabitants of the

which occupied the center

Mediterranean, saw

eastern

sails

always

in

number coming toward them from the depths

of the sea.

Their contact with neighboring

tions nuiltiplied every day.

maritime routes

crossing of

of the ancient world,

to feel the whole of

The Greeks had


so inundated,

At the

it

civilizaall

the

they were soon

moving within them.

the privilege of inhabiting a land

steeped and saturated with light, so

clearly defined bj^ its

own

structure, that the eyes of

man had only to open, to draw from


man enters a bay closed in by an

it its

law.

When

amphitheater of

THE SOURCES OF GREEK


mountains between an
sky and water that
light, as
uj)

if

under

AR'I'

125

illuiniiiatcd

rays of

rolls

a spring of fianie welled


its

waves, he

is

at the

center of a slightly dark sapphire

The masses

set in a circle of gold.

and the

lines organize

themselves

so simply, cutting such clear profiles

on the limpidity

of space that

their essential relations spontane-

ously impress themselves on the

There

mind.

is

not a country in

the world which addresses


to the intelligence with
sistence, force,
Lliis

one.

and

itself

more

in-

precision than

All the typical aspects

of the universe offer themselves,

with the earth

everywhere pene-

by the sea, with the horizon


bony islands, the
straits, golden and mauve be-

trated

of the sea, the

tween two liquid masses glittering


even

in the heart of the

night,

calm and

the promontories

so

so bare that they

seem natural

})edestals for

our grateful

soul,

the rocks repeating from morning


to evening

all

the changes of space

and the sun, with the dark

forests

on the mountains, with the pale


forests in the valleys, with the
9

Ionian Art.

(End

of

the VII Century B.C.).

Artemis of Delos {National

Museum,

Athens).


ANCIENT ART

126

everywhere surrounding the dry plains, and

hills

bordered by pink laurel

the

streams, whose whole

course one can embrace at a glance.

Except
hills,

one finds tormented

in the north,

lines of

savage ravines, sinister grottos from which sub-

terranean vapors issue with a rumbling sound, black


forests of pine

and oak; except

man

where

of the primitive legends

in the

harsh countries

recounts his effort

to overcome hostile nature, there are few,

appearances;

f^^ing

climate

the

soil

is

and simple.

hospitable, the usual

is

is

Life

active without

Neither misery nor wealth nor

Houses are

poverty.
there

any, terri-

mild, though fairly severe in winter.

is

in this land keeps close to its earth,


excess,

if

of

wood, clothing

and

of skins,

the cold water of the torrents to wash off the

There

dust and blood of the stadium.

meat, that of the goat which grazes

but there

of the rocks, perhaps,

is

is

among
a

little

with resin and honey and kept in skins

not

much

the fissures

wine mixed

there are milk,

bread, the fruits of the dry countries, the orange, the


fig,

and the

or in social

olive.
life

/\There

mystic tehdencies.

rough one

is

nothing on the horizon

which could give birth to or develop


nature religion

exists,

a very

in the beliefs of the people, perhaps even

rather coarse, but welling up from springs so pure

and so poetized by the

losophers think to oppose


extract from

it

But

not turn his

life

it

that

the rational conception of the world

barely hidden in

the gods.

when the phithey do no more than

singers

its

symbols.

Doubtless

man

fears

since the gods resemble him, they

do

from the normal and natural relation-

Dorian Art

(beginning of the yi Century).

as the Apollo of Thera {National

Athlete,

Museum,

known

Athens).

ANCIENT ART

128
ships which bind
priest has

it

The

with that of other men.

but httle influence.

Greece

is

perhaps the

only one of the old countries where the priest did not
live outside the pale of

popular

order to repre-

life in

mysHence the

sent to the people the great


teries as

a world apart.

rapidity of this people's

and the freedom

evolution

of its investigations.

Ill

Greece troubles herself but

little,

and then only at the very beginning


'^

1m

'

of her art,

'\

^A. aSM

with the enemy powers

which hamper our


though

man

first steps.

Al-

already places himself

under the protection of the

intelli-

gent forces, he has not forgotten


the struggles which his ancestor was
forced to maintain against the brutal
forces of a universe

him.

This

memory

which repulsed
is

inscribed in

the sculptures which, on the pedi-

Dorian Art
tury).

(vi

Cen-

Atlilete,

ment of the Parthenon

of Pisistratus,

showed Zeus struggling against Ty-

bronze statuette
(private collection).

phon, or Herakles throwing Echidna


to earth.

barbarous work, vio-

lently painted with blues, greens,

and

reds, a

of avalanches, of terrifying caverns, of the

memory

storms of

was a nightmare of savages still ill taught


by Asia and Egypt, but becoming curious and already
the north,

it

Ionian Art (580 B.C.)-

Hera

of

Samos

(Louvre).

ANCIENT ART

130

The

eager to comprehend.

hell of the

pagans

will last

but a short time.

The temple where


green beards,

these astonished visages with

moreover, in

is,

what

Architecture

which appears

first

is

and

it

the
dies

primordial desire of man, after food,

The

first.

principle,

its

will be in the greatest periods.

collective, necessary art

these bulls,

reign,

these idols

these twisted serpents,

is

is

in order to erect that shelter that,

for the first time,

he appeals to his faculty of discover-

and

shelter,

it

ing in natural constructions a certain logic whence,

by

little

the law will issue forth and permit him

little,

to organize his

The

verse.

according to the plan of the uni-

life

and the

forest

cliffs

are the powerful

educators in the geometrical abstraction from which

man

draw the means of building houses which


are to have a chance of resisting the assault of rain
and storms. At Corinth there already rises a temple
with heavy and very broad columns, coming straight
is

to

mount in a block to the


them still stand. They are
terrible to see, black, gnawed like old trees, as hard
The
as the mind of the Peloponnesian countries.
Doric order came from those peasant houses which

up from the ground


entablature.

one

still

as they

Several of

sees in the countryside of Asia

set in the

ground

in four lines

Minor, trees

making a

rectangle,

supporting other trees on which the roof was to be


placed.

The form

slope of this roof,


rain.

The Greek

of the

which

is

pediment comes from the


designed to carry

temple, even

when

it

most lucid and the most consciously willed

off

the

re. lizes

the

intellectual

THE SOURCES OF GREEK ART


combinations, sends
of

which

On

it is

its

l.'U

roots into the world of matter,

the formulated law.

the sculptures of these temples the

Ionian Art

(vi

Century).

mind

of Asia

Hunters, carved

bronze plaque (Louvre).

has

left its trace.

centur

-,

They

are continued until the great!

but so assimilated

genius' that

in

the nascent Hellenic

on seeing them one cannot think

imitation, but rather of those uncertain

and

of direct

fleeting

ANCIENT ART

132

resemblances which hover on the face of children.

The

archaic Dorian Apollos, those smiling and terrible

statues through which force

mounts

one think,

_ _^

it is

like a flood,

true, of the

make

Egyptian

forms, because of the leg which steps

forward and the arms glued to the

But on

stiff

torso.

the

theocratic

Dorian art

action.

this hieratism

spirit

exercises

is all

no

of a piece,

far less subtle, far less refined, far

than

conscious

less

sculptors of Thebes.

that

of

the

The passages

between the very brusque sculptural


planes are scarcely indicated.

dominates
life

is

What

the need to express the

of the muscles.

It

because these Apollos are

is

The

athletes.

nastics

is

stitution

great cult of

born, that necessary in-

which

is

to permit Greece

to develop the strength of


of legs,

'J.^^

gym-

arms and

while parallel with

it

there

develops suppleness of the

mind

in its

constant search

for the universal equilib-

Ionian Art

(vi

Century).

Athena, bronze statuette


(National

Museum,

Athens).

rium. Alreadv, from

all the!

regions of the Greek world,

from the

islands,

from

the''

young
men come to Olympia and Delphi to contest the crown
In running, in wrestling, and in throwof olive leaA^es.
distant colonies, from Italy and from Asia, the

Dorian Akt

(vi

Century).

{Museum

Head and neck


uj Delphi).

of

a horse

ANCIENT ART

134

The

ing the discus they are nude.

*^

artists,

who hasten

to these national meeting places, like everyone else

who

a Hellene, have before their eyes the

calls himself

spectacle of the

movements

of the

complex play

brown

skin,

which shows them as

themselves, and which


sculpture

is

of the

born

it

in the stadium.

under the

they were bare

It

scars,

was

Greek

to take a

stadium and to

install

the pediments of the final Parthenons, where

was to become the educator

them, of the philosophers.

mind

if

hardened by

is

century to climb the steps of the


itself in

human frame and

of the muscles rolling

of the poets and, after

They were

to feast their

on the spectacle of the increasingly subtle rela-

tionships
of

forms

or

more

which sculpture established


in action.

striking

athleticism,

in

the

world

There was never a more glorious

example

of the unity of

by the intermediary

our activity:

of sculpture, is the

father of philosophy, at least, of Platonian philosophy,

whose

first

concern was to turn against sculpture and

athleticism in order to kill them.

Through the Dorian Apollo Greece passes from


primitive art

to

archaism, properly so-called.

The

artist considers the form with more attention, painstakingly disengages the meaning of it, and transports

that meaning to his work in so uncompromising a

manner that he imposes on it the appearance of an


edifice, whose architectonic quality seems destined
The Peloponnesus becomes the
to know no change.
great training school of the archaic marble workers;
Cleoethas, Aristocles, Kanakhos, and Hagelaides open

workshops at Argos, Sicyon, and Sparta;

the citadel

Endoios (middle of the vi Century B.C.). The


Moscophorus {Museum of the Acropolis).

ANCIENT ART

136

Dorian

of the

ideal becomes, before Athens, the focus

Greek thought.

of

not to find

^he

But Hellenism

nourishment there.

its

in its entirety is

Sparta

is

far

from

routes of the Old World, imprisoned in a solitary

mountain torrents

valley where

flow;

it

is

fertile

but a jealous country, separated from the great horizons by the hard ridges of the Taygetes, which are

covered

with

snow even

which dwells there

and

in

The people

summer.

as closed as the vallev

itself,

these isolated surroundings which are for so

is

it

is

long a time to keep up

on the contrary,

is

its

voluntary egoism.

Athens,

at the center of the eastern

Med-

It is the meeting point


iterranean, and near the sea.
of the positive and disciplined Dorian element, which
mounts from the south toward Corinth, iEgina, and

Attica in

its

search for lands to dominate, and of the

Ionian element which brings to the city, through the


sieve of the islands, the artist spirit of Asia,

made

supple and subtle by the habits of trade, diplomacy^


and smuggling. The glory of Sparta, in reality, is
that of having offered to Athens a virgin soil to fer-

by harassing her without mercj'-,


have kept her in condition, to have compelled her
tilize

and

also,

a long time to cultivate her energy.

by these

struggles,

rioritv.

When

the

was not slow


soldiers

traders of Asia to the

was
in

of

European

in

to
for

Athens, tempered

showing her supe-

Darius followed the


coast,

it

is

she

who

at the head of the Greeks, while Sparta, inclosed

the blind cult of her personal interest, took her

place only after the combat.

Where

are

we

to find the first step of Ionian art in

SOURCES OF GRKKK AUT

Tin:

march toward

its

tlic

dawn

uncertain

healthy

sensualism rendered

Oriental

great

Attica-

137
of the
Ijv

the

sea and sharpened by commerce, which will flood the


Dorian soul with humanity? The Hera of Samos is,

vvvu

j)erhai)s,

as

it

this

is

stiffer

than the Peloponnesian athletes,

nearer to Saite Egypt, which

moment

manity

of its

ons the

legs,

unfolding at

is

and itnesting hieratic form with a huown. A tight slieath of cloth impriswhich are close together, but under the

on water,
hollowed
and
the
the shoulders, the arms, the breast,
back have profiles of a moving grace, and planes which

figure's light veil,

with

lines like those

its

meet one another and interpenetrate wuth the delicacy


It is this spirit of

of a confession.

ness which

From

is

abounding tender-

soon to take root on the Greek continent.

the end of the sixth century Dorian art and

Ionian art were neighbors everywhere without having

At Delphi,

yet recognized each other fully.


threshold

Greece

of

the

Treasurv of the Cnidians, Asiatic

the

saluted

at

with

mysterious

smile

the

rude

maker of the Peloponnesus w^ho had set up the


women, the lions, and the formidable horses in the
The caryatids
I)ediment of the Sanctuary of Apollo.

statue

which supported the Asiatic architrave


secret

women; they had a winged

an animal and

of a dance; they

seemed to guard the

gate of temptation, which led to a


like

w^ere strange,

grace, like that of

warmth

within,

that of the sun, and to untasted intoxications.

The Dorian
countryman
bedecked,

.spirit

and the Ionian

bursting
caressing,

with

vigor

questionable

spirit^

and

met

the

3'oung

the

woman

and

loved.

ANCIENT ART

138

Attic art, which in

its

adult age was to be the great

austere and living, was to be born

classic sculpture,

of their union.

IV

Marble had been skillfully treated in Athens for


more than a hundred years, and the Acropolis, especially
at the time of Pisistratus, had been covered with monuments and statues. But Endoios, the great Athenian
master of the sixth century,
Ionian traditions.

It

still

Median wars that the Hellenic


by the collective
is

the

of

synthesis, before

man-

action of resistance to

ifesting itself

the invader,

remained subject to

was only on the eve

outlined in certain minds.

(^Undoubtedly, a people

too complex an organism,

is

and one whose generating elements merge too

closely

and are too numerous to permit us to determine the


degree of influence of each one of these elements in
1

all

the acts which express the people.

made up

of a

hundred streams,

or brooks which bring to

it,

sand and

jiinit3%

it

flint,

is

like a river

mixed together, the snow

mud

swept down by avalanches, the


forests

It

thousand torrents

of a

of clay countries,

and the coolness and aroma

has crossed.

rolling the

The men working

It

is

of the

the river, a broad living

same waters with the same sound.


at a particular period supply

all

the intermediary degrees which the future needs in


order to pass from one group of
effort
,

and

aspiration,

without

finding

men

in

to another without

them

differences

of

though they themselves had imagined that

they differed profoundly.

And

the

men

of this

time

Ionian Art (end

of vi

Century B.C.).

of the Cnidians, detail

Caryatid of the Treasury

(Museum

of Delphi).

ANCIENT ART

140

are united to those

who

follow

who precede them and

the mysterious continuit^'


fested.

It

is

of

not possible to

to those

relationships wherein

them by necessary

our activity
fix

the

is

moment

manior to

designate the work in which the Hellenic soul, as


call it to-dav, tried to define itself for

We
sess

the

first

we

time.

can only turn our eyes to those works which posthe first quiver of life, over which there seems to

pass the

first

order that

breath of liberty and spiritual joy, in

we may

surprise in

them the awakening

new humanity to the beauty of li\nn^'^


The young women found near the Erechtheion,
twenty years ago, amid the rubbish of the foundations
of the Parthenon, where the Greek workmen had put

of a

them after the sacking and burning of the Acropolis


by the soldiers of Xerxes, were, perhaps, the first who
had the smile of intoxication which announces the
awakening. Undoubtedly the perfume of the islands
was predominant with them. They think above all
of pleasing; they are feminine; an invincible amorous
force shines from them and accompanies them with a

murmur

of desire.

But on

seeing the surety of their

planes and their definite and powerful equilibrium,

we cannot doubt that the Dorian

artisan,

who was

then working at ^Egina, Corinth, and even Athens,

had had repeated contacts with the Ionian immigrant


whom the Persian conquest had driven back to the
Occident.

Brought from the Orient by the adventurers


sea

the

men who

savage tales

these

of the

told such lying, intoxicating,

women

take good

care not

and
to

THE SOURCES OF CxREEK

WW

Ul

shock the hard, austere world wliicli they have come


They remain motionless, holding up their
to visit.
Their red hair, which hangs on
robes with one hand.
their

backs and whose tresses

fall

on each side

of

necks to rest on their

their

})reasts,

and curled; it is
dved, doubtless, and streams
with jewels. Sometimes

is

plaited

their foreheads are diademed,

wrists

their

bracelets,

encircled

with

their ears loaded

From head

with rings.

to

foot they are painted, with

and yellow,
eyes of enamel

blue, red, ochre,

and

their

glow

in their smiling faces.

These creatures so barbarously

dazzling

illuminated,

and bizarre as the l)irds of


the tropics, have the strong
savor of the painted and

adorned women
Orient; they are

of the

somewhat

vulgar, perhaps, but fascinating

none the

from afar

less, like

off, like

things

We

not exhaust

from
10

{Museum

of the vi

Orante

of the Acropolia).

fairy-tale

beings, childish animals,


beautiful.

Ionian Art (end


Century B.C.).

pampered

slaves.

They

are

love them with a tenderness which can-

itself.

The whole

their firm, slender flanks.

after- world has issued

ANCIENT ART

142

They have overturned the

curious notions that were

bv academic idealism. For three hun-1


dred years it regarded immaculate marble as a sentimental emblem of serenity one which never existed,
anchored

in us

save in the minds of certain philosophers, at the hour

when

was

Greece

approaching

her

decline.

white marble also stood for a perfection which,


to be hoped,
osity,

and

we

effort

shall

not attain

discontent,

being the very condition of

And
it

is

curilife.

Until the complete unfolding of her art in any case,

and probably

until her fall,

and her temples.


alive like

Greece painted her gods

Variegated with blues and reds,

men and women,

the gods

became animated

at break of day, took part in the surprises and joys


of the light,

and moved

They

shadow.

in the

depth of the gathering

belonged to the

crowd that swai-med\

at the foot of the Acropolis, the busy, noisy, familiar

crowd

of a port leading to the Orient;

of the dirty alleys

We

of offal.

see

they came out

where stray dogs fought for scraps

them pass before the shop windows


its quarters of mutton
of spice, its dyed stuffs,

where the port spreads out


and lamb, its fruits, its heaps

and

its

glassware;

they are in the colorful squares so

and calls of the odors of garlic, rotting


and aromatic herbs. We see the naked children,
the questionable traders, the sailors hardened by the

full of cries

food,

wind, the

women

with the painted eyes, dressed in

The temples and the monutheir garish clothing.


ments covered with ochre, with vermilion, green,
azure, and gold, are made up of the tones of the sky,

greenish

of the space over the sea

or flushed with

THE SOURCKS OF (JREKK


have the colors

purple, they

Airr

143

of the sea, violet or blue,

and dry

of the earth, of its dress of thin c-roj)s

foliage,

with the milkv olive trees and the black cvpresses as

they marry their forms to the ever-present forms, of

and the

the sinuous bays

the statue

maker?

and the firmness

It

What

hills.

is

the role of

to balance, in the lucidity

is

of his intelligence,

all

these scattered

elements, so that on their apparent chaos he

may.

impose clear relationships and harmonious directions.

The Apollonian myth kept watch


ness

obscure

primitive faith

strange

yet,

as

of the

but

and swelling with

Athenian marble cutters.

women who had

Athenian fortress

solid

in the conscious-

taken

possession

could not have unnerved

of

for

The
the

more

than an hour the city's resistance to the Asiatic hordes


which they had preceded by only a short time. Already

and sentimental excess represented


by their polychromy had been held in check at every
point by clear-cut planes and precise contours, thereby
These planes
sustaining its alluring, smiling action.
the element of orgy

and contours mark the Athenian's extraordinary urge


toward domination of the sensual impulse by the
virile

health of his nascent reason.

The miraculous

and fatigued soul of Asia recovers its strength and


its faith upon contact with this fierce energy, which
enlightens with intelligence in an unexpected
it
exchange.

when

We

reached

the

mysterious

hour

the flower will unfold to the light the tremble

of its i)etals,
in

have

llieir

which

till

green sheath.

haps, man's

now had been


These

idols

pressed together
represent,

per-

finest effort to discover in his conscious-

ANCIENT ART

144

There

ness the approbation of his instinct.

in

is

them

a tension of soul which moves us, an energy devoted

wholly to searching out our agreement of an hour with

harmonv we

a world whose secret

Ingenuous as youth, perverse as

us.

within

feel to live

desire,

and as free as the will.


With them Greek archaism possessed

they are

as firm

may be

very dangerous because

risk of never escaping from

Egyptians.

It

is

it,

admirable.

a more elevated form

it

com-

itself

pletely of that architectural conception of

form which

carries with

it

the

as in the case of the


It

is

necessary.

in the eyes of

It

is

some than the

balanced expression of our earthly destiny which the


fifth

century was to realize

adhere to

it,

however,

among

the Greeks.

To

to pause over appearances of

is

the absolute, beyond which intuition can advance no

and

farther,
in

to forbid the intelligence to search out,

relationships with

its

the surrounding world,

general conception of humanity.


of

It

its

to be afraid

is

approaching the mystery which we know to be

impenetrable and which forever retreats, in the meas-

we advance.

ure that

having been

And

it

is

human

enter

To

reproach Greek art with

to reproach

man

for existing.

to forget, indeed, that the art of the fifth

century, even

form to

is

let

when

it

broke the frames of archaic

the palpitation and the atmosphere of

them by

torrents,

retained

all

which make the strength and the austerity


form.

life

the principles
of that

"

The Egyptian statue maker and the Greek statue


maker of the earlier centuries, preoccupied solely with

Ionian Art (end

of tin- vi

{Museum

Coutury B.C.).

of the Acropolis).

Orante

ANCIENT ART

146

establishing the architecture of their ensembles before

they penetrated to the dense world of gestures and


feelings, discovered the

law of

profiles

and by

But

founded the science of sculpture.

so doing

the element

which animates the block, which gives life to the


is lacking, or, at least, it takes on a metaphysical

form,

meaning which separates


the

human
to

fatally

the desert of

closed on every
for

time in

all

it

more each day from


and leads it
pure abstraction which is
a

little

significance of our activity

Egyptian sculpture, arrested

side.
its

movement, unable to extend

its

research, set itself the task of rendering subtle the

passage,
bintls

the

wave without beginning

problem to the extent

and because

it

of losing sight of the

mother

it

departure for the prob-

of

thus forgot, Egyptian art died

without hope of resurrection.

Saite sculpture

only timid attempts at independence


the same task,

it

docility of clay,

it

it let

the

light

soil.

inflections

of

it

its

it

made

recommenced

imposed on granite and bronze the

saw

in

them the undulation

and shade glide over them

But

end which
in this

form which was the point


lem;

or

was absorbed

one plane to another;

exhausted

itself

in

of water,

like clouds

over

modulating the

dream much sooner than Theban

sculpture did, because Thebes, at least,

made a

long

effort to reach the formulation of this dream, and

because after this dream nothing m6re remains


external world

is

forever banned.

touch the earth again.

if

the

Antaeus needed to

The Greek

sculptor, free to

explore the world of appearances at his ease, did not


fail

to perceive that in discovering the relationships

THE SOURCES OF GREEK ART


of the planes

he was to discover the

ties

U7

which bind

phenomena of the
to man and to one another
The passage,
senses which reveal the universe to us.
all

the

wherein the Egyptians saw only a metaphysical exer^however admircise

with

becomes,

able,

the Greek, the instru-

and

of sensuous

ment

rational investigation.

After
ivas

him

the

passage

the sculptural

to

plaue what philosophy


is to science.

It

that

is

on this account

we

love the

little

])ainted idols, the


astonished

and bar-

barous orantes of the


j)rimitive

Acropolis.

They are at the point


of highest tension

which we find

in

Greek thought, at the

decisive moment
when human genius is
to choose the path

it is

Ionian Art (end of the vi Century).


Samian woman

{Museum
to take,

'i'he

Athens, at the head of the Greek

one of

its

finest

spectacles.

physical strength in sacrifice

vf the Acropolis).

Median wars came.

cities,

gave to history

She was to tempfer her


and suffering, she was to

use the repose of mind, which the war was to bring her,
to bequeath to the next generation

immense

intellectual
I

ANCIENT ART

148

reserves that rush forth in forests of marble, tragedies,

and triumphal

odes.

Thus always,

in the course of

our history, the great flowering of the mind follows

men of action engender


men of thought. We are approaching the hour
when human enthusiasm had its hour of most powerful
the great animal effort, and the

the

The creatures of marble, so full of energy


and sweetness, who peopled the citadel, had just been
finished when the Persians mutilated them; ^schylus
fights at Marathon, Pindar makes the branches of the
exaltation.

sacred tree tremble in the wind of his verse, Sophocles,


as a boy, bares his bod}' to sing the Paean on the shore
of Salamis.

to

Such

vitality uplifts the artists

who

are

work among the ruins of the Acropolis, that, instead


up anew the statues which have been thrown
earth, they find them good enough only to support

of setting

to

the pedestal of the statues which sleep within them.

The Acropolis of Athens.

Chapter V.

PHIDIAS

HE philosophic sculpture is born of liberty


and

dies because of

it.

The

slave in

Assyria could describe vividly the things

he was permitted to

see;

in

Egypt, he

could give a definition of form as firm

bowed him down,

as the discipline which

as full of

nuances, as moving as the faith which sustained him.

The
the

free
life

man

alone gives

of his emotion,

we reach the

crest

of

life

and

to the law, lends to science


sees that in his

that continuing

attaches us to things in their entirety

when science kills his emotion.


The artist of to-day is afraid
not

fall

a victim to them.

He

of words,
is

own mind

wave which
day

until the

when he does

right to refrain

from

ANCIENT ART

150

listening to the professional philosopher

from following him.

to refrain

He

is

and especially
wrong to be

Also, if we have
no right to forget that Phidias followed the discourses
of Anaxagoras, we recognize that he might, without
afraid of passing for a philosopher.

^e'

.^GiNA (beginning

of the

v Century).

have been ignorant

loss,

upon

life

Temple

of

of metaphysics.

Athena.

He

looked

with simplicity, but what he could see of

developed

in

him

it

so lucid a comprehension of the rela-

tionships which, for the artist,

make up

its

unity and

minds skillful in generalizing could


work the elements out of which the
modern world has come. Phidias formed Socrates
and Plato unknown to themselves, doubtless when

continuity, that

extract from his

^It

must be

recalled that Socrates

worked as a

sculptor.

PHIDIAS
lie

materialized for them, in

151

the elearest,

veracious,

and the most human

mysterious

affinities

which give

life

of

the most

languages,

the

to ideas.

mi'f

Attic Art (about 475).


{National

We

Demeter of
Museum, Athens).

see the philosophic spirit as

beginning of the

fifth

century,

astonished at the daylight;

it

it

still

Eleusis

is

born at the

hesitating

and

appears already in the

"Cliarioteer" and in the statues of Mgina.

Sculptural


ANCIENT ART

152

which

science,

not obhged to copy form, but rather

is

to estabHsh the planes which reveal the profound law


of structure

and the conditions

of equilibrium of

The "Charioteer"

sculptural science already exists.


is

as straight as a tree trunk;

within

it,

one sees how

a theorem

It is

rigid robe, in its

ground,

its

one

feels the

defined

narrow bare

But

somewhat abrupt

wave

slow

fits

and

framework
contours.

all its

the folds of

starts

fixed

its

mus-

fingers, in its

circulates

its

on the

feet planted flat

broad neck,

its

cranium,

by
in

nervous arm and open

cular shoulders,

round

it is

of bronze.

form

and

eyes,

which

by

convey from

tries to

one plane to another the integrally conceived forces


of

The same

which determined these planes.

life

implacable surfaces, the same harsh passages, are in


the warriors of .Egina, with something more;
is

which leads from one

here, in the abstract, a course

figure to another across

empty

there

and which thus

space,

creates a continuing whole, even

if still

a troubled one,

lacking in suppleness and partaking of the mechanical;

but

in

it

an

irresistible sense of relationship

the firm flower


full

only half open, and

awakens;

demands

it

its

expansion.

There

The

is

is

no break

plastic evolution

in a single pure

we

in the conditions

are stud^'ing.

and the moral evolution mount


Antenor has already erected

wave.

the Tyrannicides on the Agora

unroll in the frieze of the temples,

^the

symbolic myths

and the great national

wars mingle the divinities with the

The athlete
become tlie god,

soldiers,

pediments of /Egina.

is

man, the man

until the

is

to

to

on the

become the

moment

Triumpluuit cliariotccr

{Museum

(4G''2

of Delphi.)

B.C.).

ANCIENT ART

154

when the

artists,

having created the god, find

the elements of a

Myron have

Polycleitus and

new humanity.

already

him

in

taken from

form

the

the

of

and the discus

wrestler, the runner, the charioteer,

thrower the idea of those harmonious proportions which shall


best define the masculine
its

body in

function of uniting strength,

nervous grace, and

skill, agility,

moral

To

calm.

belong

the Dorian,

gathered power,
in repose; to

nian, belong

movement,
planes

show
the

virile

and

rude

harmonj'

Myron, the Atheharmony in

virile

vigor

the
the

of

Polycleitus,

the

in

muscles, which

in a vibrant silence

tendons

contracted

when
press

hard on the head of the bones,

bottom
which repose the nerves and

when the furrows


of

at the

conveyors of

arteries,

energy,

hollow themselves out at the

moment when the tendons grow


The one establishes the
taut.
Attic Art (v Century).
Dancer, bronze statuette
{Bibliotheqne Nationale)

profound

human

architecture

body,

its

that of a bare

the

of

strength

like

column ^and

its

symmetry, which the gesture and the modeling scarcely break in order that the theorem may be

visible

established

upon

sensation.

The

other discovers the

Dorian Art
{From

(v Century).

Athlete

the cast in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts).

ANCIENT ART

156

theorem

in the heart of sensation itself, to

which the

living arabesque returns as a geometrical abstraction,

with the whirl of


all its

surfaces.

all its

By

volumes, with the quiver of

the one,

man

is

described in his

by his vertical frame, by the sheaves of


the arm and leg muscles whose precise undulations
mark out or mask the skeleton, by his straight belly,
stable form,

broad, sonorous chest, the circle of the collar bones

and the shoulder blades carrying the column of the


neck, the round head with its glance which continues
By the other, he is described in
it without a break.
It

his action.

remains for Phidias only to penetrate

Myron

the statics of Polycleitus with the dynamics of

by planes more broad


and more mingled with the light and he has made
the marble glow with a higher life and given a heroic
meaning to that form and this action. In a few years,

in rounder, fuller masses, defined

which

fl;\'

human

with the swiftness of

anthropomorphism

imagination,

ripens.

II

mouth
of its comic poets who had, however, been formed by
the great works and fed by the myths of the past,
Read in the
this race needed to proclaim its faith.

And

here

is

an admirable thing

"Peace" the moving,

Even by

the

religious saying of Aristophanes:

"The exiling of Phidias brought on the war. Pericles,


who feared the same fate and who distrusted the bad
By
character of the Athenians, cast away peace.
.

Apollo, I was unaware that Phidias was related to

PHIDIAS
that goddess.

Now

157

know why

she

is

so Ixnmti-

The whole of anthropomori)liic ideahsm is in


The Greek makes his gods in the image

ful."

that speech.
of

man, and

he god

man is lofty in mind.


On this simple soil,
as

this healthy race, religious

l)y

naturalism was to reach

and moral laws

beautiful, to the extent that

is

its

goal of deifying the natural

men and women.

The

jjoet

came,

Dorian Art (about 400 B.C.). Tcmijlt- of Zeus al Olympia.


Combat of Centaurs and Lapiths (Museum of Olympia).

symbols gave resplendent visages to these


deifications.
What the Greek really adored w^hen he

and

his

was matured and liberated was the accord between


Whatever may have been said
his mind and the law.
of it, anthropomorphism is the only religion that
science has left intact, for science is the law deduced
from the aspects of life by man, and only by him. Our
conception of the world
of its existence

The

and

of

is

the only proof w^e can offer

our own.

personified laws,

the gods

who have become

real beings for the

crowd, are not tyrants, not even

men

they are other men, more accom-

the creators of

plished in their virtue,

They have
'

11

more

the faults and

grandiose^ in their disorder.


I

lie

impulses of iihmu

lliey

ANCIENT AR

158

'

carry the latter's wisdom and beauty

where these become

human
which

it

is

fateful

forc<

opposed by

human

our business

againsi

ideal

the degree

'o

are

'J'hey

-,

the

the laws

passitms,

resistance of

tJie

egoism and of the elements of natuieto deduce from


Herakles combats the acci-

the world and to obey.

dent, the thing that retards

He

toward order.

enters the forests to beat the lions

he dries up swamps, he cuts the throats of

to death,
evil

and opposes our progress

men and overpowers

His hairy arms, his

bulls.

knees, and his breast bleed from his struggle with the

He

rocks.

protects the childhood of the organizing

At

will against

the adult brutality of things.

Prometheus

starts out for his conquest of the lightning

that

The Greek

to sav, of the mind.

is

the priest.

He

_/f

man

creates his

Thus from the man

ideal,

fire

from him.

The god

pain, but he cries out in revolt

comes to cut

until Herakles
it,

the

tears

him down with

willing

terrible distances

the soul and the flesh through the hand of

kills

nails

refuses to

have anything to do with the god of

who

his side,

By

his bonds.

own

dint of

liberty,

to the god,

from the

real to the

from acquired adaptions to desired adaptions,

the hero threads his path.

splendid effort,

rejoins

The human mind,

in

Polytheism

the divine law.

organizes the primitive pantheism, and, with admirable

audacity, brings out the spirit of


this flame,

when

it

tries

to

escape,

thinking that

it, little

which Prometheus seized

for a

moment,

consume the world.

will,

The

sensation of spiritual infiniteness that Egyptian art


gives,

and

of

material

infiniteness

that

Hindoo

art

PHIDIAS
be found

gives, is not to

Hellenic sonl.

15!)

the art that expresses the

in

We find in this art an accent of balanced

liarniony which

it

alone has, and which keeps witliin

the hmits of our intdh'^j-ence.

Dorian Art (about 4G0


Centaur carrying

B.C.).

But

Temple

the

of

inteihgence

Zeus at Olympia.

a Lapith {Museum of Olympia).

off

cannot grasp the beginning and the end of the melody


with which

it is

bound together

cradled.
in a

All forms

and

deep solidarity;

law, i>asses into divinity.

universe of which the city

all

forces are

one passes into

Doubtless, in the enormous


is

the definitive image, there

are antagonisms, there are action and reaction, but


partial conflicts are effaced

and melted

in

all

the intel-

ANCIENT ART

160
lectual order

which

man

Heraditus has just

founds.

affirmed, together with the eternal flow of things, the

and

identity of contraries
in universal
It

is this,

Magna

profound agreement

their

eurhythm.

above

all,

that the old pediments of Olympia

Temple

Gr.ecia (about 450 B.C.).

of

Neptune at

Paestiun.

Earthquakes have shaken them


from their place, man has broken them and dispersed
their pieces, the overflow of the Alpheus has washed

came

to teach us.

away

their violent

with

terribfe

torsos,

gaps,

poljxhromy.
often

Even

without

as they are,

heads,

without

almost always without limbs, held by iron sup-

ports, they

remain one, coherent and integral as when,

at the foot of

Kronion

in Altis,

forests peopled with statues.

they towered over the

Inflamed with passion.

l(i

PHIDIAS

virgH|s.

centaurs drag away the


arunk with wine, the
the
fingers twist and loosen
Fists and elbows strike;
great bodies
hands; knives kill, and the

.rasp of other
the sound of the hammering
:ink under the ax, to
The brute dies,
sobs, and of imprecations.
hoofs, of

embrace
loins and his savage
but the fever burns in his

Temple of Zeus
Dorian Art (about 460 B.C.).
Servant {Museum of Objmpia).

tightens anew.
of the

new

Here everything

is

faith, violence of the old

at Olympia.

rude action, ardor

myths which

retold

the primitive forests where


the tale of the abductions of

Broad,
terror.
was menace, assault, and mysterious
with great strokes
animated modeling and surfaces cut
murder
struggle, of desire, of

all

and death.

mood of
And withal,

the scene.

One might

carry out the

over
a sovereign calm hovers
call

it

a surging, roaring sea

ANCIENT ART

162

which none the

less

because

harmony
the same
fall

forms an immense and tranquil

wave

the

forces hollow

it

out,

continuous,

is

up,

lift it

because

and make

it

forever, to arise forever.

Some Dorian iEschylus sculptured this great thing


when tJie fusion of the Apollonian soul and

at the hour

of Dionysian intoxication caused tragedy to well

from the breast

of orgiastic music,

up

when a prodigious

equilibrium maintained the mystic agitation in the

flame of the mind; and he


of

an instinct

of

felt within him the tremor


harmony which did not end with the

horizon seen by his eyes.

In

the things he hears

all

other things resound, distant echoes are born to swell

away little by little there


movement of which the germ

progressively and to die


is

in nature not a single

and the repercussion cannot be traced in all movements which manifest nature. In the sculpture of
Olympia there is an enchaining of causes and effects
which has

its

perfect logic, but which

with the discovery of


prolongs
himself

it

its

itself.

is still

The mind

unbroken so that he

may

intoxicated

of the artist

gather up into

One moment more

tumult and passion.

and Phidias transforms it into


which mark the expansion of the

spiritual

harmonies

intelligence into the

fullness of love.

Ill

With him modeling


yet a trade,

it is

is

no longer a

a living thought.

is

not

The volumes,

the

science,

it

movements, the surge that starts from one angle of


the pediment to end at the other ^everything is sculp-

Myron.

The

discus thrower.

Copy

of the Greek.

{National Museum, Rome).

ANCIENT ART

164

from within, everything obeys inner forces in


order to reveal their meaning to us. The Hving wave
tiired

runs through the hnibs,

rounded or extended by

they are instinct with

it;

it

it,

models the heads of the

bones and, as ravines cut into a plain,

it

indents the

glorious torsos from the secret belly to the tremble

The sap, which rises in it and


to pulsate, makes of each fragment of the
even when broken, a moving entity which

of the

hard breasts.

causes

it

material,

participates in the existence of the whole, receiving


life

from

higher

life

in history

tuous

life

icated

and returning

it

binds

darity

the

to

it.

An

organic

triumphantly.

soli-

and the only time


merged and confounded with the tempes-

of the soul, for the first

above a world intox-

of the elements, rises

and strong

which cannot

From

life

together

parts

in the

immortal youth of a moment

last.

the dusk of morning to the dusk of night the

pediments spread out their

scroll

of

life.

In them

peace descends with the night and light mounts with

From the two arms of Phoebus, which


from
the horizon, stretching out toward the
emerge
peak of the world, to the head of the horse whose
the

day.

is

already in the shadow at the other side of the

life

grows, marches on without haste, and dimin-

body
sky,

ishes.

The whole

of

life.

Without interruption these

forms continue one another.


tion they

come

forth from the earth and, in the air

from which they draw their

and mingle

Like peaceful vegeta-

their foliage.

life,

unite their branches

Alone or entwined, they

continue one another, as the plain into which the

hill

PHIDIAS

16.5

up to the mountain, the


the
sea absorbs and the
which
liver and its estuary
bay which goes from promontory to promontory.
The shoulder is made for the brow which lies on it,
melts, the valley that reaches

the

arm

for the waist

which

Sicily (v Century).

lends

its

it

embraces, the ground

Temple

of Scgesta.

strength to the hand that presses on

arm that shoots up from it


that holds up the half-reclining
(he

like a

torso.

it,

to

rough tree and


It

is

limitless

space that goes to mingle with the blood in the breasts


antl, when one looks at the eyes one would say that
at

the depths of their motionless pools space weds

with the spirit which has


recover

its

vigor.

come

to repose there and to

The mechanical

course

of

the

heavenly bodies, the sound of the sea, the eternal tide


of its

embrvos, and the unseizable

flijjht

of universal

ANCIENT ART

160

movement

pass incessantly into these profound forms

to blossom into intelligent energy.

great and solemn

whose rhythm

Man

prolongs nature,

determining, at each

in his heart,

is

and

beat, the .flux

moment

Consciousness

reflux of his soul.

explains instinct and

higher function, which

fulfills its

to penetrate the order of the world, that

is

obe}'

The

the better.

it

soul consents not to

the form, but to express

it

may

abandon

through the form, and

itself

its single light flash out at the contact.


The
mind is like the perfume of man's necessary sensualism,
and the senses demand of the mind that it justify their
desires. Reason does not yet weaken sentiment; instead
sentiment acquires new strength by marrying with
reason.
The highest idealism never loses sight of the
actual elements of its generalizations, and when the

to let

Greek

models a form

artist

in

nature

shines with

it

a spontaneous light of symbolic truth.

Greek

at

art,

moment.

reaches

time,

this

the philosophic

It

is

a thing of living change.

in its desire,

it

lives

elements of

its ideal

in the law, the

because

it

demands

constructions.

man and

the

Idealistic

It

is

of life the

the species

woman, the horse and the

ox, the flower, the fruit, the being exclusively described

by

its essential qualities

the exercise of
time, a

man, a

its

and made to

normal functions.

horse, an ox, a flower,

She sums up

its

is,

and a

great Venus, peaceful as an absolute,

whole race.

live as it

It

is

at the
fruit.

willed

hopes, she fixes

is,

in

same

The

by the

its desire,

but her swelling neck, her beautiful ripening breasts,


her moving sides

make

her alive.

She lends her glow

Myron.

The

Fragment uf
Museum, Rome).

discus thrower.

{National

a Greek copy

ANCIENT ART

168

to space which caresses her, touches her sides with


gold,

makes her

hiiigs rise

she mingles with

when
y

it.

and

She

the unseizable instant

is

eternity meets universal

This

state

life.

wherein

equilibrium,

of

It penetrates her,

fall.

the

all

vital

powers seem to hang suspended in the consciousness


of man before bursting forth and multiplying under
forms,

definite

highest

of the

imparts
class.

its

Acropolis,

the

express

his pupils,

sculptor

art

of

the architects

same

the

Greek

all

The anonymous

Olympia and Phidias and


of

to

force

relations,

the

universe brought to

same prodigious and blended


the human scale, the same type of reason, superior
to the accidents of nature and subordinated to its
laws.

But the language

of each

one remains as per-

sonal as his body, his hands, the form of his forehead,

the color of his eyes, the whole of his elemental sub-

which

stance,

is

written into the marble by the same

stroke that renders the universal order which he haa

understood and marked with

its

external form.

the faith, the almost savage sweep of the

made

See^

man who

the statues of Olympia, his rugged and broad

phrase.

See the religion, the sustained energy, the

reserve of Phidias, his long, balanced phrase.

See, in

the encircling frieze, the discretion of his pupils

who

have neither his freedom nor his power, but who are
calm as he is, because, like him, they live in an hour
Man, the animals, and the elements,
of certitude.
everything consents to

its role,

and the

artist feels, in

his fraternal heart, the joy of this consent.

the same spirit that he

tells of

the

warmth

It
of

is

with

women.

PHIDIAS

1G9

the strength of men, and the rumination of oxen.


life

as glorious as the

meaning

summer!

of his activity;

it is

by what

is

that he frees himself and cultivates himself;

himself that he humanizes

Phidias

(?),

(about 440 B.C.).

Partlu'iioii.

The

The bad Roman


last

what

INIan has seized the

is

around

around him
it is

liim.

Tympanum

liorse of niglit {Jiriti.sh

through

of the

Museum).

copies of works belonging to the

period of Greece, the soft goddesses, the draped

gods brandishing their

and works

lyres, the figures

of the school

niated Greek art.

have

from literature

for a long time

calum-

It expressed to us a colorless people,

as.suming a theatrical attitude to overaw(^ the future.

The

artificial

heroism

liid

the real heroism, and the

ruggedness and freshnes.s of the primitive were effaced

ANCIENT ART

170

by the

of

fictions

We

the Alexandrine romancers.

vised to describe the draperies of the "Fates" before

having seen their knees, the shelter of their

abdomen, and

their torsos

warm

mounting with the power

Tympanum of the
Phidias (?), (about 440 B.C.).
Parthenon. Theseus {British Museum).
and tumult

of a

wave

to the absent heads which

we

divine as leaning over in confidences and confession.

The anatomy of the "Theseus" and the "Ilyssus"


masked the formidable life that swells and dilates
them and makes its pulsations pass even to the fragments that have disappeared. The "Panatheniac
Frieze" revealed to us the manner in which girls walk
as they bear burdens, flowers, and sheaves, how horsemen defile, the tranquillity of intelligent strength dom-

PHIDIAS
inating brute strength,

step

to

how oxen go

the slaughterhouse and

forgotten that these were


lived,

171

who had loved and

with the same

We

work.

to

had

men and women who had


suffered,

and beasts which

used to dig the furrows in the thin plain of Attica, and

whose

fat

Phidias

and

(?),

flesh

used to burn on the

(about 440 B.C.).

The

Tympanum

Fates, detail {British

altars.

of the Parthenon.

Museum).

Whether the mutilated marbles which carrv Greek


thought from the frontiers of archaism to the threshold
of the

decadence are wrestlers or virgins, the ease of

strength shines from them, and an irresistible sweetness.

When we come

effigies of

feel

after

forth

from

the

murderous

Assyria qr the silent statues of Egypt

we

ourselves brought back into the living universe,

having attuned the primitive instincts to the


ANCIENT ART

172

The obsessing anguish and the


memory; we breathe deeply, we
find ourselves to be what we did not yet know we
were; we are the beings imaged by our presentiments.
world of the mind.
terror retreat into

The Parthenon

IcTiNos.

We

have seen the athletes

light, as

numerous
faces

robes,

great flowers

hand
is

like

left

arise quite

starting

naked

in the

and the young,

as the old beliefs,

astonished

has

(447-432), Athens.

from the blue and green

amid the

fields.

Demeter

the ruins of Eleusis, tenderly to place in the

of the

calm Triptolemus the grain

to give bread to men, and with

it,

of

wheat which

science

and peace.

Blind desire and divine modesty, the eternal conflict


that compromises or realizes our higher equilibrium
all this

we have

seen issuing from the dust of Olympia,

with the brutes in their madness, the virgins assailed,

Neme4
12

(v Century).

Tcmpit" of Zeus.

ANCIENT ART

174

their beautiful bodies that struggle out of the embrace,

heavy arms in revolt. There, at the


the ground, we have picked up the trace of

their beautiful
level- of

the hfe of the

little

Phidias (school

Horsemen

of),

slaves of the old serving-woman.

The Parthenon.

(about 440 B.C.).

of the Frieze {British

and, at the angle of the pediments,

weight of the breast of

women

Museum).

we have

felt

the

already feeling the

movement of new life within them. With the good


Herakles, we have carried the globe, swept the stable,
and strangled the monsters; we have wandered over
the earth to make it healthful, and our hearts with it.
In the pediments of the great temple of the Acropolis,
with the rough-grained torsos, the
of

humanity that mounts and

is

full

wave
we have

limbs, the

appeased,

PHIDIAS

175

recognized, in the projections into the light and

hollowings into the sliadow,

tlie

image

of

tlie

our destiny.

The panting Victories have hung upon their wings that


we may surprise, under the robe that proclaims it, the
hesitation of the flanks, the breasts, the belly, as they

emerge into
All

these

show us

their prime.

deified

beings

at once the roots

and the summit

of

our

of life

and

effort.

IV

The meeting

-^m.

of the accessible heavens,


this ideal realized

face of

on the

the temples and

in the intelligence of the

heroes,

was to

flower, for

the glory of the Greeks

and the demonstration

of

Attic Art.

x\pullo (Louvre).

the unity of the soul, on a


political
is

Democracy

plane of struggle and liberation.

not fully victorious and consequently

it is

already

on the road to decline, but Greece makes the eft'ort


With the
which democracy is to be born.

from

wooden

idols

old temples

and the multicolored monsters

came

the death of the oligarchy, the

of

the

power

delegated to a caste which, at bottom, symbolized

accepted revelation.

Tyranny, which,

in

Greece,

is

government by one man whose science has been recognized, the system whose apogee coincides, in the

ANCIENT ART

176

'

fourth century, with the determination of sculptural


science

tyranny

shaken when the movement

is

The

invades the archaic form.

first

of life

statues to stir

Harmodios and Aristogiton, the men who


King of Athens. Then the crushing forces
which ^Eschylus set like blocks upon the human soul

are those of
killed the

are shaken, with Sophocles, to penetrate one another,


to act on one another,

and

to cause their balanced

energy to radiate in consciousness and

Phidias transports into marble the poise of

man

is

ripe

liberty.

for

Then

will.

life,

Democracy appears

transitory political expression of the antagonism

the agreement

of forces in the cosmic

democracy

and

harmonv.

Then from every Acropolis a Parthenon


chief of the

and

the

arises.

The

work
same pay.

inspires them, the people

at them, the humblest stonecutter gets the

as Ictinos the architect, or Phidias the sculptor.

the Panatheniac

festivals,

with the ritual order

At
ill

observed by the enthusiastic populace, in the dust

and the

sunlight,

to the often discordant sound of

Oriental music and the thousand bare feet striking

the ground, with the brutal splendor of the dyed robes,


the jewels, the rouge, and the fruits, the city sends tc
the Parthenon
flowers,

its

hope

with the young

girls scattering

waving palms, and singing hymns, its strength


its wisdom with the old men.

with the horsemen, and

The

protecting divinity

permitted

the

is

to be

meeting and

thanked

sanctioned

for

having

the

accord

between man and the law.


The temple sums up the Greek soul. It is neither
/the house of the priest as the Egyptian temple was,

Phidias

(?),

Ionian school

(?).

Young

{National Museum, Rome).

priestess

ANCIENT ART

178

nor the house of the people as the cathedral Is to be;


it is the house of the spirit, the symbolic refuge where
the wedding of the senses and the will
brated.

The

statues,

to be cele-

the paintings all the plastic

effort of the intelligence

Athens (about 41o

is

is

used to decorate

it.

The

Erechteion, portico of the

B.C.)-

Caryatids, detail.

detail of its construction

the architect.

is

Its principle

the personal language of


is

always the same,

proportions are always similar,

it

is

its

the same spirit

Here the Doric


genius dominates, by the austere unornamented column, broad and short; there the Ionic genius smiles
that calculates and balances

in

it,

its lines.

through the long column, graceful as a

water and gently

expanded at

its

summit.

jet of

Some-

Athens

(end of v Cciiturv).

N'ictory, frai'iiicnt of tlie halns-

trade of the temple of Atlieiia \ike

{Museum

of the Acropolis).

ANCIENT ART

180
times young

girls,

inclining

toward one another as

they walk, balance the architrave on their heads,


a basket of

Often

fruit.

it

like

has columns on only one

two faces; at other times they surround it entirely.


Whether it is large or small, its size is never thought
of.
We are tempted to say that the law of Number,
or

which

observes with such ease,

it

innate with

is

it;

one would say that the law springs from this very soil
as the shafts rise in their vertical flight between the
stylobate and the architrave, that

it is

the law

which halts them, and which hangs suspended

pediment with a
law of

Number

sort

motionless

of

easily places the

balance.

It

is

The

temple in the scale of

the material and spiritual universe of which

complete expression.

itself

in the

it is

the

on a plane with the pure

gulf which, at its base, rounds a curve

formed by the

cadenced wave that comes to sweep the blond sand.


It is on a plane with its own promontory, which turns
violet or mauve according to the hour, but is always
defined against space by a continuous line, which the

bony structure of the earth marks out distinctly. It


is on a plane with the day sky, which outlines the
regularity of
of the sea.

turns about

rhythm

its

It
it

is

rectangle in the ring of the horizon

on a plane with the night sky which

according to the musical and monotonous

which the architect has discovered the


It is on a plane with the
its proportions.

in

secret of

which

city, for

it realizes,

with a strange serenity, the

perfect equilibrium vainly sought


essential

It

is

antagonism

of classes

by

and

its citizens in

the

parties.

on a plane with the poets and thinkers, who

PHIDIAS
seek

181

absolute relationship between the heart and

tlie

the intelligence in tragedy and dialogue, to which


related

is

by the drama

irrevocably

Athens

inscribed

(end of the

in

of

its

its

scul[)tural decoration,

definite

v Century).

it

Temple

order.

On

the

of the \yinged

Vietory.

simple Acropolis

harmony.

what
its

it

it is

After

sustained sweep,

hills.

harmony that crowns

twenty-five

was, because

of stone that

it

its

centuries

has retained

its

it

;i

not her

remains

proportions,

strong seat on the great slabs

dominate the sea surrounded by golden

One might say

that the years have treated

as they have treated the earth, despoiling

statues and of

its

colors at the

it

it

of its

same time that they

have carried the forests and the soil of the mountains


down to the sea and dried up the torrents. One might

ANCIENT ART

182

say that the years have burned


the skeleton of the

under the reddish grass

-that eight hundred


it

over the conflagration of

evening,

the

to

mount even higher the lower the sun


one has not lived

tower

it

seeming to

descends.

intimacy of

in the

thousand

make

days of flame have penetrated

If

have burned

as they

it

which crops out everywhere

soil

its ruins,

as soon as

we

shattered

or

The reason

really

our

is

know

it

whether

whole humanity

that from

base to

its

ments, the symmetry

and makes

reigns

is

almost intact

trembles

in

it.

summit the

its

As

theorem bears the trace of the hand.

one

But

thinks the Greek temple as rigid as a theorem.

in the pedi-

only apparent, but equilibrium

it live.

The laws

laws of nature, are found in

it,

of sculpture, the

with

logic,

the energy

and

silence of the planes, the quiver of their surfaces.

The

straight line

cious curved

is

there, as solid as reason, the spa-

line also, reposeful as the

architect secures the stability

rectangular forms, he gives

The sweep

curves.

project a

little,

an avenue.

it

of the

of

the edifice by

movement by

columns

is

one beyond the other,

An

The

dream.

its

its

hidden

oblique; they

like the trees of

insensible curve rounds off the archi-

trave at the line of their summit.

All these imper-

ceptible divergences, with the fluting of the columns

shell

which breaks the

light,

a stream of shadow and

animate the temple, give to

of fire

the beating of a heart.

and the tremor

it

something

like

Its pillars possess the strength

of trees; the

oscillate like the branches.

pediments and the

The

edifice,

friezes

hidden behind

the curtain of the columns, resembles the mysterious

Delphi (end

of the

v Century).

{Museum

Capital of the dancers

of Delphi).

ANCIENT ART

184

which opens at the moment one enters

forest

which

temple of Psestum,

The

it.

black,

has the

Thus, from the living temple to the eternal

men who

is

quite

appearance of an animal walking.

pediments and march

people

its

friezes,

Greek art

a melody.

is

in the circle of

Man's action

is

its

fused

Art comes from him, as does his

with his thought.

and his breath, in a kind of conscious


enthusiasm; which is the true religion. So lucid a
faith exalts him that he has no need to crv it forth.
His lyrism is contained, because he knows the reason
glance, his voice,

of its existence.

His certitude

that of the regular

is

force which causes torrents of desire

and the flowers


and from the soil. And the
Apollo, who arises from the pediment of Olympia with
the calm and the sweep of the sun as it passes the
horizon, and whose resplendent gesture dominates the
to spring from beings

fury of the crowds,

is like

the spirit of this race which,

for a second, felt the reign over the

chaos that surrounds

us, of the order inherent within us.

second!

determine

no longer, doubtless, and

its place.

attempt to measure

It
it,

is

mysterious,

as do

all

intuition plays the larger part.

out in a

lost

the

fall,

escapes our

human works
Did

it

in

which

perhaps burst

work, perhaps in several works at once.^

Toward the middle


sculptor of

it

we cannot

Olympia

of

the fifth century, from the

to Phidias,

between the

there occurs in the whole soul of

and
Greece an
rise

immense oscillation round about this unseizable


moment, which passed without her being able to
retain it.
But she lived it, and one or two men

PHIDIAS
expressed

it.

has a

luiiiianity
ities.

them.
of

It

And

is

It

new

that

riglit to

is

185

the niaxiniuni that a

demand

of the

not by following them that

may

seek and discover in

equilibrinm.

dead liuman-

it

itself

But a mode

of

will

(?),

(v to IV Centuries?).

resemble

the elements
eciuilibrium

cannot be rediscovered.

Hypnos

Viy'nv^

[J'cni'j.i'j.)

PoLYCLEiTUs

(scliool of).

Torso of E

man

fighting.

The Acropolis of

Chapter \^.

HE

Pergaaium.

THE DUSK OF IVIANKIND

was to ebb awaA'


through three wounds: the triumph of
heroic soul of Greece

Sparta, the

enrchment

of Athens,

the reign of intellectuahsm.

and

Sensibihty

increased at the expense of moral energy,

reason overflowed faith, enthusiasm was dulled through


contact with the critical

spirit.

The

philosophers, to

whose development sculpture had contributed so much


by giving life to ideas, were to deny their origin, laugh

and at the

and discourage the


meanders of sophistry.
We need not bear them a grudge
for this.
The equilibrium was about to break; no
human power, no miracle could have re-established it.
at the poets

artists,

sculptors through misleading their minds in the

ANCIENT ART

188

And

the soul of Athens, on the brink of the abyss to

which her logicians were dragging civilization, was


even then forging a tool with which the men of a distant future could build a

new

The death

dwelling.

struggle of Greece gave us freedom of examination.


Beginning with the last years of the fifth century, a
furtive caress passed over the

great forms, kept alive

by the

Greek marbles.

circulation of their inner

disappeared from the pediments,

energies,

The

and the

artist tried to call these energies to the surface of the

the portraits, of the picturesque groups

of

statues,

which, however, he isolated

and the
the

each

by

little.

The form

which up to that time had flowered in


expression, now separated from

spirit,

same

little

integral

other

irrevocably.

The

spiritualist

searched

the body to extract the soul, the skeptic no longer tried


to derive from it anything more than sensual satisfactions.

About that time a

little

temple was built

on the Acropolis to house a wingless Victory. But


the external victories that had descended upon it

had kept

their

wings.

They were

to

depart from

Athens.

supposed not to have appreciated


It might be
until the fourth century.

Greek sculpture
the inner

life

is

observed that from the Archaic period onward there


are statues, like the Samian woman, or like any Orante
of the Acropolis,
of the

whose visage makes us think

Gothic virgins because

of that

of their naive enchant-

which illumines it from within. But


People generally believe
that is not the question.
that thought cannot dwell anywhere save in the head

ment with

life

Epidaurus

(hogiimiiiu of the iv

Century B.C.)-

Victory of

the Aeroterium of the temple of E.seulapius


{National
13

Museum,

Athens).

'

ANCIENT ART

190
of the model.

head

The

truth

The

of the artist.

is

that

it is

entirely in the

work iswhich unite

inner quality of a

measured by the quality of the relations


its elements and assure the continuity of its ensemble.
And no art had more of the inner quality than that of
the

The

century.

fifth

modeling

everything

of

goes from within outward.

The

surfaces, the

move-

ments, the empty spaces


themselves, everything

is

determined by the play

profound

the

of

forces

that pass from the

artist

into the material, as the

blood

passes

from

the

heart into the limbs and


tjje

Praxiteles (end of iv CenHermes, detail


tury).

{Museum

brain.

Wt is

true that in a poor

where the slave

society,

was well

of Ohjmpia).

where

treated,

the steps of the social hier-

archy were very near together, one which lived on an


in a health-giving

in-'

near a flowered sea,

dulgent

soil,

human

beings did not have an urgent need of one

another.

The normal

air,

expression of

of the daily conflict of his passions

Greek sculptor knew


reflections

human

pass

faces.

But

it

and

is

a resultant

his will.

The

the sentimental agitations whose

times

at

man

over

the

sternest

among

was only later, with the definitive

reaking of the social rhythm, that these reflections

'^?>

Lysippus

(scliool

of).

{National

Epliebe, bronze, detail

Museum, Athens).

ANCIENT ART

192

Man, who

were iniprinted there as indelible traces.

was then to be characterized by a warped, suffering


body and a haggard face, was defined for Phidias by a
complete organic equilibrium wherein the calm of the
heart

spread through

structure,

ScoPAS

(35"2).

element.'^

the

harmony

Tlie

Mausoleum,

The head

Peitho, and that of

express a profound

of

the Lapith

the Artemis of

life,

woman, that
the

but a peaceful one.


full

The world does not yet

ever plowed

the general

detail {British Alusenm).

a great depth of pure water,


unruffled.

of

which the tranquil face was only one

of

of

Parthenon
It

is

like

and limpid and

know water

for-

by the storm, blackened by the poisonous

miasmas that slept in it.


Praxiteles draws the spirit to the skin of the statues.
As he sees the spirit floating on faces as an undefined
smile, as a

he

vague disquietude, as a luminous shadow,

fixes it there,

and by so doing breaks that unity

Pkaxiteles

(school of),

(<'n<l

ol'

tlu-

iv

Aphrodite {Museum of Naples).

Century).

ANCIENT ART

194

of the great century their

which gives to the forms


seeks to

dawn,

To

radiance.

contained

make

it is

it

iteles

is

it

his elegance, his

mounts from

over the surface.

itself

the Euripides of sculpture.

he

no longer as a

as an evening, that the soul

the depths to spread


is

And

external.

Hfe

inner

the

express

Prax-

His measure,

mind, the subtlety of his animation,

do not succeed in hiding


and the charm
from us the fact that he doubts his strength, and that,
at bottom, he regrets having lost the sacred intoxicaof his analysis

tion at

Under

which he laughs.

gets soft, hesitates,

his fingers the plane

and gradually

energy with which Phidias invested


of

the form, distraught and

as

if

loses the spiritual

The

it.

little

expression
wearied,

is

no longer the play of the inner forces, but that of the


The soul seeks to
lights and shadows on its shell.
escape from the embrace of the marble. One sees
this clearly in the great dreamy foreheads under the

wavy

hair, in the sensual

and vibrant mouth,

in the

leans forward.

That

undefined charm of the face as

it

no longer means intelligence; that means sentiment.


Art dies of it, but new life takes its germ from it and,
much later and under other skies, is to flower from it.

At the moment when human language and enthusiasm


weaken together, the work of Praxiteles affirms, not
the appearance, but the survival of the mind and a
kind of transference of

many
and

its

function, which

long centuries in searching for

in the

end

is

to find

its

is

to spend

real

organ

it.

His art betrays the coming of a kind of cerebral


sensualism which we see appearing at the same hour

THE DUSK OF MANKIND


among

all liis

contemporaries, to

whom

1!).3

the friezes of

the temple of the "Wingless Victory" and the

cai)ital

of the "Dancers" at Delphi had already shown the

way.

Little

by

little,

the deep structure

forgotten,

Is

Niobide, copy (iv to in Century B.C.).


(lianque Commerciale, Rome.)

so that the surface of the figures


desire, as the surface of
artist's

effort

to

may be

the faces

is

caressed

marked by the

depict psychological states.

the statue remains clothed, the robe^

than a breeze on the water.

by

become

But, for the

first

When
lighter

time,

ANCIENT ART

1<J()

the Greek sculptor wholly unveils


is

more

significant

especially through the tremor of

just as the masculine form,

surface,

its

woman, whose form

dictated his science to him,

is

above

through the logic and the rigor of


the

its

all

which had
significant

structure.

For

time he rejects the stuffs which the pupils

first

of Phidias had begun to drape in every direction, at

the risk of leaving unexpressed the

them.

ment
full

It

is

without

of the torsos as

veils that

moving under

life

he expresses the move-

they draw themselves up to their

stature, the animation of the planes which the

youth
and the pure
He speaks of the body of
thrust of arms and legs.
woman as it had never been spoken of before, he
raises it up and adores it in its radiant warmth, its
firm undulations, in its splendor as a living column
light

and

air

model

in powei-ful vibration, the

of breasts, the vigor of masculine bellies,

through which the sap of the world circulates with


These mutilated statues confer on the
its blood.
sensuality

of

man

the

highest

pure, like a well of light, intrusted

to space which

is

nobility.

by

all

Full

and

their profiles

motionless about them, as

if

filled

with respect, these great forms sanctify the whole of


paganism as, later, a mother bending over the dead

humanize Christianity. And if


we are intimately grateful to Praxiteles and regard
him with a tenderness which does not resemble the

body

of her son

is

to

heroic exaltation to which Phidias transports us,


is

it

because he has taught us that the feminine body, by

its rise

into the light

bellv, the sides,

and the

affecting frailty of the

and the breasts

in

which our whole

DI SK OF :MANKIXD

THE

sums up humau

future sleeps,

querable idealism with which


It

is

it

effort

197
tlie

uncon-

many

storms.

in

faces so

impossible to see certain of these broken statues

where only the young torso and the long


vive, without being torn

tliiglis

by a tenderness that

is

sur-

sacred.

II

But the

something a

more

is

wearied

little

Very

marble.

fervor

early

soon to be transformed;

is

to touch the force of the

the forms

(quickly

become

lengthen,

and tremble

slender, flow like a single caress,

with sensual agitation, with shame invaded by love.

The modeling undulates

pasmye becomes

gently, the

insistent, insinuates itself, and, little

Wandering

the plane.

by

little,

effaces

the

hollows dajjple the skin,

breasts are uncertain flowers which never quite open,

the neck swells as

by the

fillets

if

with sighs, the knot of hair secured

weighs on the beautiful round head over

which the tresses course


of

Egypt,

well in

it is

like a stream.

the troubled farewell to

which sleeps the hope

As at the end
wonum, a fare-

of distant resurrections.

"Dancers"

Look, after seeing the "Victories," after the


of

Delphi

so

make
"Leda" as

natural in their grace that they

one think of a tuft of

reeds look

at the

she stands to receive the great swan with the })eating


wings, letting the beak seize her neck, the foot tighten

on her thigh
fatal force

the

trembling

woman

subjected to the

which reveals to her the whole

of

life,

even

while penetrating her with voluptuousness and pain.

And

that

is

still

religious, grave, barely infected

by

ANCIENT ART

198

heady agitation, barely turning towards the slope of


sensual abandon it is like the adieu of Greece to the

noble

life

of the pagans.

^^^^^^^^^r

The

heroic era of paganism

'^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H

Hellenistic Art

(iv to iii Centuries).

detail

(National

Aphrodite of Cyrene,

Museum, Rome).

ANCIENT ART

200

had accepted the


simply as it had accepted

tivity of our

knowledge and as

beginning of

its

its

dechne as

if it

dawn.

Thus, through criticism and sensuality, Greece came


to study the actual

man and

to forget the possible

man.

Lysippus began again to cast athletes in bronze, muscular and calm young men, wdiose immediate life, no
longer the inner one, goes no deeper than their rippling

The form,

skin.

indeed,

is

always

full

and pure;

it is

dense and unsettled, but coherent, and has the look


of a thing conceived as a whole.

When

these athletes

the stadium they seemed to descend from the

left

temple, so well did the serenit}', the assurance of their


strength,

idea of the
of

concentrate in them.

still

first

But the

hieratic

periods of sculpture, the divine idea

the great century, no longer interposed between

them and the statue maker, who saw them directly.


At the same time and by the same means he turned
toward those character portraits which,

his sculpture

we know only by
ones that of Homer,

in reality,

earlier

disenchanted
reserve.

later

we

for

Roman

copies.

The

reveal to us

example

discriminating

nobility,

But

the

fineness

and

find fever, excessive sensitive-

and virtuosity in description. It is a movement,


moreover, which announces the gravest social crisis.
ness,

no longer a function of the race; it begins to


make itself dependent on the rich man, who is to turn
it away from its heroic course more and more, to

Art

is

demand

of

it

portraits

and statues

for

apartments

and gardens.

The

last of

the great

monuments

of the classic epoch,

THE DUSK OF MANKIND


the

Mausoleum

of Scopas

and Bryaxis,

is

201

made

private individual. King Mausolus, and, by

which partakes of the symbolic,

Hellenistic Art

(iv to

in Century).

of Zonaglia

tomb.

It

is

living,

and impregnated with

monument

this

for a

irony

;ui

is

Aphrodite

(Louvre).

certainly

nervous,

intelligence.

In the warriors,

in the

Amazons and

flights,

and the attacks, there circulates a

their horses,

sparkling,

in

the races, the


free,

proud.

ANCIENT ART

202

and delicate

spirit,

a rapidity of thought which ahnost

which brings into the material

forestalls the action,

the resonance of the armor, the neighing of the horses,


the sound of their hoofs beating on the ground, and of

the vibrations of javelins and


strings.

The

quering

fire of

set

down

chisel attacks the

tightlj^

marble with the con-

a too ardent mind in anxious haste to

at the flood tide of its excitation,

With

siasm already tainted with doubt.


elegance of form,
direct gesture,

its

early

drawn bow-

its

extreme

sharp mordant expression, and

its
it

is

a cool breeze that crosses an

There are constant parallelisms be-

evening.

tween fold and

an enthu-

fold,

between limb and limb, between

movement and movement. The empty spaces are


very empty, we no longer feel the passage of that
abstract wave through which the volumes penetrated
one another and, from end to end

gave the

effect of

the hollows

low

is

which heave to a crest

isolated here, the

and descriptive

of the

pediment,

a sea whose crests brought with them

wave

detail profits

appear and impose

itself.

is

again.

isolated;

by

The

hol-

picturesque

this dissociation to

It is to tend,

more and

more, to predominate over the philosophic ensemble.

The

evolution of the great periods

is

approximately

the same everywhere; but in Greece from the seventh


to the third century
relief.

it

Man, when he

appears with an astonishing


realizes himself, proceeds like

nature, from anarchy to unity, from unity to anarchy.

At

first

the scattered elements have to seek one another

Then the whole mass

in the darkness of the

mind.

the chaotic creature

weighed down by the

is

soil,

of

which

THE DUSK OF MANKIND


clogs

its

joints

and

clings to its

heavy

20S

steps.

Then

the forms disengage themselves and find their proper


places

and

agreement;

their

logical

appear, and each organ adapts


closely to its

function.

Homer,
{Archaeological

broken, form seems to


to

lironze

M use u m

flee

Florence).

from form, the mind seems

wander at random, the contacts are

disintegrates.

epochs:

relationships

more and more


In the end the rhythm is
itself

Thus there

lost,

the unity

are in Greek art four definite

the Primitives, ^Egina, the Parthenon, the

Mausoleum.

First, the

stammering analysis followed,

with the Archaic men, by a brief and rough synthesis.

Then, when the mind

is

mature, a new and short analysis,

luminous and compelling, which ends, with a single

bound,

in the

conscious synthesis of a society in equi-

ANCIENT ART

204

Finally, a last research

librium.
its

which

goal,

until

to dissipate itself

has reduced

it

broken

is

all

which

more and more

fragments ad infinitum, has

its

the old bonds, and has,

little

through lack of comprehension,

itself

not to reach

Is

the urgent need of a great,

new power

by

little, lost

and

fatigue,

of feeling.

His forgetting of the essential relations causes the


artist to become concerned over the accident, the

movement, the exceptional expression, the momentary action and, most of all when men turn back to
rare

the horizon of the mystical, the artist's solicitude takes


the form of looking for fright, pain, delirium, for phys-

and sentimental impulses of all kinds.


same disintegra-

ical suffering,

The

plastic synthesis undergoes the

tion.

It

over the

then that detail appears;

is

artist.

The

latter gesticulates in vain as


itself,

the attribute

tyrannizes

it

The

attribute invades the forni.


if

rivets itself

on

it

wanted to defend

like a chain.

Lyres,

tridents, scepters, lightnings, draperies, sandals,

dresses

^the

whole rag bag

dressing-room

theatrical

of

makes

siasm that

made

to be recognized

crown?

mask

its

exhaustion.

the statue divine;

now

if

The

entrance.

its

deep lyrism of the soul subsides, there


external lyrism to

head-

the studios and the

need for an

is

It

how

was enthuis the god

he has no scepter and no

Faith uplifted the material and

made
human

light-

hope.
zoning flash from it to the very heavens of
^ That is over with. The statues need wings. In the
fifth century the wing was rare on the shoulders of
the gods. It was to be found among the Archaics as

they tried to tear form from the chains of matter.

It

Demeter
14

of

Cnidus

(oiid

of iv Century).

{British Mu.seiim.)

ANCIENT ART

206
is

found among the decadents where

it

tries to raise

whose own ardor no longer sustains


The "Victory of Samothrace" ah-eady has need
the form,

wings to

from the prow

rise

it.

of

of the ship, because of the

Hellenistic Art (hi Century B.C.). Sarcophagus


Alexander {Museum of Constantinople).

of

complication of the wet draperies which weigh on her


legs

and make heavy her

terrible sweep, the turn of

her bust, and the tempest of

flight, of clarions,

and

of

the wind that rises in her wake.


Ill

Greek

breaking up
material

moment that it was thus


was scattering over the whole

at the very

art,

in depth,

surface

of

Hellenic

antiquity.

had

movement

of

Athens

the forces of Hellenism, a

all

concentration

that

After

brought

movement

the
to
of

dispersal began, which was to carry from Athens to


southern Italy, to Sicily, to Cyrenaica, Egypt, the

Islands,

and Asia Minor the passion and, unfortunately,

the mania, for beautiful things

in default of creative

Magna

Gr.-ecia (hi Century B.C.).

{Museum

Aphrodite, detail

of Syracuse).

ANCIENT ART

208

Dilettantism and the diffusion of taste mul-

genius.

and

tiply

same time weaken

at the

It

talent.

Hellenistic period, perhaps the richest

in.

is

artists

the

and

in

works

also,

of art that history

has to show, but perhaps,

one of the poorest in power of emotion.

There are few men to


now, and,

in

catch from

it

listen to the voice

witlim them

a brief rush of fervor, occasionally to

like

the vigorous sculptor of the Venus

somewhat dulled and disunited, echo of the hymn to life whose triumphal choir
The adroit and active author
dies out in the past.
of

Milo

of the

a verv noble,

if

"Sarcophagus of Alexander" takes the sub-

jects of the old Assyrian sculpture, for lack of its science,

and transforms

its

what declamatory

force and
lyrical

its

brutality into some-

movement.

The

sculptors

Rhodes, especially, seek gesticulating and complicated melodrama in the sensational event and in literof

ature, so that they

sentiment, which

is

may be
beginning

surer to touch popular


its

skepticism of the philosophers.


see significance in the

lure the patron


for him.

esque

We

little

reaction against the

Others,

who cannot

normal manifestations

by making

their

work

tell

of life,

anecdotes

reach the irritating reign of the pictur-

groups.

Thej' are

to be sure, of a learned

still

charming sculpture,

and witty elegance, but without

the naive quality, and already announce monotonous


factory work, trinkets, art for the amateur, and those
coffins of the artist's dignity, the glass case, the shelf,

and the collection.


These undefined currents, dominated by the sentimentalism of the middle classes and the elegant lassi-

THE DUSK OF MANKIND


tilde of

the blase, act one on another, in

harmony

209
or in

push back in every direction


the hesitating wave that goes from the shores of Asia
to the shores of Egypt, from Pergamos to Alexopposition, and follow or

Sleeping Fury (in Century B.C.).


{National

Museum, Rome.)

andria, from the Islands to the three continents.

The

mixing of the populations of the coasts


produces a wild maelstrom in which some waves from
incessant

the depths, bringing back the violence and heaviness


of Asia, arouse the passion of humanity to the point

But the Greek soul is no longer anything but a foam evaporating on the surface. INIan

of desperation.

has lost his unity.

His

efforts to seize it again only

plunge him into deeper night.

The

Altar of Pergamos,

ANCIENT ART

210

the last of the great collective designs that Hellenism

has bequeathed to

image

us, is the

of this disorder.

had been, there is heavy luxuriance;


Where
confusion replaces order; the rhythm grows wild and
breathless; melodramatic effort stifles all humanity,
sobriety

and

oratorical

The

artist,

in

power becomes emphasis and bombast.


the abundance of his speech, exhibits

the noisy emptiness of his mind.

His speech

is

ardent,

without doubt, sumptuous in color, trembling with his

clamor and his gesture, but

it is

a mantle

little like

loaded with gold and gems that has been caught by

Scopas had, at

the wind.

no fear

least,

open spaces

of

he was too much alive; the sap of the


had not abandoned him; when he had

in his groups;

primitive

But the

nothing to say he held his peace.


of

Pergamos

which the

spirit of Phidias,

when

go toward another, glided on


sense of spiritual continuity

of

external

is

space that he can find.

he talks without a stop.

one form to

it

by the

He

fills

him that
factitious

the back-

and chokes up every

When

man

has

The

wave.

so foreign to

rhetoric.

grounds, stuffs the holes,

it left

its invisible

he does not hesitate to replace


continuity

sculptor

afraid of those great silences through

is

little

bit of

to say,

Silence bores only those

who

do not think.
These screams, these imploring eyes, these desperate
gestures correspond with the awakening neither of
pain nor of pity.

men

of the past

love, or the

or of

Suffering

is

as old as the mind.

The

were not ignorant of the dramas of

dramas

of paternity, or the

abandonment, or

of death;

dramas

of war,

but they knew how

THE

MANKIND

DTTSK OF

211

them an increase of power. ^Mien


man loves Hfe he dominates and utihzes pain. It is
when he no longer acts that tears rule the world. The
lachrymose heroes and the epileptic gods no longer
have in them an\thing of the Greek soul; they no
to gather from

Pergamum

(beginning of the

{Museum

ii

Century).

Altar

of Berlin).

longer have anything of the

human

It escapes

soul.

through the bellowing mouths, the hair standing on


end, the tips of the fingers, the points of the spears,

and through the gestures that fritter it away. The


world is ripe to adopt the antagonistic dualism that
Here is earth,
later is to tear civilization to pieces.
heaven; here

the form, there

the

spirit.

there

is

They

are forbidden to rejoin each other, to recognize

is

Man

is

ingly for ten or twelve centuries

in

themselves in each other.

to

is

wander despair-

the night that


of the

falls

melodra-

between them.

Already the authors

matic groups of

the "Laocoon," the "Farnese Bull,"

ANCIENT ART

212

and the romantic suicides are no longer sculptors, but


bombastic play-actors. Feeling, which is to be reborn
in the crowds, is dead in the image cutters, who have
been domesticated by the powerful. Even their
The statue maker is hardly more
science is dead.
than a diligent anatomist, who follows exactly the
relief of the muscles and the dramatized movement
that fashion prescribes for his model.

not e\'en think of

Sculpture does

recovering something of the

paradise through divine irony, for which

But through

irony Lucian of

it is

Samosate

is

lost

not made.
to console

minds from which pitiless rationalism has driven out


The gods have deserted the souls of the artists
faith.
to dwell in the hearts of stoics, who welcome them
without a word.
IV

There

is

to be, indeed, during this slow, irremediable

wasting away of the Greek idea, some moments where


the decline

is

arrested,

some

startled gestures revealing

a momentary return of vitality; occasionally a few


green shoots come from the old transplanted tree.

Nothing

dies without a struggle.

Upon coming

into

contact with newer races, the Hellenic genius, ashamed


of its decay, attempts a vigorous return to itself here

and

there,

earth,

it

does not bring the gods back to

living

on the earth, a few heroic forms

and

it sees,

if

around the flourishing

To follow

cities

its infiltrations

and the illumined bays.

through the Latins of northern

and the Latinized colonies of the valley of the


Ehone is rather difficult, the more so because, from the
Italy

Damophon

(beginning of the
{National

ii

Century).

Museum,

Artemis of Lycosoura

Athens).

ANCIENT ART

214

Magna

had not
ceased to cultivate thought, to cut marble, and to
Psestum in its swamps, and the temples
cast bronze.
of Sicily on their soil of lava and sulphur, where the
Greek

origins of

civilization,

Grsecia

herds of goats wander amid the cactus, bear witness


to the fact that a collective

power reigned.

It

defined the idealism of the

triumphant over wars,

it

race even more than

did the character of the

The

it

was

cities.

evolution of the Hellenic desire had been every-

Magna Grsecia had bared its goddiscover the woman in them at the same

where the same.


desses to

moment
grown
tuous

But perhaps

that Praxiteles had.

soft

more

and

enervating, luxury.

quickly, as

richer than Greece,

more

if

submerged

and with breezes.

The

had

in volup-

Southern Italy was

fertile, less

generously supplied with orange

it

rugged, and more

trees,

with flowers,

beautiful statues of

Capua

and the polish of the


have the fluidity of perfumed
skin of courtesans; they are without any strength of
their own, their modeling melts and flows like wax.
oils

Rome had

little

trouble in subjecting those

among them.
But it happened

who

that at the contact of

lived

Roman

energy the Greek element recovered a certain dignity.


For two centuries, approximately, from the period

when Greece, not yet conquered, but already resigned,


sent artists to Rome, until the period when, entirely
vanquished, she furnished only panderers,

sophists,

and rhetoricians from the "Seated Pugilist" to the


"Hercules of the Belvedere" there was a strange

union of the violent Latin strength

and the Hellenic

THE DUSK OF MANKIND

215

mind, purifiod and made subtle by the approaeii


death.

And from

so tart

and so

rii)e

this

of

marriage came fruits at once

that before

them Michael Angelo

ff^Ciiriiiifii

Myrina.

The

could have recognized

Vintage, bas-relief {Louvre).

and did

These are singular works,

recognize

like full

have been struck by lightning.

his power.

green oaks that

We

whether they are Roman, because of the

do not know
hilly

modeling,

the exaggerated expressiveness of the projections, and


the tense brutality;

that fixes

all

or Greek, because of the mastery

these qualities in coherent form, that

draws forth and distributes the

spirit

of

the form.

ANCIENT ART

216

The accord between the inner hfe of the recreated


organism and its mode of meeting with the hght on its
In these works instinct is domsurface is complete.
inated by intelHgence, and must follow wherever and

Bacchus and Ariadne.

Hellenistic Art.

Sarcophagus, fragment (Louvre).

however

intelligence directs

ized Greeks in Sicily

it.

It

was surely Latin-

who dug out from

which look toward the sparkling

sea,

the rocks,

those marble

amphitheaters where the shepherds sat beside the

was Latinized Greeks who built and decorated Pompeii. It was Latinized Greeks, saturated
with that concrete poetry which the French soil

gods.

infuses

It

in

those

whom

it

nourishes,

who

built Aries

Greco-Roman Art.

Pugilist,

{National

hronzr

(ii

Museum, Rome.)

Century B.C.).

ANCIENT ART

218

and Nimes and surprised those beautiful women at


the bath as they crouch on one leg which flattens
under the weight

with

of the torso,

its

soft breasts,

the fat fold at the belly, and the hollow in the small

where the shadow moves with the undu-

of the back,

At Rome

lating surface.

Roman

the

copyists

under Augustus, with

around him, Pasiteles founded

all

And

a Greek school.

itself,

was

it

in

Rome, under his

leader-

and as an evident reaction against Asiatic sculpGreek sculpjfors attempted an impossible


Everywhere else, in
return to Archaic austerity.
ship

ture, that the

and

Attica, in Asia,

in only a negative

that arises

But

tries,

it

way

against the sea of sentimentalism

discusses,

in the

wreck

it

wrangles, and, let us add,

of its spirit, to

essential lesson of that spirit

form which

of

by words.
1

it

About

believe that the

Rome), the

Hellenism reacts

from the depths.

still

it

in the Islands,

scarcely

if

bequeathe the

not by the language

knows any

longer, at least

the first century the whole civiliza-

famous throne

of

Venus

(of

the

Museo Nazionale

in

central element of which serves as the headpiece to the Introduc-

and wliich has heretofore been attributed to the fifth centliis school, of which it would be the masterpiece. Not
mention the place where it was discovered, not to speak of the nude figure
which, by the way, is inferior to the rest of the work and which
it

tion to this book,

tury, must be restored to


to
in

the artists of the

fifth

century would not have ventured to use, there

are some strange details in it like the pillows, a certain negligence of style,
a certain fashionable elegance, a certain technical cleverness, a spirit more
elegant and refined than grave, a mixture of exquisite culture and volun-

tary naivete, a shade of literature very far from the force and the austerity
of the predecessors of Phidias.

THE DUSK OF IVIANKIND


tion of antiquity concentrates
to take

an inventory

in his weariness,

is

around Alexandria, as

of its con(iuests.

at the

Hellenistic Art.

Jew and the Greek stand

219

back

if

The Egyptian,

of the stage,

but the

Eros and Psyche {Louvre).

before the audience, applauded

or hooted, friends or enemies.

Now

alone,

lowed by fanatical multitudes, they work

now

fol-

in the fever.

ANCIENT ART

220

the trepidation, and the clamor of a ceaselessly jostling

On

and renewed cosmopolitanism.


vices, of intensified asceticisms,

mystics and

indulgent

Philosophers,
ricians, artists

shouts.

The

the idea

skeptics,

romancers,

critics,

a bed of abject

among uncompromising
ferments.

theologians,

whole world mingles together and

this

goes in for theology, the philosopher

artist

for romances, the theologian for criticism, the


for rhetoric.

It

moment

a unique

is

Egypt contributes

mankind;

reason, Asia

And

god.

its

rheto-

and Asia, the synthesis

its

romancer

in the history of

mystery, Greece

in spite of

its

Egypt, Greece,

of the ancient world, that

is

to

be effected in the too aristocratic domain of the mind

by the enthusiasm
of the sophists,

is

mass

to pass over the

without satisfying the hunger of


is

and the subtlety

of the prophets

wearied with thinking,

tempers

it

of humanitj^

needs.

its

its

The world

unsettled ideal

in its primitive

element once more

in the

of the people.

A new

is

to triumph over

the philosophers,

who

mythology

are preparing

Social surroundings such as these


in a great

Alexandrian

art,

its

innocence

unfolding.

do not permit

belief

which would have been

lost.

Neither strong architecture nor great sculpture reposes

on systems, especially when the systems interpenetrate

and vary incessantly.


tion

had dried up

The

in the too

source of plastic inspira-

complicated mind of the

upper classes and had not yet appeared in the dark


soul of the people.

there

were

At Alexandria,

admirable

renewals,

as at other places,
spiritual

leaps

as

straight as those of a dying flame, the gleams of a deep


love.

Certain bas-reliefs of Alexandrian, Greco-Latin,

Greco-Roman Art, Apollonios (i Century B.C.). Hercules of the Belvedere {Museum of the Vatican).

15


ANCIENT ART

222

or Hellenistic origin

same

the

for

the matter

spirit

insinuates

the

the

grace

of little

itself

Importance

everywhere

upon us through the

certain bas-reliefs seize

and

is

rescued

joy

from

liveliness

intellectual

pessimism, the ardent abandon to the intoxication of

enjoyment through understanding, and

The

ing through enjoyment.


ripe,

the vintagers gather

cymbals;
winter

come.

The round

wilder, the hair of the

women

long

long,

dancers grows

streams, their heaving

their legs are bared, the panthers creep

through the shadows to

But

of the

is

and

to the sound of flute

they dance on the grapes.

may

bosoms and
flow.

It,

of understand-

fruit of the vineyard

this epoch.

lick

up the blood that

Is

to

which Egyptian hieratism

In

often comes to tempt the dying inspiration of the

Greek,

"genre" sculpture, which

cultivates

the

Is

unmistakable mark, on the dust of the centuries,


baseness

of

tors

surprise

and vulgarity
the

questionable

picturesque adventures;

make you laugh


done with far

of

they

or cry.

less skill, or

mind.

These

professions
tell

It Is the

little

sculp-

in

stories

their

that

Japanese bibelot,

the clock-top of the lower

middle classes of our century with far more

skill

and

not much more wit. The greater part of the bas-reliefs


exlilblt the same tendencies, the often confused and
overloaded anecdote, and a background of landscape
They show how sculpture was coras its setting.
rupted in the Ptolemaic periods by the studies and
method of painters. And that is the most serious of
the social indications that can be found in this art.

This need of fusing the two great modes of plastic

THE DI^SK OF ]VL\NKTXD


evocation had been appearing

Greece

in

itself for

at

Praxiteles looked on form as a

least three centuries.

Lysippus, also, at

I)ainter rather than as a sculptor;

times,

<223

and the sculptor

of the

"Tomb

of Alexander,"

and especially the decorator

The great

Pergamos.

of

classic

sculpture had indeed

made use

of painting,

but as

an accessory means, to give


to the form,

through

already living

own

its

structure,

the superficial appearance of


life.

Under the broad,

sim])le

tones which covered the deco-

rative ensembles and remained tranquil in the light,


the

plane

sculptiu'al

On

sisted.

per-

the contrary, in

Alexandrian Art

the fourth century, and very

much more
periods,

of a

in the Hellenistic

pictorial

Head

woman

(La (fa n Collect io n )

expression

tends to get along without form and to model


surfaces

by the mysterious play

of

tlie

the

lights,

the

shadows, the half-tones, and the diffused envelope


of the air.
is

It

is

still

a legitimate process when

practiced on bas-relief, but

Form must
living
life

live in space

are

the

An

envelope

fatal to sculpture.

own means,

The planes determined by

being.

or failure in

by

it is

its

exact

criterion

of

it

the

like the

its

statue's

inner

success

its

contact with the outside atmosphere.

is

necessary only to the paint(M-, since

ANCIENT ART

224

he transfers conventionally,

to

materiality and the depth of space.

incorporates an
real

atmosphere

In the epoch

devour

will

the sculptor

If

atmosphere with form, the


it.

of Alexandria the confusion is complete.

and the skeptics of Europe, wearied


skepticism, need the vague envelope that

The mystics
by

artificial

their

of Asia

destroys form and opens dreams as vague as

The

the

surface,

flat

had already,

strong traditions,

itself.

Egypt, even while retaining

great sculpture of

the Saite epoch,

in

The anecdote

headed for these cloudy horizons.

its

sur-

rounded by the nwstery of painting, indeed the whole


of Greek art from Praxiteles onward, tends toward
them.

Grandeur

sentiment having disappeared,

of

sentiment alism, a new thing, was bound to germinate

masses and the indecision of the

in the pain of the


intellectuals, to

renew the energy

only in these tendencies that


art

an attempt, even

if

of the world.

we can

It

is

find in Alexandrian

an obscure one, to fuse the

essential aspirations of the ideals of the ancient world,

kj'he ideal of the

Jew

is

justice.

It

exclusive ideal, and, for that reason,

is

a limited and

uncompromising

and hard.

Like every excess of passion, the passion

for justice,

when

it

unjust toward those

has no counterpoise, renders

who do not

think as he does, and

unjust toward himself, for his thought

knows no other

refuge than daily sacrifice and pitiless severity.


is

unhappy and
The

forgiveness.

alone, for he
ideal of the

order of the world obeyed and


ligence,

the conquest

patient

man

is

He

unacquainted with

Greek

is

disciplined

wisdom, the

by the

intel-

and undivorced from

>

f
m
(Jallo-Hellenic Art

(i

Contury A.D.).
{Louvre).

Crouching Venus

ANCIENT ART

226
life

for
is

He

of a relative equilibrium.

what

is just,

to the

but what

is

has a strong feeling

beautiful and

same degree the object

what

is

true

He

qf his passion.

finds in each of these ideas the echoes of the other two,

and completes, tempers, and broadens each one through


the others. Phidias is in Pythagoras, and Socrates
is

in Phidias,

The Jews were bound

misunderstand

to

Christ

because he reacted as an artist against the ideal of


justice

which had made them unjust, and taught the

The Greeks were far better


prepared to understand Him. They knew Him from
long ago. He was Dionysus, come from India and

lowlj' to pity the strong.

returning through Asia with the armies of Alexander;

Dionysus the god

god

of periodic resurrections, the

of primitive superstitions, of

magics and

sorceries, as

he had been, in the time of ^Eschylus, the god of pagan


drunkenness; Dionysus, the eternal god of the multi-

myths

also,

He was

God-man

of their

the hero, Herakles, Prometheus.

Before

tudes and of women.

the

Christ the Stoics had taught the conquest of the inner

freedom, which

is

we can impose on
had died

for

man.

the measure of the discipline which


ourselves.

Before Christ Socrates

The humanity

of Christ

was the

testament of the ancient world rather than the preface


to the new.
First

it

brought the sword.

St.

Paul was to betray

Jesus and whisper into the darkened intellgence of


the moaning world the revenge of the Jewish mind.

The
but

philosophers were to turn their backs on

the suffering slaves

and the women,

of

Him,

whom

our

Greco-Egyptian Art.

Portrait of young

{ArchoBological

Museum,

girl,

Florence).

on papjTus

ANCIENT ART

228

mind

as well as our flesh

watching that the


slaves

fire

is

women

born, the

may burn on

forever

the hearth

the

and the women hearken to Him. Man creates


it.
^Yhen the ideal burns

the ideal, but he tires of

out in him

woman who

it is

in her until another


If art is

there.

of

men, as

becomes
it is

all

virile

picks

up

to let

it

sleep
it

feminized and softened in the mind

the works of this age testify, the will

and tense

in the heart of

the latter development which

Reason was

it

male voice comes to awaken

kills

dj'ing alone, skeptical

women.

And

the former.

and

disdainful.

Sentiment was growing up alone, blind and groping.

was the crowd and it was life.


weak ruins civilizaWe are about to burn the books, smash the
tion.
statues, gut the human temples, and lose our contact

It

was

to conquer.

It

The sentimental

with the earth.

uprising of the

What

accept these downfalls.


dition of the

the western
of Christ

is

We

must

does

it

It

they that are the con-

is

matter.'^

morrow which makes reparation. On


plowed by Greece, the real thought

soil,

to be reborn in the speech of Prometheus,

after more than a thousand years of darkness, furies,


and misunderstanding. Perhaps it is this abyss that
is

contemplated by the old portraits of the

last

Egypt,

with their faces of enigma and their shadowy eyes in

which a

light trembles.

Delphi.

INTIMATE GREECE

Chapter VII.

]HILE

official

and rehgious

art,
art,

the great decorative

was

losing sight of

its

wellsprings, intimate art remained near

them and continued to drink from tliem.


The hero, who came up from the pcoi)le,
has disappeared, but the people
the Greek soul survives.

is still

there,

and

in

The people undergoes

it

the

corrosive influence of intellectualism and of gold more


slowly,
it is

and the flame

of life smolders in

entirely extinguished

on the upper

it

even when

levels.

Encu

at the times of the worst decay the instinct of the


multitudes contains all the elements of the higher life;
desires through the appear-

only the awakening of

new

ance of new needs

required to call forth the great

is

ANCIENT ART

230

man and
mass

to ripen in

of his ancestors

him that

instinct

which the dead

and the Hving mass of mankind


Brutal animal power and the

have intrusted to him.

power

of the intelligence are our onh'

conquest of our organization.

weapons

The average

for the

civilized

man, however, is as far from spiritual order as he is


from direct possession. He has not yet attained the

We

former; he has lost the latter.


It

are in the desert.

the people throughout the whole extent of the

is

Greek world who gather up the scattered elements

of

the soul of antiquity. The workman of art takes the


place of the hero. The uprooted tree is to cover the
earth with leaves. From the pavement of the Greek
cities

and

emerges a world of trinkets, figurines of metal

of terra cotta, jewels,

and painted or

coins,

engraved stones, furniture,

incised vases.

Yesterday the

man of genius was at the service of the people. To-day


man of the people is at the service of the man of

the

means.

The bond

that unites the great artist with the artisan,

the passage from the great sculpture to popular art,


is

the industry of terra-cotta figurines which were

manufactured by thousands at Tanagra, among those


Boeotian peoples
despised.
since

whom

the

Athenians

so

greatly

The industry is not new. It had existed


times.
But in the fourth century,
by the diffusion of taste, it was to perfect

Archaic

influenced

and extend
follows

itself.

Like a

the evolution

when the

latter is so,

it

of

little

timid reflection

the great focus.

it

Archaic,

becomes powerful and luminous

with the focus; in the Praxitelean period the figurine

INTi:SIATE (.REECE
is

frankly intimate.

tion

is

But

2.'U

before Praxiteles, the reflec-

totally lost in the blaze of the focus.

when the

Praxiteles onward,

Fragment

of

stele

focus

is

growing

From

pale, the

(end of \i Century).

(Private Collection.)

little

reflection,

on the contrary, becomes a shining

point of light in the gathering shadow.

sculpture which was

and to

great

made to decorate the temples


when it attempts to turn to
The figurine, made to decorate

live in space fails

to intimate things.

The

ANCIENT ART
private dwellings and to follow
in order to

owner to the tomb

its

win the gods over to him,

essentially

is

intimate in inspiration and in destination.


quite natural that

was

It

should at-

it

tain its apogee in the centurj'

brought

that

back

gods

the

among men. There are not


many gods among the Boeotian
There

sepulchers.

above

and.

and

children,

even

and obscene

toys,

animals,

figures.

has been said that Greek

It

To

art lacked character.


this

men,

are

women and

all,

is

to

know

it

assert

inadequately,

and perhaps only by the calumwhich the academies, the

nies

Roman

copies,

spective

about
It

is

and the

retro-

have

spread

novels

it.

What

is

character?

the placing in evidence

not of the picturesque, but of


the descriptive elements of a

given form.

Tan AGRA.
Draped woman
{Uibliothcque Nationale).

The

art of the fifth

century, which has been said not


to have character, goes

individual
presses the entire species,

it

upon the dominant character

beyond

character.

describes

it

by

It

of every individual.

the intimate art of Greece does not aim so high.


its

charming wisdom

it

ex-

insisting

But
With

follows individual character.

INTIISLVTE

GREECE

233

People heave forgotten the Greek portraits so rare,


penetrating they have forgotten the
it is true, but so
Tanagras, the Myrinas, the vase paintings, the whole
of

Pompeiian painting, and those

The

Tanagra.

statuettes,

those

toilet {Private Collection).

life
studies which perpetuate the cruel satire on the
infirm
the
and
the hunchbacked, the lame,

of the sick,

of all kinds.

They

forget that there are even carica-

tures in the sepulchers of Tanagra.

which the comedies

when we know

of

The

Aristophanes enjoyed

their spectators.

popularity
is

explained

There was plenty

of laughter in Greece, the philosophers

laughed at the

234
gods,

ANCIENT ART

of

The

the people laughed at the philosophers.

coroplasts (figure makers) of

Tanagra and the potters

Ceramica were wholly joyous.

Pitcher {National Mrisevm, Athens).

Did they imitate the great contemporary


as often as has been said?

It is improbable.

were occasional reminiscences, at the most.


tion, close or loose, is death.

Now

statues

There
Imita-

these things

live.

All the qualities of Praxitelean sculpture are in them.

INTIMATE GREECE
and

more

They

acutely.

always be modern.

To make a,

living piece

to surprise the laws of

Magna Gr^cia.

It

is

is

to

life in

modern.

are

235

They

will

because they are eternal.

make something
their

of eternity,

permanent dynamism.

Girls playing with osselets, terra cotta


(British

Museum).

Walking, dances, and games; the

toilet, repose, gossip,

attention, revery, immobility; the fine shadings of


its

impressions,

ing things, or

and its memories


flee,

pass into these

or hesitate, or halt.

life,

charm-

They

are a

crowd pf unseizable moments, these candid little


creatures, with their red hair and their tinted dresses.
They are the flowers that Greece gathers for a crown

living

ANCIENT ART

236

as she looks at herself in the water, runs under the


willows, stands on tiptoe to reach the lips of the gods,

and

lives

an animal

so ingenuous that her singers

life

and her sculptors could not help deifying


ceeding

as they followed

its

and without a too laborious

and suc-

it

direction, without revolt


effort

in illumining its

spirit.

These gracious creatures did not know their power


of fascination.
Greece loved and let herself be loved
in

an admirable innocence.

If

the grandiose sensualism

drama and inundated

of the Orient created the musical

the sculptor of Olympia with

its

no more than graze the masses


artist-workmen
this that

who

sacred frenzy,

interpreted

needs.

their

did

it

and the

of the people

It

always separated Dorian and even Attic

is

art,

at least, in their average manifestations, from the art

The women of Myrina,


Asia Minor, knew their power of love.

of the Greeks of the Orient.

the Tanagra of

The

true soul of Asiatic Greece, ardent to the point

of voluptuousness, the soul

whose flame streams into

the Hellenic intelligence,

in the art of

more than

The

hands

disturbing in

Pergamos, for

ardent, and impulsive

seen close by.


it

is less

of the artist of

art colorful,
this art;

is

There
rich,

is

heavy

hair,

is

it

far

than

tVis little

made

to be

not the least emphasis in

almost brutal, a thing

communicate the ardor of these


women with their plump backs,
their

Myrina,

the decorative sculpture of the time.

in

richness of language

in the

is

beautiful,

made

to

alluring

their

round arms,

their trailing dresses.

They paint

their questionable faces and adorn themselves and load

INTIMATE GREECE
themselves with jewels.
ture which

is

soon to

])e

One

^237

thinks of Hindoo sculp-

stirring in the

shadow

of the

the idols of

caverns, of

Byzantium with the gems


around them;

glittering

of the splen-

one thinks

did death, in the i)urple

Venice,

of

Oriental

of

paganism. The conquest


of

by the

the Occident

woman

of Asia

on the

is

point of completion.

II

between

Everywhere,

the fourth and the

century in
Sicilv,

in

^the popular

and intimate

The

Italy,

on the shores of

Asia Minor

official

first

art

art causes

recede.

to

coroplast of

Myrina

Tanagra, and the


sculptor of Alexandria

and

of

remains himself, whereas

the decorator of the


monuments tries to catch
once more a soul that has
gone from

him that

to reconcentrate,
16

bv

Tanagra
{Museum

(iv Ceiihiry).
of

Chant illij.)

has gone out of the world and


arlificial

means, the dissociated

ANCIENT ART

238
elements

Myrina

very

At Alexandria the
was doubtless not a workman, as

artistic

sculptor

figurine

at

of

creation.

at Tanagra, but

or

very

brilliant,

rather one of those

and

superficial,

who swarm around

fashionable artists

very

skillful,

the rich man.

Every new social expression, it is true, calls forth


an art which adapts itself to it, which is beautiful
simply because of that fact. But plutocratic societies
constitute only a

moment

consumes

agree.

But luxury

the profound creative feeling that comes

art,

out of the people in their


the mother's

been said that luxury

We may

the arts.

called forth

of that expression, the last

It has

before the downfall.

womb,

full efforts, as

the child from

the feeling that has in

it

their will,

Between the
and the temples of a democthe distance from the shelves of the

their hope, their

power

of illuminating.

statuette of the collector

racv there

is

drawing-room to the Acropolis.

During
during

the

the

Alexandrian

imperial

crowded out creative

and the world

mystic function of the


andria

is

delightful

of

this force

more
taste

mani-

insult to taste or, at

of fashion conceive of the

artist;

to satisfv their needs.

lectual aristocracy;

an

even

diffusion

and moderate idea which the

to the practical

ruling classes

the

When

force.

fests itself it often passes for


least,

and

period

period,

at

they imagine him

made

To be

sure, the taste of Alex-

least,

the taste of the intel-

for the parvenu, there, as in other

places, cares only for anecdotal art.

Alexandria loves

a whispering, tremulous, suave note in its production.

Delicate

little

bronzes are created in which the material

Tanacra.

(iv rciitury).

{Private Collection.)

ANCIENT ART

240

takes on qualities of living

flesh,

seems to cower from the cold

warm

of

skin;

it

like the virgin bodies so

by the sensual artist, in effete


epochs, for the delight of the eye and the hand of the
Woman no longer unveils hercultivated collector.
Aphrodite no
self, the robes are stripped from her.
described

obligingly

longer emerges from the sea; she enters the bathtub.

She

the water with her toes, her young body

tries

stoops or turns or stretches itself with a perfect absence


of shame,

and yet remains chaste,

Asia, which attempts a


also, there is a

is

Doubtless

and weds.

the fashionable drawing-room, here are rare

and the

pieces of furniture

precious

one thinks of

debt to Egyptian purity, which Grecian

nobility recognizes

Here

if

last violent effort.

things,

glass cases in

from

sheltered

which sleep

profaning

hands.

Polygraphy and romance have succeeded tragedy and


It

history.

men

or

lets

and

The

locust,

is

the period

when persons

women, covered from

of elegance,

head to foot with

amu-

and drink from chiseled metal.


wrought of gold and worn in the hair, no
eat

jewels,

longer sufficed for ladies of fashion.

They needed

cameos, intaglios, necklaces, bracelets, clasps,

rings,

and eardrops.
least, of

The

jewels of gold were, in Greece at

simple form, for Asia and imperial

more pompous

taste.

of a trailing vine,

it

The metal has

Rome have

the suppleness

creeps like a reptile over the forms,

it weds the warm creases of the neck, it encircles the


splendor of the arms, it draws the eye to the beautiful

hands,
to

its

it

marries the dull sheen of the painted skin

own tawny

pallor.

Set in a bezel or suspended,

INTniATE r.REECE
finely

engraved stones bear images of the gods and

portraits,

are as

birds,

lions,

many amulets

epochs without

beetles,

and chimeras;

there

as there are superstitions in the

faith.

Sicilian coins

The

241

(Bibliothcque Nationale).

cult of the stone for its

own

sake, for its arrest-

was unknown to ancient art. The material


must be wrought, must have imprinted in it man's
idea of the universe, of himself, and of his destiny.
ing of light,

In stone, in marble, bronze, gold,

wood, and clay,

silver, ivory,

wax,

in all the crystallizations of the earth,

blood and

its tears,

its

bones,

of

every land carved the form of his

its flesh, its

men have doubted

the Greek

spirit.

Some

the beauty of the chryselephantine

sculpture of the fifth century as they have doubted

the splendor which the temples of blue and gold nuist

have taken on as thev arose, under the immense Greek


skv, from the forests and laurels of the acropolises and

ANCIENT ART

242

the promontories, giving to the white marble an inde-

When

scribable -quality of obsolute spirituality.

they

Zeus in ivory or gold, the Greeks

carved Athena and

wanted only to express

their

veneration for them.

But a mind like that of Phidias could not be mistaken


Behind his brow reigned order, lyric
in the medium.
force,

and the harmonious accord between

and the heart, and


it

What

ever

it is, it

earth, coal,

into the

as

marble

What-

expresses the artist as, in the crust of the

and the diamond mingle and express


of his soul

material

is

poured

is

its

boiling

strong, clay

gentle, bronze

as tender as clay.

What good
skin

stuff the

and the wool

fruits, like
is

The

fire.

when his soul


bronze, and when his soul is

mold

strong as

and ivory

difference does the material make.^

subterranean

is

intelligence

in gold

was because gold and ivory obeyed him

did.

is

he carved gods

if

world

is

made

bread, this stuff

the water and the

domestic creatures,

salt.
it

is

It

meat

him

itself

to receive his food, reaches

and

up to

lift

strives ingeniously to yield

hard than

itself.

the end of Hellenism,

sion, at

in

his

the

roofs, offers itself for his repose, hollows

and the

rounded

It

has the docility of the

welcomes the master at

walls

rials less

of the

man's companion.

threshold and at his doorstep, protects

to his lips

Like the

of!

of the beasts, like the

man on

its fruits

him mate-

There was a time, toward

when wrought

material sur-

every hand, like a motionless proces-

once defending and exalting him.

was weakening, doubtless, but the gods

Heroic art
of ivory

and

gold were intact, deep in the sanctuaries, and the

INTIMATE GREECE
bright-painted marble heroes

where the gold


were

temples

still

^243

inhabited the metopes

of their bucklers glistened.

Painted

and

porticos,

everywhere,

propykra,

stadiums built of steps, colonnades, and terminal gods.

The pavements

of the streets

were of marble, as were

'.ij^-

Tanagra

(iv

Century). {Private Collection.)

the steps of the acropolises and the serene amphitheaters looking over the hills to the sea.

Gold and

stone, jasper, agates, amethyst, cornelian, chalcedony,

and rock-crystal went into the jewels which weighed


on the arms, clasped the tunics, and shone in the d\'ed
hair.

And

and even

in the

in the

houses of marble, stone, or wood,

depths of the sepulchers, were seats of

marble or of wood, vases of gold, of

silver, of

bronze,

statuettes of terra cotta or of metal, pots of clay or

cups of onyx.

ANCIENT ART

244

The hollow

hand

of the

warmth

lent its

to precious

bits of material, the piece of gold, silver, or copper.

Greece did not invent the coin,

were the

first

head on one

to give

side,

its

it

it is

true,

but

its cities

circular form, to place a

a symbol on the other, and an inscrip-

composed of watchwords, signatures, or the value.


With the diffusion of wealth and aesthetic culture, the
tion

coin springs from the bronze matrices in swarms.


is

made

practically

everj'where,

Athens,

in

It

Asia,

Alexandria, and in Sicily especially, in the workshops


of S3 racuse.
like

Coins mount from the Hellenic hearth

The type changes with

a shower of sparks.

city,

the

events,

the

victories,

and the

the

traditions.

Statues, celebrated pictures, legends, myths, symbolic

animals, and incisive portraits, the reliefs polished by


millions of

hands and shaded with black

in the hollows

have the look of a living material made motionless by

The

circle is

never a perfect one, the thick-

ness of the disk varies;

there, as in other cases, the

the mint.

equilibrium of the elements makes of the art object a

complete organism, which symmetry would


metal seems forced out from within as
juice

and with a

The Greeks

soul.

On

of flesh or of the plant.

if

give to

laurel, the

is

itself in

life

they

among which

of the oak, the olive tree, the

plane tree or ivy

fruit buries

It

and leaves

it

silver or gold vases

carve networks of twining branches,


seeds, buds,

The

kill.

swelling with

seem to tremble.

Heavy

the mystery of the foliage.

perhaps by these vases and

terra cotta figurines that

we

bj'

many

of the

can best judge to

what

degree the Greeks understood the frame in which the

INTI^L\TE GREECE
human

figure moves.

The

setting

245

was not a dominant

idea with them as it was later on with the Plindoos


and the men of the Renaissance especially the Flemings and the Frenchmen of the Renaissance
because
the soil of Greece was less rich in animate forms and

because the Greeks looked on

MvRiNA.

was the

fruit that

Statuettes,

man

as the ripe fruit;

it

term cutta {Louvre).

constantly attracted them, whereas

and the ground in which the


grew seemed to them only accompaniments to the
superior melody realized by the mind.
Hut their
the branches, the trunk,

tree

great tragic poets saw the maenads, dressed in tiger


skins

and

and girdled with serpents, crowned with flowers

leafy vine branches,

with the panthers;

bounding out

of the forests

they spoke of those monstrous

unions from which the beast-man came, to affirm the


ANCIENT ART

246
grand accord

by

knew

of indifferent nature

And

will.

and the mind guided

the humblest of their peasants,

who

that the spring and the grotto were peopled with

familiar divinities,

was at peace as he

felt

the fraternity

of his soil.

Ill

The Greeks introduced


of the air

a city of
is

and the

Magna

into their house the world

The cadaver

i:)lants.

Gr?ecia, built

covered with flowers.

of Pompeii,

and decorated by Greeks,

In the inner rooms, in the

markets, everywhere are garlands of flowers,

and leaves; there are birds and


fiery

still-life

fruits,

fishes, dense, shining,

windows and

pieces surrounding false

painted floors which open on perspectives of streets

and squares,
less

of architecture

and

is

doubt-

only a translated, Latinized Greece, different from

classic

much

Greece and

by

affected

Alexandria, of Asia, and inspired above


sky, the vegetation, the red rocks,

wine mulled on hot


cusan,
are

It

streets.

it

is

bas-reliefs,

coals.

of

by the seathe flame, and -the


all

Theocritus was a Syra-

But on the

true.

influences

vase-sculptures,

soil

of

Greece there

Tanagra groups

nymphs, young women, dancers, divinities of


the woods and torrents around whom we hear the
satyrs,

purling of water, the rustle of leaves, the lowing and

sharp bleating of the beasts, and flutes laughing and

And if surrounding nature stilled


moment to let Phidias commune with
he wrote into the human form alone his

crying in the wind.

her voices for a


himself as

understanding of the world, Sophocles went to

sit

in

INTIMATE GREECE

247

the grove of Colonna, the grove of orange trees witli


its

many

moss;

where the brooks ripple under the

crickets

Pindar,

tlie

rugged poet of the north,

wliile

journeying to the games by routes which took him to


gorges and beaclies, picked uj) on his way some I'or-

midabk' images,

full of

the sky

and the ocean; .Eschylus, from


t

he top of the Acropolis of Argos,

watched the night sparkle, and


from the most distant past of
Hellas a cool breeze was blown.

iEgean art

already alive with

is

forms of the

sea.

The

sea wind,

the water of the river, and the

murmur

of the foliage are wit-

nesses to the meeting of Ulysses

-and Nausicaa,

whom

compares to the stem


tree.

the hero

palm

of a

Does not Vitruvius

affirm

that the Doric comes from the

male

torso, the Ionic

female torso

from the

.^

Syrian statuette

In anv case, this rather


{From Le Musee).
limited Pompeiian art, made
up, as it is, of recollections and distant imitations,
and due almost entirely to the brush of hired decorators and of house painters, breathes the animal and
the material world, the swarming and confused world
that surrounds us.
old age of the

with

all

its

How

pagan

young

it

civilizations;

vague mossiness;

how

still

how

is,

despite the

vigorous

it

is

i)rofound and full

ANCIENT ART

248

What

of the antique soul!

persuasion there

is

power, and, on the monochrome backgrounds

is,

how

sure,

Amors, dancers, winged geniuses,

hving the form!

gods

animals, forms nude, draped, or

'or goddesses,

wavy

aureoled with

red,

how broad and spontaneous the


how intense in expression, and how

bkick, green, or blue

stroke

in its

gauzes, legends, battles, and

the ancient symbolism so near the

soil live

all

again here,

with a slightly gross sensualism and with the candor

workmen who

of the

interpret, certainly,

but with that

calm, that almost unspoiled freshness, that virginity


of

life

which were known onlv to the ancient world.

The dancing forms appear

half veiled, with their pure

arms and pure legs continuing the pure torso, like

The nude bodies emerge gently

balanced branches.

from the shadow, floating

in

their firm equilibrium.

Here and there are implacable portraits with


ardent

eyes with

minished

by

life

any

in

visible

its

large,

brutal austerity, undi-

intermediary.

At

times,

by side with the Greek soul, and bearing a germ


academism that, fortunately, is still unconscious,

side
of

there

is

ardent expressiveness which,

that

was

centuries later,
Italy.

It

is

thirteen

awakening of
that "Theseus Victorious

to characterize the

to be seen in

over the Minotaur," which the great Masaccio would

have loved.

It

an anxious, uneven world, with

is

currents of influence running through


tion,

but

fiery

and

it

in every direc-

brilliant, rotten at the top,

and yet

ingenuous underneath.
See in these portraits the sense of immensity that
is

in the gaze,

how

the great figures are steeped in

INTIMATE GREECE
thought, and
their Hving
terrible

how

tremor seems to run inward tlirough


This arrested hfe is ahiiost

immobihty.

to look

One would

upon.

Hellexistic Art.

been suddenly

fixed, as

say that

it

had

Aphroflite, bronze statuette

{British

same hour

249

if

Museum).
seized

as the city was.

by the \olcano

at the

Impressionism, do you

its fire, in its breadth, in the way in


movement is instantaneoush' suri)rised;
but however much weakened, liowever enervated the

say.^

which

Yes, in
the

ANCIENT ART

250

and skeptical age,


comprehension
and
of
power
this painting expresses a
a depth of love that only a few isolated men attain
It is the onlv real renascence of Greek heroto-dav.
voice of

artisans of a corrupt

trie

It responds, like the

ism.

and the Venuses

"Hercules of the Belvedere"

of the valley of the

shock of Hellenic intelligence as

it

Rhone, to the

meets with Latin

force and, in a flash, creates an art complete in


vigor, its ardent

life,

and

its

its

feverish concentration.

Although these paintings are not, properly speaking,


(if we admit that a copy is possible and that

copies

the copyist, whether mediocre or touched with genius,

does not in every case substitute

nature for that

liis

of the master), although they are only reminiscences,

the transplantation of Greek works on a renewed


it is

through them that we can get an idea

distant one

even

soil,
if

of the painting of antiquity, which the

crumbling of the temples has wiped out.

The most

celebrated frescoes of the dead city recalled the works


of Polygnotus, Zeuxis, Parrhasios,

and Apelles.

The

painting related the ancient myths and the story of


the national wars.

very

much

At

simplified,

hard tones, brutal

first

it

knew

doubtless,

fiat colors onljs

very brilliant and

in their oppositions, before

appeared with Parrhasios.

The

lines

modeling

which inclosed

the powerful polychromy must have had the firmness


of the uninterrupted curve
hills

to the plains

men who were

and

of

which the passage

of the

bays to the sea taught to the

at this time

making the gods.

decorative in its beginnings, it

Always

undergoes the fate of

the painting of modern schools, where the easel picture

IX riiVlATE

GREECE

251

appears when the statues descend from their lieights

on the temples to invade the public squares, apartments, and gardens. Like sculi)ture, this painting

had

to

bend to the

will of the rich

man.

But

douljt-

Uraeus, bronze {Bibliotheque Nationale).

less it

retained

its

character better, being more supple,

more a thing of shades,

more

see

it,

more

what it did not want to hide,


somewhat like Venetian
around Giorgione and Titian: ripe, warm,

the master of saving only

])ainting

individualistic,

after Parrhasios, as

ANCIENT ART

252

autumnal, with an evanescent modeling in the colorful

shadows and dazzling

and which
It

is

in the parts

which stand out

by the s'ap from within.


and musical, however more massive,

se^em turned to gold

less fluid

more compact. Oil painting has not been discovered,


and the wax renders the work slower and less immaterial.
IV

In any case

it

has preserved until our time, through

Pompeii, the perfume of the Greek soul, of which

hands on to us one

of the

most mysterious

it

aspects, far

better than does the art of ceramics, which has traced

that soul for us in hardly anything more than


external evolution

in

its

such matters as composition,

and

The

superficial

technique,

ceramics

limited, with the little terra cottas, to rep-

is

subjects.

resenting the national industrial art of Greece


is

already saying a good deal.

But

it

role

of

which

cannot pretend

more than the reflection in the popular


by certain minds throughout

to stand for

soul of the flowers gathered

the nation.

Hundreds

workshops had been opened practically

of

everywhere, in Athens, in

Sicily, in Etruria, in

Cyre-

naica, in the Islands, in the Euxine, in a place as distant,

even,

as

worked with

Crimea.

the

painters of cups,
their

The most

celebrated

Euphronius, Brygos, and Douris,

workmen, often repeated them-

selves, copied one another and rivaled one another


in

activity

goodl}^

so as

communion

tinual exchange

to

attract patrons.

of their work,

Through the

through their con-

and emulation, they founded a pow-

Pompeii

(i

Century A.D.).

Teleplius suckled by a doe, fresco

{Naples Museum).

17

ANCIENT ART

254
industry.

erf 111

In

it,

as

other activities, except

in

where Greece was dominated by Sparta, the slave


collaborated with the master, whether as a farmer in

the country, as a servant in the city or as an artisan

he was, beyond

the workshop;

in

doubt,

all

less

unhappy than the feudal serfs or the wage-earner of


to-day.
Man was too wise, at that time, to utilize
the sufferings of man for his profit; life was too simple,
too near the soil, too merged with the light to take
the law of hell as

its

model.

Industrial art, however, in spite of these powerful


roots, is so limited

by

its

very purposes, that

it

cannot

pretend to such high intention as that of the art which

governs the sculpture of the gods.


hand, it avoids, for a

much

On

other

the

longer time, the double

snare of pretentiousness and of fashion.

more

Thus

it

dies

less

quickly and renews

was

right in re-establishing the dignity of the industrial

He was wrong

arts.

level with the others.


ially

itself

in placing

The

readily.

Diderot

them on the same


and more espec-

sculptor,

the painter, in his struggle with the material,

purpose of the object allows

it

to

is

The

guided only by the quality of the material.

move in so wide an
knows no other

area that the liberty of these artists


limits

than those of the

infinite

space in which occur

the relationships of intelligence and sensibility with

The

the whole universe of sensations and images.


artisan

is

confined between narrower frontiers by the

function of the furniture or the ornament on which

he works, and also by

its size.

do not

means

offer identical

fresco

and a thimble

to their creators.

If

the

INTIMATE GREECE
murmur

of the soul can

255

be as pure, as touching,

in

one

as in the other, the elements of the sympliony are far


less

numerous

Pompeii

com])lex.
is ol:>liged

in

the latter case, and infinitely

less

Century A.D.).
Theseus, conqueror of the
Minotaur, fresco (Naples Museum).

(i

And, before practical

utilitj',

spiritual utility

to retreat.

In addition, the

workman must

arrange, in such a

wav, the ornaments with which he wants to decorate


the obje(^t, so that thej' will follow the cmtour of

its

ANCIENT ART

256

forms, to modify themselves according to

and

its

volume

its surfaces, and, like himself, accept a role

excludes

all

others and which

is,

even

so, of

an

which

inferior

i^^^^*'
Herculaneuivi.

Faun playing on

pipes, fresco

{Naples Museum).

order.

we

And

thus

it is

that only in very rare cases do

discover on the sides of even the most beautiful

Athenian vases a hint

of

that

logical

composition

which places the great sculpture on the plane of the


Forms elongate and become parallel to
universal.

wed the

flanks of the amphoras, to

and to give them

spring.

They

make them

straight

stretch in encircling

INTIIMATE GRP:E( E
rings around the cups, the vases,

257

and the bowls as if


movement. Here

to drag the pot along in a spinning

and

there,

once

fiery

undoubtedly very often,

and sober,

in

an

enseniljle at

easily read at a glance, black

on

red or red on black, there are admirable details, draw-

Can tharus

of

Epigenes (Louvre).

ing as pure as the line of the landscape, incisive as the

mind of the race, and suggesting the absent modeling


by its direction alone and its manner of indicating
attitude and movement.
For the workman as for
the sculptor of the temple, the mold of the Archaic
is

broken, nature

is

no longer a world

of

immutable

and separate forms, but a moving world, constantly


combining and disuniting

itself,

and changing the elements

of its relationships at every

renewing

its

aspects

second.

The form

of these vases

is

so pure that one would

ANCIENT ART

258

had been born unaided, that it had not come


from the hands of the potters, but from the obscure
and permanent phiy of the forces of nature. We have
sav

it

a vague sensation before these vases, as

if

the artist

Votive helmet, bronze {Louvre).

were obeying the hints of the wheel as he presses in


or swells out the clay, thickens the paste or spreads it.
When the wheel hums, when the material whirls and

an inner music murmurs to the moving form the


mysterious fluctuation which gives songs and dances

flies,

INTI:MATE GREECE
their

rhythm.

flowers,

nature
still

259

Grain, breasts, round liaunches, closed

open flowers, twining

the central

roots, splierical forms of

mystery of them

The law

hollow of the vases.

sleeps in the

all

of universal attrac-

tion does not control the suns alone, but

all

mailer

same circle. Man tries lo


escape from the rhythm, and rhythm always draws

moves and lurns

in

Cup

him back

again.

the

of Chelis

(Lnurre).

The vase has the form

of fruits, of

The sphere

the mother's belly, and of the plants.


is

the matrix and the

comes out
Save

of

it.

tomb

of

Everything returns to

in the case of the great

which have the severity

Everything

forms.
it.

Panathenaic amphoras

of design projjer to their use, the

Greek vase almost always welcomes you with a charnn'ng


sense of the intimate. ^Mien it recounts the ad\entures
of war or interprets the old myths, it humanizes itself
delightfully.

Very often there are children at

their

ANCIENT ART

260

games,

men

in their

long, undulating,

tinuous

line.

husbandman

workshop,

and

The
told

women

at their toilet,

rich forms indicated with a con-

familiar painting of the Egyptian


of

work

the

of

the

fields.

The

familiar painting of the Greeks, a people of traders

and

talkers, speaks rather of

The legend
ence

is

Magna

of the stern

household work.

heroism of every-day

exist-

no more born out by these vases than by the

Gr.ecia.

Olive vase, silver. Treasury of Boscorealc


(Louvre).

Boeotian figurines.

toward

kindly,

Life

in

the ancient

sometimes

The passages between

difficult,

city

tends

equilibrium.

component elements are


more noticeable in speech and in the written law than
in reality.
Southern indulgence and familiarity draw
everything together. If the Greek had looked down
on woman he would not have spoken of her with so
much intelligent love, and if he had been harsh toward
his servitor he would not have shown him thus associated with his

own

its

tasks.

The

child plays

and goes

to school, where he learns music, writing, and recita-

INTIMATE GREECE

201

Tlic ephebiis frequents the stadium,

tion.

tlie

men,

young and old, frequent the agora, the housewife


On feast days, the young girls, like
spins and sews.
bending reeds,
ers antl

in

long

undulating water,

like

waving

like

flow-

garlands, dance
lines,

making

^to

the sound

rhythmical
of the shrill

movements

music

the

of the march,

of the pursuit, of the farewell,

of

supplication, of

prayer, of a voluptuousness unconscious of itself

full

life.

epitome of the

moments

of our

Passion.'*

The

essential

Greek knew

it

that he deified

was

for

him

so
it,

well

hut

it

a food, the

passage from one state of


equilibrium

to

another;

he had the intuitive

Funerary

Century B.C.).

Museum,

Athctis.)

feel-

ing that the impulse of sentiment


of realizing

stele (v

(National

was only a means

harmony.

Ares and Aphrodite had their temples, Dionysus


a veiled summit, a mysalso, but outside of Eleusis

terious

region

where,

doubtless,

the

unity

of

our

was revealed the three summits of Greece


were the Parthenon of Athens, the sanctuary of Delphi,
and the Altis of Olympia, where man came to adore
Reason, Beauty, and Energy. Heroism is life accepted.

desire

ANCIENT ART

262
It

is

the progressive and never-attained realization

of the conquests that life imposes

Submission to destiny
are in Athens, in the

on

therein

little

us.

There

Greece.

is

cemetery of Ceramica at

the foot of the Acropolis, certain funeral steles of a

moving symbolism.

Greece so wanted us to love

life

that she expressed her desire even on the stone of the

tomb.

Farewells are said there with simple gestures,

with slightly sad and perfectly calm faces, as


persons were going to see each other again;
clasps

if

the

Friend

the hand of friend, the mother touches the

child's hair

with her

fingers, the serving

to the mistress her jewel casket.

The

come, to be present at the departure.


terrestial life enters the

maid hands

familiar animals

The

subterranean shadow.

glory of

The Roman

Cajipagna.

Chapter VIII.

if

lA

ROME

ANCIENT ART

264

pretty closely reserved for the nation, and beyond

which everything, for them, was legends, semidarkness,


and confusion. Trade scarcely got be^'ond the coasts
of

The

the happy seas.

mountains

interior

of the horizon, the

Etruscan Art

(vi

of

the lands, the

unknown

forests, with-

Century B.C.). Sarcophagus,


Pope Julius).

detail

(Villa of

held their secret from Greece, since they escaped her


influence.

Hellenism has

left

only furtive traces outside of the

Greek world, properly

so-called.

There was, perhaps,

only one agricultural and nonmaritime people that

was strongly influenced by Greece, through the cities


of Magna Grsecia and through the sea routes.
The
country that lies between the Arno, the Tiber, the


ROME

0Q3

Apennines, and the sea was probably the only one of


the old world to accept, without resistance, and from
the heroic period onward, the supremacy of the Greek
spirit.
The Etruscans, like the Greeks, were doubtless
descended from the old Pelasgians, and recognized in
the products brought them by the ships vases

which they bought

especially,

in

large quantities

the encouragement of an effort related to their own.

In fact the most original manifestations of their art


always owe something to Greece and, certainly by
intermediation of the latter, to Assyria and to Egypt.

In time, undoubtedly,

Rome had

if

not come to

crush the germ of Etruscan genius, the latter would

have profited

b}'

the decline of Greece, for the realiza-

tion of itself through contact with its soil.


It is a
rugged land of torrents, forests, and mountains, well

drawn and

But the Etruscan peasant,

well defined.

bent over his furrow, in his landscape where the eye


is

constantly arrested by the

free horizon

trafficking

priest

man

of Greece

the bays and islands, or tending his

Hence, there

something funereal, violent, and

The

did not have the

that opened before the

among

sheep on the heights.


art

hills,

reigns.

Forms

is

in

Etruscan

bitter.

are inclosed in

tombs.

In the sculpture of the sarcophagi we frequentl\- find

two strange
stiffness

figures leaning

on their elbows with the

and the mechanical expression known

archaisms

the lower part

to ali

of their bodies

unconnected

with the secret and smiling upper part;

the frescos

of the funerary
killings;

chambers

the whole art

is

tell

a tale of sacrifices and

fanatical, superstitious,

and

ANCIENT ART

266

The myth and the technique often come


from the Greeks. But we seem to have something
here which resembles more the hell which the Pisan
agitated.

primitives are to paint, twenty centuries later, on the


walls of the

Campo

Etruscan Art.

Santo, than

Tomb

it

does the harmonies

of the Augurs, fresco, detail

{Corneto Tarquinia).

Tuscan genius

of Zeuxis.

is

already piercing through,

underneath these bizarre, over-elongated, and some-

what

sickly forms, wherein the vigor

the race

None

fail

to

and elegance of

overcome the enervated mysticism.

the less a strange force, a mysterious

up
them. These somber frescos look
shadows which one might trace on a wall.
in

powerful decorative genius reveals


equilibrium

constantly

itself in

life

wells

like

An

the
all-

them, an

pursued and given style to

ROME
by the

symmetry

visible

flight of birds,

It

flowers.

instant of

its

267

of the ritual gestures, of the

of the branches,

the leaves, and the

seems a kind of dance, caught


most fleeting rhythm.

Etruria, as the educator of

mediary step

of

civilization

in

the

Rome, was the interits march from the

on

'-m

Etruscan Art.

East

to

Roman

the

Cinerary urn (Perugia).

The

West.

Republic teach

us,

material

remains

of

the

perhaps, more about the

genius of the Etruscans than about that of the founders


of the city.
The vault, which the Pelasgians brought
from Asia, and which their ^Egean descendants gave

to primitive Greece,
Italic

descendants

is

in

transmitted to
Italv.

Rome

b}- their

The Roman arch

of

ANCIENT ART

268

triumph

is

oply a modified Etruscan gate.

the "Cloaca

and

Maxima"

forms the intestines of the

it

around which

grow

to

itself,

Rome had

built by architects from Etruria,

organ

city, the vital

profound materialism is to
by little and extend its arms

install

its

little

of

the whole of the ancient world. The


from
the sixth century onward, not only
Etruscan,
brings to Rome his religion and his science of augury,

over

stone

he digs the sewers, builds the temples, erects the first


statues; he forges the arms by which Rome is to

He

reduce him to subjection.

and his
uncompro-

casts bronze,

bronzes, in which he reveals his genius for

mising expression, have a bitter force that is as rugged


and hard as the oak clumps of the Apennines. The

Rome, the rough she- wolf of the


was made by an old Tuscan bronze worker.
symbol

of

Capitol,

II

From

Rome

her beginnings

is

herself.

She diverts

to her profit the moral sources of the old world as she


diverts the waters of the mountains to bring
inside

her

avidity exhausts

another.

The

walls.

At

it,

the

source

once

captured,

them
her

and she goes on farther to capture


beginning

of

the

third

century

Etruria has been crushed by Rome, and her blood


and nerves have been mingled with those of the Latins

and the Sabines.

And

this is the

together the block on which


self,

cement which holds

Rome

is

to support her-

to spread over the world the concentric circles

of her vital effort.

All the resistance she encounters.

fe

"X
Etruscan Art.

18

Fresco {Corneto Tarqninia).

ANCIENT ART

270

Pyrrhus, Carthage, and Hannibal,


so

many

be to her only

will

instruments for culti\'ating her will and for

increasing

The

it.

legions progress like the regular

deposit of a river.
If

Roman

positivism had not pressed the Latin and

Etruscan together, one asks, as one reads Plautus,


Lucretius, Vergil, and Juvenal,
realized

what

art could

rough synthesis of the

this

have

peoples,

Italic

with their love of woods and gardens, their genius,


as bitter as the leaves of their trees,

and

as rich as

But the Roman was bent too much


all his own vigor
and harshness. As long as war continued methodically
five or six centuries
he had not the time to express
himself.
As soon as the springs relaxed, the mind of
their plow-lands

.^^

on external conquests to conquer

Mum-

conquered Greece upset the whole mechanism.

mius, after the sack of Corinth, said to the contractors

charged with getting the spoil to Rome: "I warn you


that

if

you break those statues you

new ones

will

have to make

to replace them."

Such a misunderstanding of the higher


work of art has about it something sacred.
is

revealed therein from which a people

everything,

if

it

is

people's viewing of

been salvation,

if

also
life.

down on

candor

may

expect

the

characteristic

For

Rome

her.

it

that

of

would have

But she accepted them

she had others sent, and

devastated Greece,

she had refused the masterpieces

which the Consul sent to


eagerly,

role of the

and her hard

still

others;

spirit

wore

she
itself

that c^ianiond.

We have,

in this, one of the fatalities of history,

and

ROME
tlie

proof of the tendency in

271
tlie

societies to seek its equilihrinni.

ensemble of lunnan

Subjected materially,

a people of superior culture moi-ally subjects the people


that

conquered

it.

Etruscan Art.

Chaldea imposed

She-wolf

{Museum

its

of the Capitol).

Assyria, Assyria and Ionian Greece did the


Persia,

mind on

Greece transforms the Dorian.

Rome

to please Greece as the

parvenu does the

Greece wants to please

Rome

as the

same with
wants

aristocrat,

weak does the

In this contact Greece can no longer prostitute a genius which had long since escaped from her;
strong.

l)ut

Rome

loses part of her

The Roman,

in his

own

genius.

manners, his temperament,

his

whole moral substance, differed totally


religion,
from the Greek. In the case of the latter we have a
his

simple, free, investigating

life,

given over completely

ANCIENT ART

272
to

realizing

harmony which a charming

the inner

In the case

imagination pursues along every path.


of the

firm:

Roman,
it

seeks

life

its

is

disciplined, egoistic, hard,

nutriment outside of

itself.

and

The

B.ist of Tiberius, bronze

{National

Museum, Rome).

Greek makes the city in the image of the world. The


Roman wants to make the world in the image of the

The

city.

and the
cult

is

true religion of the

chief of the hearth

purely decorative.

is

Roman

is

the father.

The

the hearth,

The

official

divinities are concrete

Claudius

(i

Century A.D.)-

(Louvre.)

ANCIENT ART

274
things,

harmonious

without connection,

positive,

fixed,

envelope,

another personified

one

personified

to a

and jurisprudence.
is

It is the

contrary of Greece where

an insensible one from

man

to god, from

the real to the possible.

The Greek

and continuity

harmonic ensemble

and

in the vast

The Roman

reactions.

ideal

ideal

If

the art of this people

is

diversity

is

of actions

the

is

union of these isolated elements in a


ensemble.

domain

On one side
human right

apart and, in reality, quite secondary.


divine right and religion, on the other

the passage

beside

fact

They belong

fact.

without

stiff

artificial

and hard

not utilitarian,

certain to be conventional.

it is

Why

should

Rome

take the elements of these formal

conventions from others than Greece, who offered

them

to her?

There are to

fusedly.

In spite of

itself,

attempts at

be, indeed,

transformation, and even her instinct


against

is

to rebel con-

a people

itself,

is

itself.

The Greek temple cannot be transported to

Rome,

like the statues

the

Roman

and the paintings, and when


architect returns from Athens, from Sicily,

or from Psestum, he has

had the time on

his journey

unconsciously to transform the science he has brought

back from those

places.

The column becomes

thick

and smooth, often useless, placed against the wall in


If the Corinthian order
the guise of an ornament.
dominates, the Doric and Ionic transformed, make
frequent appearances, often mingling or superposing

themselves

in

the

same

monument.

almost always larger than in Greece, loses


It

is

The
its

temple,

animation.

voluntarily symmetrical, massive, heavj^ positive.

ROME
Outside of

Home
force

Rome-in Gaul,

275

in Greece, in xVsia especially,

resplendent with
constructs formidable temples,
plant growth
high
sunlight, on which the

and

Greco-Roman Art.

Wrestler, bronze

(Jjouvre).

of the

Corinthmn looks

the wall.
soil

In

But

eemente<l i^nto
like living trees

rare on T Mhan
buildings like these are
pla.Ned her
<loubtless, Rome only

then,,

Tl-.'-'I''";';
adn.inistrator.
habitual part of severe
luu. tlvc
the temples of As,a
Hellenie Ganl are Greek,
gran,lour ol everysumptnousness and the redoubtable

ANCIENT ART

276

thing that rises above this mystic, feverish

soil,

satu-

rated with rottenness and heat, and for which time does

Everywhere,

not count.

the

for

monu-

utihtarian

ments even for the arenas of Provence (to


more than these) present themselves with a

cite

no

discre-

an unstudied elegance which one does


those of Italy everywhere the native soil

tion, a grace,

not find in

Rome

imposes on
its

among

collaboration

and, sometimes,
In ornament, for example, we find

domination.

its

the Greeks, the Asiatics, the Africans, or the

Roman

Spaniards working under the


silent

insurrection

of

personal

constructor, the

sentiment.

Certain

Gallo-Roman bas-reliefs, by their savor and their


by the blithe vigor with which the stone is
attacked, by the concrete and perhaps slightly banterverve,

ing tenderness of their accent, immediately

make one

think of the leaves, the fruits, the garlands, and the


figures which,

ten centuries later, are to adorn the

and the fagades

capitals, the porches,

cathedrals.

It

the edifice that the

Roman

The Greeks variegated


and vermilion,
shone in the

and fugitive about

retains his rights.

their

green,

blue,

light.

stand polychromy.^

is

How

off

monuments with ocher

and gold; the building

should the

it,

something almost

He

sees

from the marbles

Therefore, he incorporates

a temple wherein

Roman

under-

Painting has something mobile

repellent to his genius.

and wearing

French

of the

only in the general ordonnance of

is

it

it

aerial,

of the Acropolis.

in the material,

multicolored

which

already paling

marbles,

veined, alternate with granites, porphyries,

he makes
simple

and

or

basalts.

I*?\

Greco-Roman Art. Bucclumto,


{Museum of the Vatican).

fresco

ANCIENT ART

278

Harmony

the color

scarcely counts;

is

to change

no

more.
Ill

The same transformation everywhere in painting,


The copy, even when conscientious, is

in sculpture.

MMJLk

Tomb

of Cecilia Metella

always unfaithful.
laborious;

it

is

It

is

dead.

Century B.C.).

(i

made heavy, pasty, and


The Greek statue maker,

working in Rome, sometimes has beautiful awakenings,


but he obeys the fashion

now

now

As

decadent,

archaistic.

maker, his work

is

he

is

to the

classical,

Roman

now

statue

to manufacture for the collector

HOME

270

innumerable replicas of the statues of the great period


of Athens.

It

is

the second

stej)

from which the modern world


first

is

in that
still

academism

suffering.

dated from those pupils of Polycleitus, of

The Pont du Card


of Phidias,

and

of Praxiteles

The

ISIj-ron,

(19 B.C.).

who knew

their trade

too well.

Rome encumbers
dead and the

itself

with statues.

All those

living.

There are the

who have

held public

high or low, want to have under their eyes the


material and durable witness of the fact. Far more,

office,

each one,
the

if

efi'ect

marble

in

he can pay for

the Imperator

who

wants to know

in

advance

be produced by the trough

that will

which he

it,

to be laid away.

is
is

It

to see his military

illustrious in the nuirble of the

is

of

not only

life

made

triumphal arches and

ANCIENT ART

280

The centurion and the tribune surely have,


in their public life; some high deed to hand down for
the admiration of the future. The sculptors of the

columns.

sarcophagi devise the anecdotal bas-relief.

Historical

"genre," that special form of artistic degeneration,

which at

Rome

(i

all

times. has so comfortably kept house with

j.^i.'pfi'i

Century A.D.). The Colosseum. Interior of the arena.

academism,

and

is

relate as

invented.

many

The

great aim

is

to

find

heroic deeds as possible in the

On five or six meters of marble


life of the great man.
adventures are heaped up, personages, insignia, weapons,
and fasces are squeezed in. Everything is episodic,
and one

seizes

sober Greek

nothing of the episode; whereas in the


bas-relief

the whole signification


glance.

And

yet

it

is,

where nothing was episodic,


of the scene appeared at a
above

all,

in these bas-reliefs

ROME
that
is

tlie

Roman

harsh

genius

^281

lias loft its trace.

There

very often a kind of somber force and a solemnity

there which affect us sharply, carrying with


train of crushing memories

barbarous power

Rome.

restrain.

Sometimes,

of the rustic

fruits,

in

the

lictors,

heavy

chiseled

the flowers, and the foliage

and vintages
the mounting

like the harvests

Campagna, one

sap which

w^hich swells in the

them a

which no education can

even,

accumulate and heap up


of the strong Latin

the

of Titus, central gallery.

Thermae

garlands where the

laurels,

In these bas-reliefs there bursts

the consular purple.


forth

the

Rome

poems

feels

could not dry up and

of Lucretius as in

tree that sends out green shoots again.

an old

Then the

Greeks are forgotten, and the sculptors from Athens

ANCIENT ART

282

must laugh

in pity before these confused

And

riches of the earth.

poems

to the

doubtless they prefer the

heavy imitations of themselves that are made. There


are no more empty places, to be sure, no more silent
passages, no longer any wave of uniting volumes that
reply to one another in their constant need for musical

But

equilibrium.

whose opulence

is

a disciplined orgy, even

is

it

so,

an element to be incorporated with

the intoxication of the flesh rather than inscribed in


the mind.

The landscape background

of the

Roman,

on the whole, affirms itself as less stylized, doubtless,


but more moving and sensual than the Greek setting.
One hears the crunch of the vintagers' feet on the
grapes, the oak offers armfuls of firm acorns and black
leaves, the ears of

wheat loaded with grains group them-

selves into tliick sheaves, we smell the floating perfume of green boughs and the odor of the plowed soil
and the richness and density of all this sculpture
In the producare due, probably, to workmen only.

tion of the official statue maker,

on the contrary, a

violent confusion reigns, monotonous ennui and

immo-

bility.

Such

a spirit

is

entirely foreign to

man,

entirely to glorifying beings, tilings,

toward which

man

is

it is

devoted

and abstractions

not drawn by his true nature,

but by prejudice, or the

cult of the

moment.

And

it

was to this spirit that allegory owed the favor which


it

enjoyed under

Roman

does not love allegory.

dominates
itself

it,

is

it

in

The

great artist

imposed on him, he
form, drawing from form

If it

he drowns

the sense that

academism.
is

always in

it.

Allegory, on the

PoLA

(i

Century A.D.).

The Arena,

detail.

ANCIENT ART

284

other hand, dominates the false

artist, to

whom

form

the caricature of the symbol.

says nothing.

Allegory

The symbol

is

the living visage of the realized abstrac-

allegorj'

has to mark the presence of the abstrac-

tion;

tion

by

is

external attributes.

These cold academic

studies,

these mannikins of

^^:i

tr^-V

Sarcophagus of Julius Bassus (Vatican).

bronze and of marble, these frozen gestures


the same

these

knew no change,

^always

oratorical or martial attitudes

which

these rolls of papyrus, these draperies,

these tridents, lightnings, and horns of plenty crowded

themselves, heavy and tiresome, into


places,

into, forums,

squares,

cophagi and statues were

made

all

the public

and sanctuaries.
in

Sar-

advance; the orator

dressed in his toga, the general in his cuirass, the


tribune, the quaestor, the consul, the senator, or the

ROME

OH5

imperator, could be supplied at any Lime.

was interchangeable.

The
the shoulders.

The bodv
The head was screwed on to

wife of Trajan {British

To

Museum).

recognize the personage one had

to look at the face, which

would sometimes be placed

too high to be distinguishable.

was the only thing


that did not' have the appearance of having come from
It

ANCIENT ART

286
the factory.

It alone responded to a need for truth,

an obscure and material need, but a sincere one.

was made only

after the order

from the person who ordered

it;

It

had been given and


thereafter, the artist

and the model collaborated honestly.


There

Roman

is

Man

about

implacable

There

portraits.

no convention,

is

these

all

l)ut

also

woman, emperor or noble, the


followed feature by feature, from the bone-

no fantasy.

model

something

is

or

structure of the face to the grain of the skin, from the

form of the hair dressing to the irregularities of the


noses and the brutality of the mouths. The marble
cutter

He

attentive, diligent,

is

and

of

complete probity.

does not think even of emphasizing the descriptive

elements of the model's face, he wants to

There

likeness.

is

no attempt at

or flattery or satire

lies

it

with psychology and


sense of the word.

There

care for exactitude.

no

concern

character, in the descriptive

little

of

make

not the least attempt at generalizing,

is

If

neither does the model.

penetration than

less of

the artist does not

These are

ments, from the real Caesars of

historical

Rome

lie,

docu-

to the adven-

turers of Spain or of Asia, from deified monsters to

Stoie

Where is the classic type of the


medal" in these heads.^ They may be

emperors.

"profile like a

heavy or

delicate,

square,

sharp-featured, or round,

at times dreamy, often wicked, but they are always


true,

whether puffed-up play actors,

idealists,

wholly

Some

brutes,

slightly

foolish

weather-beaten

who

are not even

of these heads, certainly,

through their

old centurions, or
pretty.

incurable

crowned

hetairne

Q
O
>

ANCIENT ART

288
quality
life

of

and the intensity with which

attention,

concentrates in them, by their density and mass,

by the pitiless pursuit of the profound modeling which


the bone structure of the interrogated face possesses
by chance and reveals
beauty.

to the sculptor, are of a powerful

In the statue of the'Great Vestal, for example,

immediate truth attains the stage


then the whole of Rome, with

and the weight

strong and grave


as

safe

as

laid

it

the

its

of

typical truth:

domination

on the world, appears

woman;
hearth,

it is

of itself,
in this

as solid as the citadel,

without humanity,

without

tenderness, and without weakness, until the day


slowly, deeply, irresistibly,

it

is

to

when

have plowed

its

furrow.
IV

We

must turn our back on the temples, give

scarcely

a glance to the massive arches and columns of triumph.

Around them the brutal mounting of the processions


lifts the power of Rome to an empj-rean no higher than
The Rome, which wanted to be and
their summit.
believed

to be

itself

an

put the whole of

artist,

its

native genius into the marble portraits and into certain


bas-reliefs of startling authority

find this genius again in

proportionately

more

imposing

and ruggedness.

characteristic

manifestations,

and

To
dis-

we must

leave the domain of art, properly so-called, of that


superior function whose role

consider the expressions of


daily

life.

to exalt

all

the higher

and of love. We must


Rome's positive and mate^Rome had no other moral need

activities of the intelligence

rialistic

is

ROME

289

than that of proclaiming her external

fflorv,

and

an^

monument sufficed for that, provided it wa.s graced


with the name of temple, arch of triumph, rostrum,
But Rome had great needs

or trophy.

health, physical strength, and, later

pour out

Temple

in

matters of

on in order to
and strength which had grown

this health

of Jupiter at Baalbeck, fletail

(ri

Century A.D.).

too heavy to bear after the end of the wars


great need of food, of

Hence the paved


at

first,

circuses

women, and

of violent

it

had

games.

roads, the bridges, and aqueducts

and afterwards the theaters, the baths, and the

blood

The Roman

and meat
ideal

after travel

and water.

throughout history has the uni-

formity and the constancy of an administrative regulation.

In

Rome

the real artist

is

the engineer, as

ANCIENT ART

290
the true poet
is

the historian and the true philosopher

is

The Roman imposes on the

the jurist.

and on nature the form


represses his instinct for rapine; by
society,

of

family, on

his

living

He

will.

on himself

he acquires the moral vigor necessary to conquer the


earth;

he

from

escapes

surroundings

arid

his

by

reaching out with his tentacles of stone to the ends of


the world.
his annals,

He
and

plans the whole of his work

the other, just

as,

starting

his law,

one paving stone after

his roads, with

from Rome, he extends

over the plains, the mountains, and the sea, circle


after circle of his domination.

The
sites

its

strength were the

hills

amid the marshes,

pride of this people and

where

it

dwelt

a few low

from which the inhabitants of the Sabine heights and


the

plowman

of

Latium

nor water, the view


hostile mountains.

is

It

flee.

closed
is

There

neither bread

is

by a distant

circle of

a refuge of pariahs, but of

violent and voracious pariahs

who know

that there

are fat lands, rich cities, and herds behind the horizon.

Cost what
accursed

it

circle.

may, they must break through the


The race is to draw its strength from

the mountain springs which rigid paths of stone are


to spread in torrents over

Rome.

Rigid lines of stone

are to direct that force across the dry marshes, across

the open forests, the rivers, solitudes, and mountains,


to the light of the south

and the mists

of the north.

Cement binds the stones and the slabs of the pavement, making of them a single, continuous block, from
the center of the inhabited world to

Blood

starts

from the heart.

Rome

its
is

boundaries.

in the

whole

ROME
Rome.

The ancient

oasis of woods, of

plowed lands,

empire, the whole empire

world

an immense

is

of opulent cities,
of walls

iiUl

is

in

and fecund oceans;

Rome

and huts, a surge, black and low,

the people;

its

is

a mass

of the

dens of

noise never ceases, if crowns

itself

MMlllliii
Orange

(ii

Centurj' A.D.).

The Theater.

laboriously with hard buildings of stone, heavy in their

form and

in their silence.

city lies a

Between the world and the

mournful desert crossed by

as far as the circle of the horizon,

it

is

rigid

arteries;

a sad tract of

country, undulating like a sea under the sun or the


night.

Thus

to w^eld this isolated city to the rest of the

world, materially and morally, an enormous jjride was

needed,
that

an enormous energy, and enormous works

increased

this

energy,

exalted

this

pride,

and

ANCIENT ART

292

more enormous.
Under the Empire the tendency toward the enormous
quickens till it becomes a wild pace. More aqueducts,
bridges, and roads, more stones beside stones.
With
Asia subjected and peace imposed, the thirst for
pleasure and the freedom needed for it made their
entry into Rome. The city gives itself up to enjoyment with all the strength it had devoted to conquest
and authority. The enormous is in demand more
and more in play, in love, in idleness, as in war, law,
history, and the construction of the city.
Rome is
no longer content to make the pulsations of its heart
incited

it

to undertake works

still

the limits of her empire, she

felt to

not to rest until

is

she has brought the material of the empire back to


herself.

Men

of all races congest her streets, bringing

with them their manners, their gods, and their

"The

climates are conquered, nature

is

soil.

subjected; the

African giraffe and the Indian elephant walk about

Rome

under a movable

forest;

vessels fight

on land."^

After the aqueducts and the roads, amphitheaters are


constructed, circuses in which armies

kill

where eighty thousand Romans can see


of the desert, forest,

and mountain

while pools of hot blood


clotted.

Thermae are

dampen

the beasts

let loose

upon men,

the blood already

built with tanks in

thousand persons can bathe at

each other,

all

ease,

which three

immense

tepi-

dariums, promenades with monstrous vaults, where


the idler passes his day amid
cians, rhetoricians, sophists,

Greece.
'

But the

women, dancers, musi-

and statues brought from

soul of Greece did not enter with

Michelet, Histoire Romaine.

ROME
them. /The Greek, even to

e{)3

(hiys of

tlie

decHne, loved these forms for themselves.

them a

sees in

fit

frame for

into his

But

I'he

orgy of the

He

of streaming waters.

l)lood,

his

saddest

liis

Roman

flesh, of

plunges with frenzy

heavv sensualitv.
t/

I.

in that, at least, without

knowing

he

it,

is

an

fP

If I ill till

Arena

The

artist.

positive,

of

activity

egoistic,

Nimes

is

(ii

Century A.D.).

low form, doubtless

of a

and not to be freed from

cruel,

But the organization

materialism.

quite

it

calls

forth

is

thereby acquires

so powerfully adapted to

it,

a crushing,

and monotonous splendor.

Thus
top,

rare,

direct,

in all cases, at the

on the lowest step

that

bottom

of the

in the material as in the

it

of the scale as at the

temple as in

its

pediment,

moral order, the beautiful

and the useful mysteriously agree.

The

official

ornaments,

religious

architecture

is

flooded

quadrigas, bas-reliefs, allegories,

and

with
false

ANCIENT

294

i^.RT

The Corinthian column which, with

columns.
leaves of

its

capital crushed

by the entablature, was

so illogical that the Greeks hardly ever used

invented to permit the

the

Romans

seems

it,

to display, in stupefy-

ing contrast, the lack of artistic intelligence of those

among them who were


As soon
city of art.
architecture loses

as

they use ornament, their

beauty, because

its

loses its logic.

it

the same error occurs every time they aim at

And

before

effect

considering

Here are

enjoyment and the positive

life,

the

lover

Roman

when he approaches speculation, the


the symbol. As soon as it is a question

astray
idea,

silver

scarcely drink from them.

One can

forms.

function.

their bowls cluttered with chiseled

cups of the Romans,

of

intrusted with preserving the

goes

general
of satis-

fying his material instincts, he says admirable things.

There are no

ornaments on

bridges, or his thermae, very

and these
real

are,

works

his

aqueducts,

his

few on his amphitheaters,

with those positive portraits, his only

of art.

Bare, straight, categorical, accept-

ing their role, they present to us their terrible walls,


piles of

matter gilded by the southern

and whitened by the


their aerial vaults

frosts of the north.

on cyclopean

pillars,

fire,

crackled

They present
the lines of

giant arches bestriding the valleys and the swamps,

bursting through rocky barriers or sealing them


their

vertical

rise

as

or their progression,

sure,

in

cliffs

or as herds of primitive monsters.

The

as

goal

toward which they aim gives them a look of implacThey have the inflexibility of mathematics,
ability.
the force of the

will,

the authority of pride.

K()>rE

They have the hghtness

2!).>

of the foliage

llial

<iuiv(is

at the top of the trees, sixty feet above the ground.

The

arch, the vaults of various kinds, the corridors,

and the cupolas, a thousand blocks

of granite are, for

m
y^^-^'^^^^sf^^-L
Rome.

Antonine column (ii Century A.D.).


the Germanic chiefs, detail.

twenty centuries, suspended

They cannot crumble


and the assault

of the

their trunks; they

imagination of

the air

leaves.

winds and the sun have ui)rooted

all

air of

winters.

being natural growths

To

petrify the depth

depth of the tree top!

man

like

before the infiltration of water

have an

which would outlast


of the azure, the

in

Execution of

It

needed the

to realize the miracle of offering

to the crowds, as their perpetual shelter, the curves

which bent over the curve of (he earth. Il needed


the audacity of man to suspend matter in space by

ANCIENT ART

i296

own

its

by leavthem that they cannot fall,


tendency to separate by thickening the

weight, to stick stones to one another

ing so Httle space between


to check their

bear them, until a point of absolute solidity

pillars that
is

reached.

The higher

it

is,

the straighter

the barer, the

it is;

empty

denser; the less of light, the fewer openings and

spaces

the better the wall presents, on the

offers,

it

smiling or dramatic face of the

soil,

of energy, of continuity in effort.


is

will,

The Roman

wall

one of the great things of history.

Might,
holds
fall

forever,

stones

all

its

itself

which

And, as

it

is

seems to be uninterrupted,

it

when

split

and

for

Rome

the houses of

the Colosseum.

of

changed

even

It

The

fissured.

thousand stones does not shake

of a

with

Right.

it is

centuries

is

the image of

it.

For ten

were built of the

The Colosseum has not

The Roman wall remains identical


everywhere. The pavement of the roads,
form.

two hundred leagues pursues

its rigid

only a wall lying on the earth to embrace

march,
it

and

The arch of the bridges, which is only a


wall bent like the wood of a bow, draws taut the passive bowstring of the rivers.
The wall of the aqueducts,
enslave

it.

hollowed out like the beds of the rivers themselves,


carried their waters in a straight line wherever the
sedile

wants them to

go.

High and bare, the outer


whose appetite or

wall of the theater prevents those


rebellion

is

to be

overcome from peering into the

expanse of the horizon.

The

continuous and compact as a

wall

of

free

the circuses,

circle of bronze, incloses

the bloody orgy within the geometrical rigor of a law.

The Great

Vestal (in Century A.D.).

(National

Museum, Rome.)

ANCIENT ART

298

The

wall that rounds

over the tepidarium and

itself

the swimming pools, with the

phere kept within

docilitj'

in its spherical

of

an atmos-

boundaries by the

gravitation of the heavens, confers on voluptuousness

and hygiene the grand authority of a natural order.


It was in Rome that the Pelasgic poem of the wall,
developed so sensitively and wisely by the Greeks

Vase from the Treasury of Bernay,

silver

{Bibliotheque Nationale)

and the Etruscans, found


ble expressions.

It

was

its

in

most powerful and dura-

Rome

that the applications

of the Asiatic vault were the most various, its use the
most frequent, its employment the most methodical.
The vault, in Chaldea and in Assyria, had lengthened
itself out, weighed down on the palaces and houses

or swelled above them,

Rome
tion,

it is

and hung over the

cities.

In

the very base of every utilitarian construc-

and the greater part

of the architectonic forms

derive from

the

its

ROME

299

the

arches of the Ijridges,

presence

the corridors around the circuses,

portals,

immensity of the
of the walls, the

halls

power

made
of

the height of the edifice,

Gallo-Roman Art

the

by the might
the supports, required by
the circular monuments
possible

(beginning of the in Century).

Boar (Museum

Wild

of Orleans).

images of the horizon, of the plains bearing the cupola


of the sky.

The Tombs

of Cecilia Metella, the

and the Pantheon


of the force of

ring of
built.

hills,

It

is

of

Agrippa

Rome and

Mole

of Hadrian,

especially, are epitomes

of the severe

and savage

the circus in the center of which

a sad power that

it

possesses;

the

it

is

full

walls are as rough as the hide of a monster, the interior


is

as secret

and iealous as the

soul

of

tin's

people.

ANCIENT ART

300

which did not consent to manifest itself before having


stripped from every other peojjle the right to discuss

The thing weighs on the crust of the earth


and seems to emanate from it. At the top of the
Pantheon a circular opening lets in the light of heaven.
that soul.

It falls as

if

regretfully,

ing the farther corners.


It
in

is

and never succeeds

Rome

is

in illuminat-

self-willed

and

closed.

only into the stone circuses that the sun entered

a flood, to light up the spectacles which the tamed

world gave to

up

Rome

while

it

waited

in the city its hatred, revolt,

cation.

Panem

and

should gather

thirst for purifi-

The Colosseum

Circenses!

et

till it

is

noth-

ing but the formula in stone of the monstrous needs

The

of the king-people.

at his

bread

command

here

to

patrician no longer has

occupy the plebeian.

are circuses,

war

Here

is

in which a whole city can

be seated and which are built in such a way that from


each of the seats one can witness the death struggle
of that city.

Never has there been seen under the

heavens a theater better arranged for presenting the


spectacle of a suicide than that one.

CThe

equilibrium of

Rome had

and philosophic character

and

this does

extent of the

not result so

much from

Roman Empire

moral anarchy.

Greece,

not the spontaneous

of the equilibrium of Athens,

as

the multiform

from the depth of

its

while at war with Persia,

harmony than Rome was at the


very hour when she decreed peace. Her repose, her

was much nearer


art,

The

to

her pleasure, even, were of an administrative order.


struggle of interests, the rivalry of classes,

and

the social disorder continued from the early days of

Gallo-Roman Art.

20

Altar

{('/lurch of Verecourt).

ANCIENT ART

302

the Republic to the triumph of Christianity.

out

Roman

who

the rich man,

games.

man

history the poor

holds him,

But below the poor

who

first

man

Through-

struggles against

by war, then by
more

there was a

saw the games, save as


slave, the dark rumbwas
the
an actor in them. This
ling of Suburra and the Catacombs, and w^oman,
another slave, outraged every day and by all, in her
miserable being

rarely

and in her tenderness. The being who lives in


the shadows ceaselessly calls upon the sun to rise
flesh

The mystic

within him.

tide of the poor,

the tide

born of Hellenic scepticism was mounting and was to


submerge Roman materialism. Rome did not dream,
doubtless, that the day on which she broke the frightful resistance of the little Jewish people marked the
beginning of the victory of the

little

It was in the law of things that the soul

over herself.

of the ancient

world, compressed

flow back into the soul of

Rome.

by Rome, should
The patricians had

been dominated by the Greek ideal;


in their turn,

the plebeians,

were dominated by the Jewish idealr

The church was


the rich

Jewish people

man was

to be built on this hard stone,

again to enslave the poor

and

man by

him the promise, or the simulacrum, of the


Rome, by becoming
Christian, did not cease to be herself; as she had
remained Rome when she thought she had become

giving

well-being to which he laid claim.

Hellenistic.

of Christ.

The

apostles

Rome had no

had already

veiled the face

trouble in casting the feeling

masses in the mold of her will to launch them


anew upon the conquest of the earth. Her material
of the

Ro:\iK
desire for world-empire

into contact with the

wus

.'}().'}

Lo reuwakc-ii

dream

upon

comBuddhism,

munion, which Christianity, after far-awaj'


implanted in the souls of men; and
this

dream

hero

to

of the sun, thought he

it

was to transform

Julian the Apostate, the last

its profit.

who appeared on

eoiiiiiig

of universal moral

the dark earth Ijefore the

was combating the

fall

religion of

Cinerary urn {National Museum, Rome).

Asia.

was already against

It

struggling,

The men

and

Rome had

Rome

that

he was

the habit of conquering.

of the north, flood after flood,

may

descend

toward the Mediterranean, the great mirror of the


divine

which

figures,
all

the

inexliaustible

basin

of

rays

the ancient peoi)les came to draw up

Rome, buried under

is

light.

more
to remain Rome, and when

incessant

than a thousand years,

human waves

to

for

she reappears at the head of the peoples, the peoi)les


are to perceive that they are marked with her imi)rint.

j^. "" >

iS'2^

Gallo-Roman Art
.Altar of Jupiter

'"^*

(i

'*^'^^

Century A.D.).

{Chiny Museum).

ALPHA J5

:!!(

AL

XDEX

OF THE NAMES CITED IX THIS VOLUME


Al)raliam. 117.

Ilmiildidrs, 134.

/Escliylns, 119. 148, 176, 22G, 247.

IlaiiMi!):il,

Agamciiiiion,

lieraclilus, 160.

17.

Homer,

.Mexiuidcr, 110, 208.

270.

116.

.Xiuixagoras, 150.

Antenor, 152.

IctinoN, 176.

Apcllcs, 250.

Jesus Clirist, xxxiv, 226, 228.


.Julian tlie Apostate, 303.
Juvenal, 270.

Arifitodcs, I'M.

Aristophanes, 156, 233.


As.surl)ani])al, 90.

Augustus, 218.
Rauik'laiiv, wiii.

Kanakhos, 134.
Kant, xxiii.

Boruini,

Koek

xl.

(Paul

(le), x!.

Bryaxis, 201.

Lamarck, xxxiv.

Brijqos, 252.

Leochares,

Cambyses,

Carriere (Eugene), xxvii.


Cervantes, xxix.

Cezanne,
Clarke,

xl, xlii.

Lucian of Samosate, 212.

7G.

Lueretius, 270, 281.


Lijftippii.s,

00, 223.

xli, xlii.

Maret,

xl.

CleMhas, 134.
Cyrus, 101.

xl.

Masacc-io, 248.

MieliacI .Vngelo, xviii, xxx,

xl,

xliv,

215.

Darius, 106.
Diderot, 254.

Michclet,

Doiiris, 252.

Miunmius, 270.
Myron, 154, 156, 279.

xviii,

292.

ISIoses, 117.

Endoios, 138.
Eiiphroniits, 252.

Napoknm,

Kurij)i(ieH, 194.

Newton, xxxiv.

xl.

Evans, 116.
Parrlia.ii'ns,

250, 251.

Giorgione, 251.

Pdxilclrs, 218.

Guyau,

Pericles, 156.

xxiii.

'The names
Italics.

of llie arlisls

who

arc dircclly in nucslimi arc prinlcil in

ALPHABETICAL INDEX

306

Phidias, xix, xxxiv, xl, xlii, xliv, 149,


150, 156, 162, 168, 176, 178, 194,
196, 210. 218, 226, 242, 246, 279.

Scopa.% 201, 210.

Pindar, 148, 247.

Socrates, 150, 226.

Pisistratus, 128, 138.

Solomon, 105.

Plato, xxiv, 150.

Plautus, 270.

Sophocles, 148, 176.


Spencer (Herbert), xxiii, xxviii.

Polycleitus, 154, 150, 279.

Sully (James), 14.

Serairamis, 86.
Sennacheril), 90.

Polygnotus, 250.
Praxiteles, 192,

194, 196, 214, 224,

231, 279.

Taine,

xviii.

Theocritus, 246.

Pyrrhus, 270.

Titian, 251.

Pythagora.s, 226.

Tolstoi, XX.

Rembrandt,

xviii,

xxxiv,

Renoir, xli, xlii.


Rodin (Auguste), xxiv.
Ruben.s,

xlii, xliv.

Vergil, 270.

Winckelmann,

xlii.

Saint Paul, 226.


Sargon, 90.

Schlicmann, 116, 117.

Xerxes, 140.
Zeuxis, 250.

xliii.

SYNOPTIC TABLES

Roman

altar

{Mu.srum of Aries).

AND ABBREVIATIONS

SKxNS

Employed

in the .synoptic tables

a.

Architect.

Sp. Spain.

A. Attic School.

s.

Sculptor.

Af. Africa.

Ag. Argive School,

p.

Pointer.

A.

M.

c.

Ceramist.

M.

G.

The names

Magna

of painters,

and other workers

names

Asia Minor.

JE. iEginetan School,

Grsecia.

S.

sculptors,

architects,

the plastic arts are in

in

of the principal masters are in

still

exist or of

is

in

in

the case of destroyed

celebrity, as the

monuments

Temple

and the Asclepieion

Gallo-Roman Art

of

of

of

interest

Exception

of particular

temple of Hera at Olympia (the

Greek temple known), the Colossus


of Babel, the

sufficient

work which possesses

the artistic or archaeological point of view.

made

The

the synoptic

which there are fragments of

importance to constitute

from

ceramists,

italics.

heavy type.

Only such monuments are mentioned


tables as

Sicyonic School.

earliest

Rhodes, the Tower

Solomon, the Sanctuary

of Eleusis,

Epidaurus.

(hi

Century A.D.V

(Mvsexm

of Sens.)

Prehistoric Lands

sooth century
(?)

200th century
(?)

100th century
(?)

75th century
(?)

60th century
(?)

50th century
(?)

40th centun

35th century

Greece

Rome

Geological Epcx-hs'
Glacial period

Epoch

of

Aurignac

Paleolithic epoch

CChclics)

(F.o

Moiistier)

(Solutrc)

Magclalenian epoch

Totcmism

Warm

and moist

i)criod

Neolithic epoch

Totemisiu

Sothic pprio<l. Classic calendar (4240)


IlieroKlyphir uritiiiK (?)
Astronomy
Bal)ylou.

Kim-Hi. Cliiniw

li-Kihlalor (;{4f>.S?)

'

(lutes are merely approximations


and may vary by many centiiriei*.

The

B.C.'

33d century

30th century

Prehistoric Lands

Necklaces, Bracelets,
Potteries

Asia

Observatory Temples
(The Tower of Babel)

Ancient Empire
{Memphis, 1 to X Dynastie
'

Scandinavia,'

France, Brittany,

Engraved cylinders

Sphinx

Spain, England
{Megalithic monuments)

gees

Hy

of Gizeh, Thinite

Abydos, Hieraconp

of

and Negadyie Pyramid of sf


at Sakkarah
Temple of pink granite

Palace of Telle
Statues of Goudea

Archaic statues of diorite


Stele of the Vultures

Menhirs

2fth

Cheo-Hang invents painting


China (?)

Pyramid

of

Meidoun

Hypogees

of

Sakkarah

in

century

Megalithic

monuments

Pyramids

of

Gizeh

Mastaba

of

Gizeh

Limestone statues
Archaic paintings

in India

JDolmens

Mastaba

The Chinese

scale (?)

25th century

Ti, a.

of

in

chief,

Sakkarah
Pyramids of Abousir
Mastaba of Ptahhotep at
karah
Apogee of sculpture and pai:
ing

Triliths

Pyramid of Ounos at Sakkai


Mastaba of Meri
Pyramids of Sakkarah
Seated Scribe of the Louvr

Temple

22d century

of

Ourou

in

Middle Empire

Chaldea

{Thebes,

21st century

Cromlechs

Code

of the

rabi in

20th century

First

Laws

of

Hammu-

Chaldea (on stone)


Chinese bronze

XI

to

XVI

'

Dynasti

Obelisk of Heliopolis
Hypogees of Sint

Hypogees of Abydos
Pyramids of Fayoum

(?)

Great Temple

of

Amon

Karnak

Alignments

Hypogees of Beni-Hassan
Hypogees of Assaouan
Apogee of jeweler's art and gt

19th century

smith's art

and intimate ar
Pyramid of Dahchour

Industrial

18th century

Covered

alleys

First Chinese ceramics (?)

Classic funerary sculpture

The

labyrinth (Temple of

Haouara)

17th century

Megalithic

monuments

Colossus of Sowakhotep II
Sphinx of Tanis
The bearer of offerings of

16th century

Statue of Napir-Asou in

Chaldea

Louvre
Hypogees, pair tings

New Empire
XVII to XX D
'

{Thebes,

nasties)

15th century

Megalithic

monuments

Academic funerary sculptui

Temple

of

Temple

Deir el-bahri

of

Amada

First hypogees of Biban

Megalithic

monuments

Moluk

el

Greece

B.C.'

Prehistoric Lands

Egypt

Asia

Speos of Gebel

Hypogees

Silsile
el

Abd

Cheik

of

ei-(

Kourna
Senmout,

14th century

Megalithic

a.

Memnon

Colossuses of

Amenophis III at
El-Kab
Temple of Luxor
Hypogees of El-Amarna

Temple

monuments

Phixnician textiles, potteries,

and

of

Temple

of Sethos I at

Kourna

Temple

of Sethos I at

Abydos

Great hypostyle

hall of

'

Karnak

glass

Thebes
The Serapeuni
The Rauiesseum

Me'iy,

n. in chief of

Colossus of Rameses II

Great temple and colossuses


Ibsamboul
Cavern-temple of Gerf-

of

Housem

Temple of Beit-el-Oualli
Temple of Hathor at Ibsamboul

Temple

of
of

Speos

Restorations of
13th century

Megalithic

monuments

Hypogees

Temple
Hittite art

of

Seboua
Derr

monuments

Biban-el-Moluk

Khonsou

of

at

Karnak

Great temple of Rameses


at Medinet Abou

III

'

Tomb of the Queens at MedinetAbou


Hypogees
Megalithic

monuments
First Chinese, jades (?)

12th century

11th century

of Bibaii-el-Moluk

Bronze weapons and

tools

Bronze weapon.'^ and

tools

Bronze weapons and tools

Cypriote art
Jewelry

Goldsmith's art

Industrial

Hiram, Phoenician,

and intimate art

a.

Saite

Welta,
10th century

Bronze weapons and

tools

Temple

of

Jerusalem

XXI

Empire

to

XXX

nasties) (950)

Dy-

CJreece

B.C.'

Asia

Prehistoric L.\nds

Egypt

Assyria
Zigurats (towers of stages)
Hanging gardens

'.

Jewelry Goldsmith's art

9th century

Bronze weapons and

tools

Bas-reliefs

(Monsters, winged geniuses,


kings and warriors,
scenes of hunting, and war
animals)

Industrial

and intimate

art

Engraved cylinders

Palace and bas-reliefs of

Nimrod

Palace and bas-reliefs of

Khorsabad
8th century

Bronze weapons and

Industrial

tools

and intimate

ai

Palace of Zindjirbi

Palace of Dour-Sharroukin

(Egyptian Renaissance)

Seated chiefs of

Megalithic

cities

Portraits

monuments

Restorations of temples
7th century

Palace and bas-reliefs of

Koujoundjick

Jewelry Goldsmith's art


Industrial and intimate art

Bronze weapons and

tools

Statuettes of

Reconstruction of the Tower


of

Babel

women

H I.-STOItV

Rome

Greece

Elijah

The propliets in Israel

Lyruruus in .-^parta (884)


Aiauniarzipal (S85-8(iO)

Dipylon vases at Athens

The

Genesis

Jehorixl.

Struggle

the

of

(7)

and

Assyrians

the

Hittites

Founding

of

Carthage

llesiod

Etruscan art

Era

of the

Olympiads

(77(i)

Xottim (wooden idols)


Archilochux

Founding of Rome (753)


Era of Nabonassar (747)
Funerary urns

(The Doric Order)

Isaiah (774-090)
Sari/on (722-705)

Greek colonies
["emple of

Hera at

in Italy

and

in Sicily

Olyiiipia

Sennacherib (705-681) destroys Babylon (692)

Corinthian vases

Con()ue8t of Egypt by the Assyrians


Jlacus

and Theodoras mold

in

Etruscan paintings and tombs

(071)

bronze

First coins

mine

.(

statue of Eleutherma
(Crete)

'eniple of Selinus (628),

Artemis

of

Delos

Mikkiades,

s.

of

(The Tuscan Order

!<.'!urliatiipal

Tyrtaus

M.G.

Chios

Etruscan vases
(Importations from Greece)

Laws
(The Ionic Order)

of

Draco (614)

The Phaiiieians make


Afriea

erniphroH,
of

a. of

the

first

Ephesus A. M.

Temple

of

Corinth

temple

the tour of

(00<l)

The Meties

destroy Nineveh (008)

Jeremiah (050-590)

Founding
'

21

(007-25)

of Marseilles (000)

The dates

are approximate.

Rome

Gkeecb

lIlSTOUY

Founding of Gyrene (598)


Nebuchadnezzar (tj6-t-501)
Babylon (5(17)

Akgos, Sicyon, Spakta)

Solon

Vases (black on red)


Polymedes, Ag.

s.

The

l'> thian games (580)


Captivity of Babylon (585-5.'J5).

Dorian Apollos

The
and Skillijs, Cretan ss.
Hera of 8ainos (o80)
of
Zeus at Syracuse, M.G.
'eniple

'iispuinoa

Archemos,

Temple

s.

of

The Cloaca Maxima

of

Islhtnic

games

[Ezekitl

Home

(Etruscan)
Alreun, Siippho

Chios

Nike of Delos
and ArisUides,

Cleothas

S.

Empedocles

M.G.

of Selinus,

Kanakhos,

rcbuildB

(r,'.)\)

S. ss.

s.

Zuruastcr

(?)

the

A vesta

(?)

Polygonal wall of Delphi


Eryotinos, Klitias, Ej:ekias,
c.

ami

p.

Basilica of Passtuni, M.G.


Statue of Chares

Parthenon

Lao-Txze (604-529)

Etruscan paintings and tombs

of Pisistratus

Hagelaidas Ag.

s.

Sakyamuni (The Buddha)

Endoios, A. s.
The Moscophorus

(?)

Pisistratus (500-527)

The
oupalos and Athenin, ss. of Chios
Temple of Apollo at Delphi

she-wolf of the Capitol


(Etruscan)

Black stone

Vases (red on black)

of the

Forum

(?)

?he treasury of the Cnidians at

Anacreon
Cyrus (5G0-29) takes Babylon
Heraclitus (57C-480)
Cambysfs (529-22) contiuers
(528)

(5:i87

Egypt

Delphi
Eumaro-i, p.
Orantes of the Acropolis

Pythagoras (552-472)
Jliilliyrles, s.

of Magnesia
of lierakle.s at

Great temple
Agrigentum, M.G.

Stele of Aristion
of INIetapoute,

Temple

Antenor, A.

Temple

M.G.

of

Tarquinius Supcrbus

at

Rome

(509)

Roman liepublic
.Vthenian Ke|mb!ic
(509)

s.

The Tyrannicides
Confucius (Kung Fu Tze) (551-179)

(Athens)
Calon A.E.

Temple
(Jlaucos

Theoynis of Megara
s.

Aristides (540-468)

of j'Egina

and Dionysos, Ag.

Ephebe

Marathon

of the Acropolis

Cimon
llcyias
Temple of

Darius (521-485)
Athens repulses Asia

ss.

(490).

Milliades (?-489)

of Cleonre, p.

and Micon, A.

s.

Demeter at Pa;stum,
M.G.

Panmnos, Ag.

Demeter

p.

of Elcusis

Glaucias, A.E.

s.

Etruscan tombs

of .\tliens. Salaniis (480).


Platica.
(.>25-1.5).
(479). y'uu.i<iii.<(?-474)

Sack

torlrs

.Kschuliis (525-450)

Pindar (522-442)

Themis
Mycalc

B.C.

Egypt

Asia

Prehistoric Lands

Bronze weapons and tools

Tombs

of tho Aclienienides

Herodotus visits Egypt

Megaiithic

monuments

Hispano-Phoenician bust
Elche

5th century
(2d hall)

Bronze weapons and

Megaiithic

tool.=i

monuments

of

Arona
Cohiiiiii of

Odeon

H I8TORY

Rome

Greece

of

M.inus Aiinlins

of El Djeni, Af.

Marcus Aurclius

(llil-180)

(180)

Her od Atticus
Mouuiiionts of Djpiaoh, Af.
Kall(is,i

(.').

Thei=!akuntala(?)

Septiinius
of
Septizonium
Severus

Arch

of .Septimius Severus (203)

Arch of Triumph
of Lambessa, Af.
Tertullmn (100-240)

Arch and Temple

of Tebessa,

(214)

Theater
Art

Aspendos

of

of

(?)

A.M.

the Catacombs

Statues of the Vestals

Alexan

I'lothn,^ (205-70)

driaii art

Busts, statues, sarcojiliaei

Ciilonnades of Palmyra, A.M.


Walls of Aurelian at Rome (271)

Temple

of the

Aurdiuii (270-75)

Sun at

Palmyra, A.M. (273)

Arena

of

Verona

(290)

Palace of the Thermae at Lutooe


of Pompey at Alexandria

Column

(302)
of Diocletian at Spalato
.\r(h of Constantino (31'))

Thermae

of

Janus Quadrifons

Gate

Church

of Treves

Triumph

of

Htjmnlium (326)

Basilica of Constantino

Arch

Conxtantine (306-37).
Christianity

('')

(''^

of Saint Paul outside the

Julian the Apostate (361-63)


Saint Jerome (3^1-420)
rin'odoaius the Great (378-95) de.stroya
the pagan idols (383)
.S7. John Chrysostom (347-407)

walls (38(1)

The VisiRoths destroy Eleusis (395)


End of the Olympic games (396)
Hi/patia (370-415)

n^^fO^vn

Greece

The

Rome

History

Fury

.Sleeping

Cist of Ficoroni

Jewelry Goldsmith's art


Intimate sculpture

Ptolemy III fixes the JenKth of the year


as .inry'A days (238)

(Sovios Hautius, bronzeworker)

Way

Flaminian

Theocritus
(220)
llnntiibiil (247-183),

Cleomenes,

(218-02)
subjects

Rome

s.

SicHy (211)

Alexandrian

Damophon,

Plautus (250-184)
Anliochus the Great (222-180). Power
of Antioch

art

Therma

Seated pugilist of the

Second Punic War

Magna Gnccia and

Philopamen (233-183)

s.

Ermius (240-100)
Uipparrus, astronomer

(Statues of Lycosoura)
rt
Isifjotios

and Stratonicon,

Pacuiiius (220-130), p.

Pergamum, A.M.

Altar of

Theater

Judas Maccabeus (200-100)

of

ss.

Porganiuin

Delphi

of

A(nia .Marcia (146)

Timarch ides, I'ulykles,


of Milo

The Venus

{Ilagesandros

Greek

at

ss.

Invention of paper

in

China

(?)

Destruction of Carthage (147)


Greece becomes a Roman province
(146)

Rome

?, s.)

Tiberius and Caius Grwchus (133-121)

Ctesibios invents the organ

Euboulides,

s.

Marius defeats the Cimbri and the

Andronicos Cyrrhesies,

Tower

a. of

Teutons (102-101)

the

Mutiux,

(School of Rhodes)

Importations of Greek works


at

poUonics of Tralles,
Farnesc Bull

of

a.

of the

s.

Rome

the

Roman

copies of Greek works

Aqueduct
Agesandmn,

a.

Winds, Athens

of the

Laocoon

Tarragona

Coponius,
Titidius Laheo

poUonios, A, . of the Hercules


of the Belvedere

of

and

Vitruvius, a.

Cicero (100-43)

s.

Tomb
of

and

critic

(?)

{Valerius of Ostia,

s.

Pont du Card
Ludius,

(63-1-14) The

Augustus

Empire

(31)

a.)

(19)

Horace (65-08)

p.

Theater of Mareellus (13)


Pyramid of Cestius (12>

Tomb
a.

of tlie

Kabr

Farnesc

Hercules
Dioscurides, mosaist,

of \'ergilius F^urvaces
er Roumya, Numidian
tomb in Algeria

Titus Livius

.V.(

+ 19)

Sarcophagi
Busts and statues

M.G.

Bridge of Rimini (14)


Jisiis

Amphitheater

Mendaos and Archelaos,

(Roman

Gaul

(51)

Vergil (70-19)

The Kdility of Agrippa di)


The Palatine-House of Livia
The Pantheon of .-Vgrippa (20)

of the E.squiline (?)

Clyam,

Citsar (100-44) conquers

of Cecilia Aletella

s.

Venus

Stephanos,

Venus

|(135-63)

School)

Pasiteles,

The throne

at Rome
Spnrtacns (73)
Lucullus (109-57) against Mithrida'es

Arellius, pp.

The Aldobrandini wedding

(Roman

Sylla (136-78)

Lucretius (98-5.5)
Revolt of the slaves

of
ss.

Fo

zzuoli (?),

Arch

of

ihriM

(It

-".)

M.G.
Triumph

of

Orange

I'hdo the

School)

Armibius, p.

Strabo

Jew (30 + 54)

Roman

'B.C

Prehistobic Lands

Egypt

Asia

Alexandria;

1st century

Necropolis of Alexandria

Gate

of

Hadrian at Phite

2d century
Alexandi

Ou-Leang-Tze
China

Bas-reliefs of
in

Sarcophagus portraits

Tsai-Yong, Chinese

p.

Rome

Gkeece
Theater

of Taornii'na,

Crouching N'enuses

H IBTOUY

M.CJ

Saguntum

Tlieatcr of

Mausoleum

(?), .Sp.

of 8aint-Rcniy (?)

\'enus of Aries

Quintus Pedius,

Alexan

Irt

p.

Catacombs

Art of the
art

(iri:ui

Aqua Claudia
Turpilius, p.

Pliny the Elder (23-79),

critic

Carrc-e of Nimes
The Coliseum

Maison

Monuments

of

Hercula

and Pompeii, M.G.

ncuiii

Arch
Sculptures, paintings,

and
of

iiid ustrial

Pom

peii,

of Titus

art of Ilcrculancuni

Arena
Greek

Aristeas, Papias,

ss.

and

M.G.
of

Pola

at

Rome

Frontinus (40-103), engineer

Arena

Monuments

of Aries

of Chcrchell, Af.

Amphitheater

of Saintes (?)

Lacer, a. of the

Bridge of Alcantara
Apollodnrus of

Da

mascus, Greek

a. of

(10.^)

Trajan

Golden Gate of Pola


Trajan's column (112)

Gate

Monument

of

Philopappos

of

Benevento

Bridge and monuments of Mtrida


Aqueduct of Segovia
Bridge of Salamanca

Prehistoric Lands

3d century

4th century

Home

Greece
and Onatas, A.E.

I'uthagoras

UlSTOlO

ss.

Uebuildiiig oi .Vthens

Terra cottas of Taiiagra

Dancers

Cimon

Herculaneum

of

(?-449)

TcniDle of Hera at Agrigentuni,

M.G.
The Charioteer of Delphi

(462)

Lih'oi, a. of the
of Zeus at Olynipia (4G0)

Temple

(Centaurs and Lapiths)

Etruscan walls

of

Norma and

Alatri (?)

of

(494-429)

I'erirlis

Ilegemuiiy

of

.\theus

The long

walls (4()0-445)
Critias, Nesioies, and Calamis,

Temple

of

A. ss.
Zeus at Agrigentuni,

M.C.
Polycleitus, A.

Temple

s.

Coneord at Agrigen-

of

tuin, j\l. G.
Theater of Syracuse, M.G.
Myron, A. s. The Diseu.s Thrower
Temple of Neptune at Pffistuni,
INI.G.

The Law

The Theseion

of the

Twelve Tables at Uoni<

Phidias. A s. (490-431)
Ictonos, A. a. of

The Parthenon (447-.32)


sanctuary of Eleusis
Alaimene and Pwonios, A. ss.

.uid the

Polynnotus, A. p.
Agornrrilus, A. s.
Douri's, Euphrotiioa,
Brygos, A. cc.

Tetiiple of Scgesta,

Mnesides, A.

of

(437)
Ueruilu'u^ i,4.S4-i06)

(?),

Euripiil'" M.'^n-lOG)

M.G.
Democrilus 1490-380)

Zeus at Nemea

Sicilian coins,

Etruscan tombs

M.G.

Goldsmith's art
.Jewelry
Industrial and intimate art

Temple

Sophode-i (495-406)

Cape Sunion

of

Theater of Segesta

Temple

M.G.

a. of

The Propylaea
Temple

and

of Phigalia (419)

The Erechteion

(415)

Thurydides (471-401)
Socrates (469-399)

Alcil'iades (450-404)

Wars

of the

Peloponnesus (431-llM,

Kallimacfio.i, a.

(The Corinthian Order)


Temple

Wingless N'ictory

of the

The Dancers
IJuryelus

Aristuplittiiis (455-3S8)

of

Delphi

Syracuse,
(402-397)

of

Bas-relief of

Leda

llippiiirates (4r.U-,.iS0)

M.G.
HegeniDiiy of Sparta

(.\thens)
'

Stadium
I'ldycleitus the

Theater

of

Delphi

(?)

Younger, a. of the
of lilpidaurus

Daedalof!, A.

s.

Asclepicion of Epidaurus

Retreat of the Ten Tliousimd


Xenophoii (445-354)

Rome

(31Kt)

taken by the C:aulb (390-3Wt)

Epdiniiiondttx

(41.'>-3t>2)

^
]

'

B.C.

Egypt

Asia

Prehistoric Lands

Palace of Firouz-Abad in Persia

4th century

Jewelry

Hispano-Phoenician art

Goldsmith's artart

Industrial

and intimate

Portico of Nektanebo at

Bronze weapons and

The Hindoo

tools

PhJlae'

scale

P;ilace of Sarvistan in Persia

Phoenician sarcophagi of Sidon

Ptolemaic Empire

Megalithic

monuments

Temple

3d century

Stupa

Debot

of Sanrhi in India

Columns

of

Asoka

in India

.Jewelry^Goldsmith's art
and intimate art

Industrial

Lie-Y, Chinese p.

The

of

great wall of China (246)

Hi

Rome

Greece

HiBTORV

Agalharchus, p. and decorator


discovers perspective
Zeuxis, A. p.

Etruscan tombs
Apollodorus, A. p.

Paxrhasios, A.

Eupompoa,

Plato (429-.348)

p.

p.

Hegemony
Cephisodotus, A.

of

Thebes

s.

Scopas
Bryaxis and Timotheos, A.
of the

Mausoleum
A.M.

nassus,

ss.

of Halicar-

(352)

Apogee of the Tanagras


Pamphilos, Macedonian, p.
Pythios, Ionian a.

Demosthenes (385-322)

Theater of Dionysos

ArUtotle (384-322)

(?)

J'hilip (359-33C).

The Niobides

Monument
Temple

Hegemony of Mace

douia (338)

of Lysicratus (335)

of Priene. A.M. (334)


of Kphesus, A.M.

Second temple

Leochares and Eupitranor, A.

Demeter

Menrius (Meng-Tze)

Alexander (356-323) conquers Egypt


and Asia Minor and i)enetrato8
into India

ss.

Cnidus

of

Temple of Lvcosoura
Apelles (35(i-30S), A. p.
Siliinimi,

Valmild (?) The Ramayana


The Ptolemaic Empire (323)

s.

Apollo of the Belvedere


Xicid.i, A. p.
Praxiteles (360-280), A. s.

Tarentum (350PhiloH, a. of the


Portico of Eleusis (311)

Fabius Pirlor,

Lysippus, A.

p.

Stoicism

Zeiio.

Aristoxeiies of

llermogenes,

(?-314)

Etruscan tombs

Appian

Way

(312)

s.

the temples of

a. of

Magnesia and

of

Teos
Founding

Pausias, Protoijenes and Aetioii,

of Alexandria (305)

p. p
Didymeion of Miletus, A.M.
Venus, Psyche of Capua, M.G.

Sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus


(298)

Manetho, Egyptian historian


of Alexandria

Hellenistic Period
(Asia Minor)

The Museum
Hudid

(Islands, Alexandria, Cyrenaioa)

Rome

subjects Etruria

The Sarcophagus of Alexander,


A.M.
i:pi<uru8 (331-270)

Victory of Samothrace
Chares,

Temple

Pyrrhus against

s.

of Apollo at

Polyeurtos,

Eoigonos, B. of

j).

Uome becomes
First silver coins

First

s.

Pergamum

Uostral column

niiatri-HH of Italy

of Duilius (200)

Punic

Asokii.

King

War (2W-I1)
of IiKlia (277-23),

a Buddhist

(Diphilos, coroplast)
Dyin.'T

Gladiator

(270)

(2tiit)

Terra cottas of Myrina, A.M.

The

(280-274)

Delos

Colossus of Hliodes
Tiinomiuhos,

Rome

.lr<-/.im.-..v.s-

Etruscan tombs

(2S7-212)

bcconiw

Asia

Egypt

Sarcophagi, potteries, masks,


and jewels of Carthage

Temple of Isis at Philas


Temple of Edfu

(Africa)

(237-212176-122)

Prehistoric Lands

Bronze weapons and

tools

The
(?)

Prehistoric sculpture
(stone)
(Gaul, Spain)

Mcgalithic

2d century

monuments

Bronze weapons and tools


Coins and bronzes of

(India)
of Kandajiri
Greco-Buddhistic sculpture

Temple

Temple

of

Bas-reliefs of
in

Temple

of

Rosetta

(196)

Bhaja
Alexandrian

Chaitya of Karli (163)


Temple of Ajunia
Stupa of Bharhut

Hiao-Tang-Chan
China

Buddha-Gaya

India

Gaul

trilingual stone of

Temple of Kom Ombo


Temple of Hathor at Philae

in

(?)

Temple

of

Esne

Sanctuary of Osiris at Karnak

Hebrew sarcophagi
Alexandrian

1st century

Weapons,

coins,

and

bronzes of Gaul

Temple

of

Roman

Hathor at Dendera

kiosk of Philse (18)

\:

Roman

temple of

Homs

Kalabche
Bestorations of temples

at

'History of Art,"

By KUe Kfm

ijitCKE5?i^

i\

THE WORLD

Assyria (VHI, Century B. C.) King Fighting, bs-releif.


BritisI)

T"l^'

>OKS

'V

J"

about,
read,

art

are

not

Museum.

the thick

limbs,
pelvis

and of the
ontrary notwithstaiid- the jaws Sown with teeth.
iiii;.
To read, of course, which works in ivory ""
mpans to read, not to sm'al- famiiiarizod by touph w
ftnoi.ii;h

all

artints

to

without taste or discriminaUon


of half-cock od and uns*a- aAnd to read in this joy of his hand. t>
ioned material.
projections and "'
e
nieau;t; to lead a great deal,
of " authority " and good lit- born of its own
s that tc-U you honestly what method so tr'
'

V,

mass

>!

eapecially
well or ill a
toward
sunal attitude
It \^ t>e r-'Tt bust
likes in
frxpress

art.

fihow

it

T>

aiisume in nympathy Iho


t.urte of tho artist an
to write from the p*

-^r.

who

huis
-^

li"-

'

J,

^!

SEP 2 3 19A3