Skip to main content

Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

See other formats


them, or because they do not possess artistic talent, or because they
concentrate on gifts of another character."

So, for example, it is often observed that children specially
endowed for music and who are greatly attracted by abstract ideas
(mathematics, logic) do not succeed at all in drawing, or abandon it.

Such a case has been very closely studied from the psycho-
logical point of view in a musical prodigy child. His drawings
were evidence of what has just been stated, when we compare
their inferiority and poor development with the pleasing musical
compositions made at the same stage by the child. (Geza Revesz:
The Psychology of a Musical Prodigy.)

Perhaps this is the reason why our children, when writing
becomes a passion, leave off drawing for some time. And then
it is only when writing is an accomplished fact that they betake
themselves once more to decorating the borders of pages.

When, instead, the artistic spirit is present, it takes complete
possession and creates an artist, as is told about Giotto, the
shepherd boy whom the famous painter Cimabue, by teaching him,
saved for the history of art as a never-to-be forgotten genius.

When there are found in the caves of primitive man those
surprising coloured drawings of animals in movements, they tell
us that artistic genius for drawing existed from the time of the
origin of man; but these fine representations were not merely a
way of finding expression or of communicating pleasing ideas, but
are generally supposed to stand for religious ideas.

In a word, there exists an instinct for expression which seeks
out its own ways; these ways are certainly two in number; one is
writing, which is used for the expression of ideas, and the other
is representative art. But in most cases this undeniable inclination
of the child for drawing has no connection with an artistic gift
pertaining to the child, nor to any ultimate leaning towards art.
It is rather a kind of writing done with figures when the child is
not able to express the ideas and sentiments which are taking shape
within him about his surroundings, about the things which have
impressed him.