ART AND MAN
ART AND MAN
COMPARATIVE ART STUDIES
EDWIN SWIFT BALGH
EUGENIA MAGFARLANE BALGH
ALLEN, LANE AND SCOTT ^ ^
Copyright, 1918, by
EDWIN SWIFT BALCH
AtLEN, LANE AND SCOTT
OTHER WORKS BY EDWIN SWIFT BALCH
GLACifiRES OR Freezing Caverns Philadelphia 1900
Antarctica Philadelphia 1902
Comparative Art Philadelphia 1906
The North Pole and Bradley Land Philadelphia 1913
MonNT McKiNLEY and Mountain Climbers' Proofs Philadelphia 1914
Elise Willing Balch, In Memohiam Philadelphia 1917
Mocntain Exploration Bull. Geog. Club of Phila. 1893
A Projected Railroad Across the SAhara Abound The World 1894
The Highest Mountain Ascent Pop. Sci. Mon. 189.5
Ascents Near Saas Appalachia 1896
Ice Caves and the Causes of Subterranean Ice J. Franklin Ins. 1897
Ice Cave Hunting in Central Europe Appalachia 1897
Reminiscences of Tyrol Appalachia 1898
Was South America Sighted Before 14487 J. School Geog. 1898
Subterranean Ice Deposits in America J. Franklin Ins. 1899
Ice Breakers in Polar Exploration J. Franklin Ins. 1900
Antarctica, A History of Antarctic Discovery J. Franklin Ins. 1901
Evaporation Underground Monthly Weather Review 1901
Tallow Cave, Etc J Franklin Ins- 1901
Antarctic Exploration Sci- Amer. Supp. 1903
Roman and Prehistoric Remains in Central Germany J. Franklin Ins. 1903
Savage and Civilized Dress J. Franklin Ins. 1904
The Highest Mountain Ascent Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1904
Develop the Submarine J. Franklin Ins. 1904
Antarctica Addenda J. Franklin Ins. 1904
Termination Land Nat. Geog. Mag. 1904
American Explorers in Africa Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1904
Antarctic Nomenclature Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1905
Wilkes Land Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1906
The Survival of the Shortest xxx in Language J. Franklin Ins. 1906
Arctic Expeditions sent from the American Colonies Penn. Mag. Hist. & Bioo. 1907
Art and Ethnology Phoc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 1907
Crocker Land Boll. Amer. Geog. ,Soc. 1908
Art in America before the Revolution Penn. Soc. Col. Wars 1908
Stonington Antarctic Explorers Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1909
High Mountain Ascents Appalachia 1909
Why America Should Rb-bxplore Wilkes Land Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 1909
Wilkes' Antarctic Discoveries Science 191 1
Charcot's Antarctic Explorations Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1911
Palmer L.vnd Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1911
Hudson Land Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1911
Antarctic Names Bull. Amer. Geog. Soc. 1912
Atlantis or Minoan Crete Geographical Review 1917
Early Man in America Proc. Amer. Philos. .Soc. 1917
American Explorers of Africa Geographical Review 1918
The Art of George Catlin Proc. Amer. Philos. Soc. 1918
All my life I have been interested in art and in geog-
raphy. My studies in both fields remained as separate
pursuits until about the year 1890, when I began to make
a small collection of Japanese pictures. At about that
time also I paid several visits to the Mus^e de Saint
Germain and studied the French prehistoric remains.
Shortly afterwards, I received from Dr. Vincent, surgeon
of the third Peary Arctic expedition, a gift of several
little Eskimo statuettes. Gradually I became impressed
with the fact that there are certain resemblances be-
tween these arts, and this led me to an attempt to find out
whether there were any such resemblances to other arts.
The matter expanded continuously, but it took some
years for cold facts to teach me that the fine arts were
a tremendous field, covering the entire earth, and that,
apparently, no one had reahzed this before.
In the year 1904, I published a paper Savage and
Civilized Dress in "The Journal of the Franklin Institute;"
in 1906, a book Comparative Art; in 1907, a paper Art
and Ethnology in "The Proceedings of the American
Philosophical Society;" and in 1908, a paper Art in
America before the Revolution in the publications of The
Society of Colonial Wars of Pennsylvania. Up to that
date and until the publication of those monographs,
archseologists and art critics as a rule fought shy of
dealing with the arts of the African, Australasian and
American native races, from the art standpoint which
they used with the arts of Europe or even the arts of Asia.
The word "art" appears to have been under a sort of
8 ART AND :MAX.
tabu in ethnological museums, just as works of the primi-
tive arts were only sporadicallj^ admitted to art galleries.
After the publication of Comparative Art the eyes
and minds of ethnologists and of art critics seemed to
open. In ethnological and archaeological institutions fre-
quently now the lectures are about art and have the word
"art" in their titles: an open recognition by ethnologists
that art is an important part of ethnology. Art critics
likewise slowly are becoming aware that the arts of the
races of America, of Australasia, and of Africa deserve
recognition just as do the arts of Europe and of Asia.
And in answer to the new demand, we find the Archaeo-
logical Institute of America publishing a magazine Art
and Archceology. 'Tis but the edge of the wedge which
has penetrated so far, but nevertheless it has cut a slit
which will widen in due time.
The present work is really a much enlarged revision
of the theoretical portions of Comparative Art. It is an
attempt to present the theories and ideas which my wife
and I, working hand in hand, have developed since 1906
from innumerable observations in museums and galleries.
As the observations multiplied, the ideas and theories
expanded and needed continual alteration. The book
itself therefore is not finished and never could be finished.
A hundred volumes would not cover the subject of com-
parative art. Our aim, in brief, has been, by the exam-
ination and comparison of as many art specimens from
as many places as possible, to find out whether thruout
the world art is one whole or whether there are several
arts, to trace resemblances and differences between the
arts of every nook and cranny of our little globe, and to
formulate therefrom the most apparently accurate deduc-
tions about art and man. In certain respects therefore,
ART AND MAN. if
this work is a study of the fine arts thruout the world for
the sake of the fine arts themselves; and in certain other
respects it is an attempt to trace the story of man as
far as can be deduced from the fine arts. Preconceived
notions are eliminated and the statements made are
either the observations jotted down directly in front of
specimens of the fine arts, or the ideas which have arisen
as a study of those specimens. Thruout this book, the
names "Amerind" — a contraction of American Indian —
and "Hindu" are used in order to distinguish the natives
of America from the natives of Hindustan. For the
name "Indian," generally applied to both, is hopelessly
Edwin Swift Balch.
ART AND MAN. 11
ART AND COMPARATIVE ART.
The term "art" covers a vast field. In its broadest
sense it includes the meclianical arts and the fine arts.
Of the mechanical arts this work takes little cognizance.
The fine arts fall into three divisions: the arts of poetry
and literature; the arts of music; and the arts of sculp-
ture, painting and architecture. With the poetical and
literary arts, that is the arts of spoken or written words,
and with the musical arts, that is the arts of sounds and
hearing, this work likewise has almost nothing to do.
This work deals with the fine arts depending on the sense
of vision or sight, that is the arts of space; the glyptic,
plastic and graphic arts; the arts of form and color; the
arts of sculpture, carving, drawing, painting, etching,
engraving, tattooing, decoration, costume, pottery, archi-
tecture. And the word "art" in this book is used in this
limited sense, as applying to the arts of space, and not
to the arts of thought or sound.
Dancing is in certain respects one of the plastic arts.
But it hardly comes within the scope of this book. For
it is a fleeting art. It offers suggestions for pictures and
for sculptures, and when done amid sumptuous stage
decorations, sometimes most pictorial suggestions in
form and color. Nevertheless, as these pictures vanish
instanter, they are of little use for artistic comparison.
Attempts to define art have been made before now,
but I have never seen a definition which seemed more
than fragmentary. Art in fact is so complex a subject,
that I doubt whether any definition which would really
12 ART AND MAN.
define it could be compressed into a few words. One can
say, however, that it is a human product, a form of human
expression, requiring hfe, work, force, abihty, emotion
and other quaUties to produce it. Art is an expression
of taste, of personahty, of individuaUty. It is an expres-
sion of emotion rather than of intellect. It is generally a
search for beauty but sometimes it seems to be a search
for ugliness. It is, like language and music, a means of
communication. For while language conveys thoughts
thru words and music awakens emotions thru sounds,
glyptic art arouses emotions and communicates visible
facts thru sight. Of the arts studied in this work, sculp-
ture, drawing, painting, decoration, architecture and
others, briefly it may be said that they are material
objects; that they are the external manifestations of
the emotions, feeUngs and powers of their makers; or to
paraphrase the thought, art objects are the emotions,
feelings and powers of their makers made visible. These
art objects may give pleasure or pain to, or leave indif-
ferent, those who see and look at them.
It may be objected that art is not purely a form of
human expression. Is not a fossil of some plant art: art
of some power higher than humanity? There are certainly
many things in the world, springing from some other cause
than man, which are artistic and might be placed, \\'ithout
being out of keeping, in an art museum. But while these
objects are beautiful and artistic, they should not be
classed under the term art, because this word as a part
of language, distinctly refers to some product of man,
and not to some product of nature.
How much must be included under the term art?
If the Venus of Milo is sculpture, is a Maori wooden
figure sculpture? If Edward Whymper's woodcuts of the
ART AND MAX. 13
Alps or Meryon's etching of le Vieux Paris are drawing,
are the Sioux rectangular humans on buffalo robes
drawings? If "Rain, Steam and Speed" is painting, are
Masai colored patches on war shields paintings? Up to
within three or four years, art critics and ethnologists
by their actions more forcibly than by their words said
"No." It seems to me this is a complete error. When
a Maori cut a block of wood roughly into the shape of a
man, or a Mandan made some lines resembling a box for a
body with other lines sticking from it as arms and legs,
or a Masai daubed masses of bright colors on his shield,
those poor untaught human brothers were doing the
best they knew how to give expression to an instinct to
make something not useful but something ornamental
and probably beautiful to the mind of its maker. It
seems to me that the arts of primitive races are just as
much an expression of the art instinct as are the arts of
advanced peoples and that they vary in degree and not
in kind from them. And therefore I most unhesitatingly
class the sculptures, drawings, paintings, decorations, of
all primitive tribes as belonging to the fine arts, and I
therefore include them under the term art, recognizing,
however, that many persons would not accept this
Art is found in every part of the world except
Antarctica. Some of its branches, such as modern
European art, Roman art, Greek art, Egyptian art and
Assyrian art have been studied carefully and voluminous
treatises have appeared about them. But when we turn
to such arts as African art or Brazilian art, there have
been no special studies or no special pubUcations about
them. In the case of the wonderful art of China, it is only
in the twentieth century that the first serious attempt
14 ■ ART AND MAN.
was made to trace it back. From an artistic or an ethno-
logical standpoint, the art of the world as a whole is so
far almost untouched. The only attempt to study it in
totality I know of is the one I made in this book's pre-
decessor : Comparative Art. It is high time that the art of
the world should be studied as an entity from an esthetic
and a scientific point of view, not only locally and individ-
ually, but in totaUty in its broadest relations, in its resem-
blances and its differences. At present there is a gap in
knowledge and this gap must be filled in and the art of the
entire world must be worked out as a whole according to
its geographical distribution and its historical sequence.
Our knowledge of man has been largely increased
during the past century by studies, done from the com-
parative standpoint, in a number of directions. Com-
parative pWlology, comparative anatomy, comparative
archseology have advanced in this way to the dignity of
separate sciences. Of late years, the comparative study
of implements, that is of the early mechanical arts, has
been pushed apace, and this study of implements, if it
has not furnished much information as to race, has fur-
nished a great deal of information as to the conditions of
social development prevaiUng at given times in certain
locaUties. Now works of the fine arts certainly afford a
more extended and a more advanced field than the early
mechanical arts to gauge the condition of man and there-
fore the fine arts, of all times and all peoples everywhere,
need to be compared. Comparisons of the arts of to-day,
the characteristics of whose makers we know, with the
arts of the past are bound to shed fresh light on the races
of the past and enable us to fathom more accurately the
character of our earl}^ ancestors. Comparisons among the
arts of the past must tell us more of the history and
ART AND MAN. 15
Fiii. 1. Snako woman, Miiioan Crot
16 ART AND MAN.
geographical distribution of each art and this must
be of value to ethnology and history. The subject is an
enormous one and in my opinion it should be recognized
as a special field of study called "comparative art," a
name I used already in 1906.
That resemblances or similarity in art signify more
and convey more ethnographical information than many
persons think possible, may perhaps be shown by the
following occurrence. In 1905 I visited the British
Museum and in the Sumatra exhibit noticed that some
Sumatra art, especially two little heads from the Batta
tribe, resembled the art of Easter Island. I mentioned
this in Comparative Art* adding that I felt sure that the
carvers of those heads were blood relations of the artists
of Hawaii and Easter Island. I heard no more of the
matter until 1917, when a paper Easter Island was
read before the Royal Geographical Society, and in the
discussion of that paper Sir Henry Howarth saidf that
the only place he knew of where inscriptions in the least
like those of Easter Island are to be found was among
some of the wild races of Sumatra, such as the Battas;
and he infers from this that the Malays may be related
to or have had relations with the primitive people of
Easter Island. Here therefore is an opinion based on the
resemblance of primitive writings which corroborates
exactly my opinion based wholly on the resemblance
or similarity between sculpted heads and moreover on an
exceedingly small number of these.
Now these Batta, Easter Island and Hawaiian heads
bring forward some other most interesting problems. No
such heads are found in America. And why not? If their
* Page 140.
t "The Geographical Journal," 1917, Vol. XLIX, page 347.
ART AND MAN. 17
makers belong to one family, it implies either that form-
erly the land connections between Sumatra, Easter Island
and Hawaii were more complete than they are now or else
that the makers of these heads could navigate great dis-
tances. If the latter, unquestionably they could have gone
to South and to Central America. If their makers carried
their art instinct with them between three such distant
places as Sumatra, Easter Island and Hawaii, surely they
would have carried also their art instinct with them
intact had they landed either in Chile or Mexico. Had
they done so, it seems as if some Easter Island or Hawaiian
heads would have been found there. But there is no
trace of such heads in America. This evidence, therefore,
while not conclusive, certainly strongly indicates that
the American Continent was not reached from the
Australasian Islands across the South Pacific.
In speaking of resemblances or similarity between arts,
one must be careful not to confuse similarity with identity.
Arts may be similar and not be identical. The art of no
one race is identical with the art of any other race. Even
the art of one race, tho it may be similar thruout, varies
locally: it is not identical anywhere. Every great art
has a certain family likeness, but each of its offspring
has its own individuality. Despite the Declaration of
Independence and the French Revolution, there are no
two men absolutely equal, there is no perfect egalite in
the world. Likewise in the fine arts, no two arts are
identical, indeed no two works of art are identical.
One of the most interesting phases of studying art
comparatively is learning to recognize the thousand and
one varieties of art in the world. The painting of Japan
is different from the painting of France, even tho there
are some similarities. The painting of Holland and the
18 ART AND MAX.
painting of Italy resemble each other much more closely
than the painting of Japan resembles the painting of
France. Yet so different are Dutch pictures and Italian
pictures that any expert can place at a glance any one of
them in its own niche. While Eskimo carvings and
Japanese netzkes are exceedingly similar, yet one becomes
able to tell unfailingly where each specimen comes from.
Easter Island heads are unique, and yet there is a family
resemblance to Hawaiian wicker and feather heads, and
to Batta heads. And in time one learns to recognize
the innumerable local arts, solely because each local art
has its own individuality and identity.
Comparative art in time doubtless will form a connect-
ing link between science and art. Practically it will amount
to forming a new branch of science in wliich art critics
and ethnologists must work hand in hand in a scientific
and artistic investigation of art. It is certainly just as
necessary that there should be a science of compara-
tive art as a science of comparative anatomy or a
science of comparative philology.
Comparative art may be defined as a comparative
study of the glyptic arts in all forms; painting, sculpture,
drawing, architecture, decorative art, decoration, tattoo-
ing, etc. It is not a study of written inscriptions, nor
primarily of implements, but it can compare implements
in their forms, and the decorations on implements must
be one of its chief objects. It must be appUed to every
district of the globe, not only to the remotest past in
which there was art, but to the actual present and to the
future. It must deal ^ith the art of advanced and of
primitive races: with such arts as those of the
Egyptians, the Kaldeans, the Chinese, the Greeks and
the Europeans; and also with those of the Pleistokenes,
ART AND MAX. 19
the Bushmen, the Benin negroes, the tribes of the Amazon
and Kongo forests, the South Sea islanders, and the inhabi-
tants of Arctic shores.
Comparative art must not be confounded with com-
parative archaeology: for altho they touch at certain
points they are different subjects. Comparative arch-
aeology is a study of things of the past, based mainly on
results obtained by digging with the pick and spade.
It includes studies of certain phases of art and architec-
ture, of inscriptions, of implements, and of some other
things. It does not deal with the art of the Bushman
or the Papuan or the Samoyede of to-day. It is more a
historic than an artistic study. It can be followed and
carried forward by persons who are in no Avise art critics.
Comparative art is the study of the relations of the arts
of the world and can be advanced only by trained art
critics who are also ethnologists. It is not going to do
away with ethnology, or comparative anatomy, or history,
or archaeology, or anything else of that kind, but properly
worked out it is certain to throw some new Ught on the
story of man. It is a field still largely untilled, in which
there is much work to do, and from which, when it is
thoroly plowed up, a valuable crop of scientific data will
In the elucidation of the problems of the origin, evo-
lution, descent and history of man, geography, geology,
paleontology, natural history, anatomy, history, philology,
archaeology, and other sciences have been called upon to
help clear up somewhat the complex genealogy of the
human race. Much has been done already, altho the
problem of man is bound never to be entirely cleared up.
The evidence which has been gathered already about
man and his origin can perhaps be divided roughly into
20 ART AND MAN.
three classes: that which is extraneous to him personally,
such as geographical environment, climate, etc., that is
the terrestial conditions under which he has existed; that
which is obtained from his own remains and his own per-
sonality, that is his anatomical and physiological charac-
teristics, and his relationship in natural history to other
animals; and that which is obtained from his own works,
from what he has himself produced. This latter class of
evidence may be subdivided into three classes, namely,
language and written records, implements, and art, and
this monograph deals principally with this third sub-class.
Language and written records are, of course, most
available as evidence in tracing the story of the human
race, and whenever we find written records which we can
interpret, they bring their part of man's story within the
domain of history. But when, as in the case of old
Mexico, we cannot read the records, or when, as in
the case with primitives, there are no written records,
the subject changes from history into prehistory and
Implements form another great class of evidence:
the term "implements" being used as a comprehensive
name to describe all the products of the mechanical
arts. A chair or a boat or an automobile, a stone
ax or a gun, can be classed as "implements," and
without some implements at least no man could live.
All our modern implements have evolved from primitive
beginnings, as for instance, the modern ocean liner, which
is the direct descendant of the floating log, the raft, the
dug-out and the canoe. Much light has been shed already
and more will be shed on the story of man by comparing
the various implements used in different places and at
ART AND MAN. 21
Art is the tliird great source from which much evidence
about the history of man can be obtained, but so far it has
been investigated only in a fragmentary manner. A com-
parative study of the arts of the world has never obtained,
as it has, for instance, in the case of language with com-
parative philology, or in natural history with comparative
anatomy. One reason unquestionably why art, as a
totahty, is still so largely unstudied, is that it is only
in our generation that art specimens from wild parts of
the earth have been collected by scientific expeditions,
placed in museums, and made accessible to the public.
Another reason why art is still unstudied as a whole
is that there never has been, there is not, and there prob-
ably never will be, a museum of the fine arts from all parts
of the world. Art specimens are divided : some are placed
in art museums; others in ethnological museums. There
is no place where anyone can go and get a compre-
hensive view of art. The art of at least half the races
of the world has found its way into ethnological
museums, where it is not yet culled out as art, but
where the specimens are looked on mainly as belong-
ing to the class which is called "implements." This
rather curious fact, however, shows that there is a sort
of borderland between art and science, in which much
art is stranded at present.
That this is a fact may be verified in almost any big
city. For instance, in Philadelphia, art specimens are
divided between the Pennsylvania Academy of the
Fine Arts and the University Archaeological Museum;
in Washington, between the Corcoran Gallery and the
United States National Museum; in New York, between
the Metropolitan Museum and the American Museum of
Natural History; in Boston, between the Museum of
22 AHT A XI) :\rAN.
Fine Arts and the Harvard University Peabody Museum;
in London, between the National Gallery and the British
Museum; in Paris, between the Louvre and the Musee
de Saint Germain; etc.
Li other words, much fine art is at present treated
and looked on as ethnology or natural history, not as art.
Half of the art of the world is studied by artists and art
critics, the other half by ethnologists. Artists and art
critics have so far paid almost no attention to such arts
as African art or Australasian art. In the majority of
cases they are unaware of the existence of such arts.
Moreover, if they did know of them, they would in many
cases despise them, because these arts do not have the
qualities of Greek art or Japanese art or French art. Art
critics haunt art galleries, not ethnological museums;
they know nothing of ethnology and doubtless care less;
and it takes a good deal of time and thought and study
to learn something of ethnology. The result of this is
that art critics do not study art at all from geographical
or ethnological standpoints, and that at least half the
art of the world is entirely without their ken. And it is
strange to reaUze how completely many of the arts of
the world have been neglected by art critics. Chinese
art and Hindu art, for instance, did not attract the
attention of writers competent to deal with their prob-
lems until the end of the last century. African art,
Australasian art, and Amerind art so far have been
noticed only by ethnologists: their qualities and their
deficiencies, their relations, their resemblances to and
differences from the arts of other races, as yet have
never been taken up by the persons most competent
to deal with them, namely trained art critics.
Ethnologists, on the contrary, keep away from art
ART AND MAN. 23
museums. As a rule they have not had any art training,
hence, when they see works of art in ethnological
museums, usually they treat them from the standpoint of
implements. Only a scientific speciaUst can really give an
opinion about any special science, and similarly only a
trained artist-art-critic can write intelligently about art,
indeed the present prevailing opinions about art are
largely the consensus of opinion of many artist-art-critics
of modern times. Whilst possibly unconscious of this
fact, ethnologists are usually aware of their inabiUty to
discuss the esthetic quahties of art specimens — supposing
that they perceive these esthetic qualities — and hence,
while they frequently study the decorative art of primi-
tives, its patterns and its origins, they are apt to leave
the esthetic qualities of art alone.
To sum up this matter briefly. Artists see half the
art of the world from the esthetic but rarely from the his-
toric or ethnologic standpoint. Ethnologists see the
other half of the art of the world, from the historic
or ethnologic but seldom from the esthetic standpoint.
Neither artists nor ethnologists appear to look at the
whole of art from an esthetic, an ethnologic, and a his-
toric standpoint. The result is comparisons are rarely
instituted and the lessons to be learned from art have so
far largely remained hidden. The forest is not seen on
account of the trees. As a whole, the art of the world is
a still open field, in which may be made further discov-
eries which will throw much light not only on art but also
on the story of man.
24 ART AND MAN.
THE GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF ART.
Art is universal. Art is found everywhere, among
all races and in all places. From the Cape of Good
Hope to Kamchatka, from Grant Land to Cape Horn,
wherever in historic times the human biped dwells or
has dwelt, there in some form art is found. Wlierever
digging with the pick and the spade has revealed in
any quantity traces of man in Recent times, and in
some places in Pleistokene times, usually also it has
brought forth some fragments of art. Of course, buried
art is rarer than surface art, but aU the evidence goes
to show that the ancestor of modern man everjTvhere
soon developed art and that it grew wherever he
appeared. The only continent where there is no art is
Antarctica, which is not surprising, since neither in
East Antarctica nor in West Antarctica have any
traces of man been found.
It is indeed one of the most striking facts connected
with man that all races of men, whatever their con-
dition, whether advanced or primitive, have some art.
The most backward tribes have some art instinct and
some art, even if in some cases this does not get
beyond rudimentary tattooing or signs intended per-
haps as property marks. Some primitive races have
the instinct to decorate their implements and weapons,
for instance their canoes and shields, i^ith patterns and
colors. Many races sculpt figures of humans and
animals; sometimes they reach a pictorial stage; often
they obtain results which may well take rank as fine
ART AND MAN.
Fig. 2. Little Egyptian stone figure.
Fig. 3. Prehistoric pottery from Etruria: may be Neolithic divinity.
Fig. 4. Egyptian high relief figure modelled on one side.
Fig. 5. Egyptian has relief figure twisted into impossible position.
26 ART AND MAN.
art. It is a fact, not only that primitive men have
art, but that sometimes they have good art.
The first thought ahnost which arises when one
thinks of art as universal, is whether it is all one art,
or whether there are several distinct arts. Without
attempting to answer this question here, it is certain
that there are many branches or varieties of art. So
far these have not been thoroly classified. Possibly the
first attempt at a classification of the arts of the
world is the one I made in 1906 in Comparative Art.
Steady work on the subject since then has suggested
certain modifications in that classification, and these
are embodied in the present work. They are based
purely on my own and my wife's observations, as
tliere is nothing, as far as I know, extant on the sub-
ject as a whole and our observations and deductions
must be looked on as original prehminary studies, sub-
ject to correction and revision.
Starting now from the basis that all races have art,
it will be noticed that art varies in different places,
that these various species grew up more or less in certain
centers, and that some of them spread thence over
other territories and to other peoples. The points of
inquiry in the distribution of art therefore are: how
many branches of art are there, where did they start
from, and what com-ses did they take? And to these
questions definitive answers can not be returned as yet.
SuflBcient work has not been put on the subject and
suflBcient specimens are not as yet easily accessible to
do more than to draw up preliminary conclusions.
Any classification of the distribution of art as a
whole must be geographical and historical: geo-
graphical in relation to space, historical in relation to
ART AND MAN. 27
time. It must take into account whether any art is
sufficiently separate and distinct from other arts as to
be classified by itself, or whether it is only a part of a
bigger separate art. As a geographical instance, there
is an art along the Arctic shores, which is sufficiently
distinct to be classified as a primary or separate art.
But of this there are two branches, one in Siberia, one
in America, and these might be classified perhaps as
secondary arts. As a historical instance. West Asiatic
art flourished for several millenniums among the Kal-
deans, the Hittites, and the Assyrians; West Asiatic
art standing sufficiently alone to be called one of the
great primary arts, with Kaldean, Hittite and Assyrian
art as three secondary divisions.
From one point of view, namely from that of
the same kind of development, art might be divided
into art families as follows: Pleistokene, Bushman and
Arctic; Neolithic; Egean, Greek and European; Egyptian
and West Asiatic; South Asiatic; East Asiatic; African,
Australasian and Amerind.
Possibly the best way of classifying the main
arts of the world is geographically, namely in accord-
ance with their distribution in the five great inhabited
divisions of the world. In Europe one might perhaps
specify Pleistokene art; NeoUthic-Bronze Age art;
Egean art; Graeco-Roman art; Byzantine art; modern
European art. In Africa: Bushman art, Negro art,
Zimbabwe art, Egyptian art. In Asia: West Asiatic
art; Early East-South Asiatic art; South Asiatic art;
East Asiatic art. In Asia and Africa: Arab art. In
Australasia: Polynesian art; Melanesian art. In Asia
and America: Arctic art. In America: Amerind art.
Whilst there are certainly many more arts than these,
28 ABT AND MAN.
it seems as if most of them were derived from one
or more of these primary arts, and that they may be
considered as secondary arts. Let us now take up
seriatim the main arts, looking a httlc at their char-
acteristics, the centers where they probably sprang up,
their geographical movements, and their divisions into
The oldest art that we know of, without question,
is European Pleistokene art. This may be divided
into two periods. The first of these appears to date
back to the Acheuleen horizon. To explain what this
means we must mention briefly the archseological
horizons of Europe. Following the Pleiocene epoch,
in the Pleistokene we find first several still debatable
horizons, and then come in turn the Chelleen,
Acheuleen, Mousterien, Aurignacien, Solutr^en and
Magdaleneen horizons. These are followed in sequence
by the transitional Azilien, the Neohthic, Bronze, and
Iron horizons. Of their dates in years, no one as yet
can form any estimate much above the character of
a guess, but the Chelleen may well have begun
200,000, the Mousterien 100,000, and the Aurignacien
50,000 years ago. The most up to date anthropological
investigations of the skeletons and skulls of European
man* seem to show that while the Chelleen and
Acheul6en horizons were being laid down, the ancestor
of modern man was dwelUng in Europe. He appears
to vanish in the Mousterien, where his place is taken
by Neanderthal man, a more primitive type than
modern man. Men of very much the same type as
the men of today reappear in the Aurignacien, and
continue to the present time.
* Arthur Keith: The Antiquity of Man, 1915.
ART AND MAN. 29
In the Chelleen horizon, there are no fine art
remains, but in the Acheuleen, which may easily date
from 150,000 to 100,000 B. C, or even further back,
the great Boucher de Perthes* found in the Somme
Valley stones which very roughly resemble animals.
And quite recently Mr. W. M. Newton f found similar
figure-stones in the valley of the Thames. Apparently
archaeologists and art critics have neglected these relics,
but the plates in Boucher de Perthes' book seem con-
clusive. And it appears to be justifiable to assert
that art began in the European Acheuleen and there-
fore that it is not less than 125,000 years old and
that its makers were the ancestors of the man of
today. In the Mousterien horizon, no art as yet has
The second period of Pleistokene art comes after
the Mousterien horizon and extends thru the Aurig-
nacien, Solutreen and Magdal^n^en horizons up-
wards. The art of this later Paleohthic period has
become well known of late years. It is much more
advanced than Acheuleen Paleolithic art and in certain
respects is on a par with the best French art of today.
The habitat of the Pleistokene artists was central
western Europe and at present, therefore, we must
look on that part of the world as the cradle of art
and of social organization. Whilst there are not
sufficient data as yet to connect the Pleistokenes
positively with any race now in existence, many
indications lead me to believe that they were the
ancestors of some of the Europeans of today.
* Antiquites Celtiques et Antediluviennes.
t Arthur Keith: The Antiquity of Man, 1915, page 166.
30 ART AND MAN.
The next European art in the order of time is that
of the PoHshed Stone period. The most interesting
rehcs of this Neolithic art are architectural, namely the
widely scattered megahths, dolmens and menhirs. What
little graphic art remains is wholly decorative and
almost surely does not descend from Pleistokene art.
The birthplace of Neolithic art is uncertain, but the
art extends all over central and southern Europe and
some parts of western Asia, and it may have moved
from east to west. In the Bronze Age and Early Iron
Age in Europe, there was also a little exceedingly
rough, poor art.
Some 4000 to 3000 B. C. a great art springs up in
the regions of the Egean sea. Its center appears to
have been in Crete, which seems to be Plato's lost
Atlantis.* It is probably mainly native or autoch-
thonous, but it may have some roots in Neolithic-
Bronze Age art and it may have received some nourish-
ment from Egypt. It does not appear to have had
much relationship with West Asiatic Euphratic art. This
Egean- art includes the arts of Crete, of Mykene,
and of adjacent coasts of Asia Minor, and e.xtends
down to perhaps 1200 B. C.
In the last millennium B. C. art went thru a
rebirth in Greece, and developed into what is known as
Greek art, in which sculpture reached possibly its most
idealized heights. Greek art was not only almost
wholly adopted by the old Romans, but it has pro-
foundly influenced later European art.
In the Itahan peninsula, before the rise of historic
Rome, there was some art, most conveniently called
* Edwin Swift Balch: Atlantis or Minoan Crete: "The Geographi-
cal Review," 1917, pages 388-392.
ART AND MAN. 31
Etruscan art, which must have been partly native, but
which was also closely in touch with late Egean and
early Greek art.
Roman art, from about 300 B. C. to 400 A. D.,
springing from Etruscan art and Greek art, made
certain innovations, principally architectural, of its own.
Byzantine art superseded Roman art in Europe.
The later Roman artists tried to adapt Roman art to
the religious subjects the early Christian church wished
to commemorate. Owing to the decadence of social
conditions, however, their technic in drawing deteriorated.
But from Byzantium came a great wave of vivid colors,
whose roots are traceable to Syria and to Persia. And
despite the weakened naturalistic native European sense
of form, the later Roman artists produced some art
which tho imperfect pictorially nevertheless makes
gorgeous decorations, and of which there are brilliant
examples at Monreale and Ravenna. Romanesque archi-
tecture, about 800 A. D.-1200 A. D., was also partly
due to this Oriental color inroad.
Towards the beginning of the second millennium
A. D. European art started afresh in Europe. Gothic
architecture, about 1150 A. D. to 1450 A. D., evolved
gradually new forms of structures 'and of embelhshments
in response to fresh needs and conditions. Sculpture
and painting, abandoning Byzantine decorative technic,
turned once more to realism and obeyed more and more
the natural art instincts of the White races. Beginning
with Giotto, while the religious subjects are still
imaginative, the humans and landscapes are studied
more and more from nature, and realism in the
handling becomes more and more apparent. And these
idealistic subject religious pictures, with realistic treat-
32 ART AND MAN.
ment, are still produced in Europe. The unearthing
of Greek and Roman remains, beginning with about
1500 A. D., and their study by European artists,
brought about some changes in European art which,
nevertheless, followed its own course of natural evolu-
tion and is still progressing, according to its needs and
environments, as the art of Europe and America of
In Africa there are several well differentiated arts,
which cannot, however, be classified like European arts
according to their historic time. For nothing of the
beginnings of several of them is known.
The oldest African art may be Libyan art. It much
resembles Pleistokene art and may be part of it, altho
it may perhaps last into Neohthic times. Of this art
we know very httle.
Closely in touch with Libyan art is Bushman art.
Altho positively recognized so far only south of the
Zambezi, the art of the Kongo pygmies may possibly
be a branch of it. How far back Bushman art dates is
unknown, but it certainly belongs to the same artistic
family as Pleistokene art. Some of the figures in hunt-
ing disguises show kinship to Egyptian animal headed
Negro art, or African art proper, is found in the
whole of Africa south of the Sahara. Except at Benin
City, it is independent of any European or Asiatic art,
and must be looked on as one of the great autochthonous
arts. Almost all the specimens of this art, mostly
wooden sculptures, are recent in date. Nevertheless, it
may date back to many thousand years B. C.
Zimbabwe art, also found south of the Zambezi,
remains a puzzle, both as to its makers and its date.
ART AND MAN. 33
The nearest which can be said of the latter is that it
probably antedates 1000 A. D.
One of the oldest arts is Egyptian art. It dates
back to at least 5000 B. C, and there are indications
that it may begin even earher. It is possible that there
may be Libyan, Bushman and Negro ancestry in its
parentage. While it flourished almost entirely in the
lower Nile Valley, it must have some cousinship with
West Asiatic art, and it certainly had some influence on
art in North Africa and Crete.
In Asia there are several great distinct arts. One of
these, West Asiatic art, as far as known at present,
developed probably on the lower Euphrates, among the
Sumerians, perhaps 5000 B. C. This art descended to,
or was reborn among the Hittites in Asia Minor, about
3000-1000 B. C, and among the Assyrians about 1500-
500 B. C. Any art the Jews may have had, and it
was very httle, was part of this West Asiatic art.
Early Persian art was an offspring of this, as was also
Phenician art, and the Phenicians apparently carried
some fragments of West Asiatic art to Carthage and to
some other places round the Mediterranean.
In Western Asia also, there sprang up later a great
almost wholly decorative art which belongs to both the
continents of Asia and Africa. This is Arab art, which
arising in Arabia, invaded Egypt about 750 A. D.,
spread westward across North Africa and into Spain,
and eastward to Central Asia and Hindustan. Arab
art is certainly not an autochthonous art, but neverthe-
less it evolved certain new art forms in answer to its
In southern and eastern Asia there was long ago
some art which might be called Early Asiatic or Pre-
34 ART AND MAN.
historic Asiatic art. There are at least surviving rem-
nants in Korea, in China, in Cochin China, in Hindu-
stan, of an art which at one time must have extended
over a good deal of Asia, and which was not unhke
Australasian art. It is possible that the South and East
Asiatic arts developed from this foundation: certain it
is, I think, that Early Asiatic art is the earliest art
known in Asia east of Baluchistan.
South Asiatic art sprang up at some indefinite time,
doubtless several millenniums B. C, in southern Asia.
It may or may not be autochthonous. Everything con-
nected W'ith its origin, however, is totally hazy and
nebulous. It extends from Persia to Tibet, Siam and
Java, its center being Hindustan.
East Asiatic art probably arose autochthonously in
China, also at some indefinite time, several millenniums
B. C. From China, East Asiatic art is sujiposed to
have wandered to Japan, sometime about 500 A. D.
From southern Asia a wave of the Buddhist reUgion,
some time after 600 B. C, rolled into China, and
brought with it a series of religious subjects which
became part of East Asiatic art. It seems certain,
however, that these subjects were merely grafted on an
already developed art, not that they started art.
Australasia is the home of one of the great autoch-
thonous arts of the world. It belongs to the same
artistic family as Negro art and Amerind art, and it is
closely related to the surviving fragments of what was
probably the prehistoric Asiatic art. There are two
main branches of Australasian art, which are most
distinct and individual in Melanesia and Polynesia
respectively and which blend to some extent or grow
weaker in Malaj'a and Micronesia.
ART AND MAN.
Fig. 6. Afriean nuui with iii-lclc and with ax halted tliru Ixnly.
36 ART AND MAN.
Melanesian art is found at its purest in New-
Guinea, New Caledonia, and New Ireland. It extends
to Fiji and Australia and is a main factor thruout
Malaya; it spreads northward to Formosa, perhaps to
Yezo, and may have been part of the prehistoric art
Polynesian art is at its best in Hawaii, New Zea-
land, Easter Island, Samoa, and some other island
groups. It is found to some extent in Malaya; in a
weakened form in Micronesia, and it may also have
had something to do with the prehistoric art of Japan.
Probably it would be inaccurate to speak of either
Melanesian or Polynesian art as superior to the other.
They have resemblances in being in about the same
stage of development; and decided differences in technic
and subjects. But altho they show kinship thruout, in
every archipelago, often in single islands of an archi-
pelago, they show also individual distinctions found
nowhere else in the world. And everywhere, with all
their apparent ethnologic differences, the Australasians
reveal an unmistakable art impulse and art power.
Arctic Asia and Arctic America, as desert and
inhospitable regions, except Antarctica and the Sdhara,
as the world offers, nevertheless are the home of a
distinct art, which may well be called Arctic art. It
is found among the Chukchees, Koryaks, Yakaghirs
and Eskimo in northern Siberia, and among the Eskimo
in Alaska, Greenland and Labrador. Altho the art of
each tribe and each locaUty has its individual peculiari-
ties and varies from that of all the other tribes and
localities, nevertheless it is all one art. It belongs to
the same artistic family as Pleistokene art and Bush-
man art, and might be, but probably is not, related
ART AND MAN. 37
to them. It has some resemblances to East Asiatic
art, and only some more superficial ones to European
art and Amerind art. With the West Asiatic, South
Asiatic, Negro and Australasian arts, on the contrary,
it has practically nothing but differences. The Arctic
races are certainly more closely allied ethnologically to
the East Asiatic races than to any other races of the
old world, and this points to their art being a separate
development of East Asiatic art, rather than a descend-
ant of Pleistokene art, whose makers are almost surely
ancestors of the modern European races.
The American continent is the home of one great
art, Amerind art, which, altho generically the same, is
differentiated in a number of places and regions. These
different branches all more or less dovetail, so that it
is difficult to specify their exact boundaries. Nor can
their limits in time be set down but approximately.
Until within a year or two, Pleistokene art was
known to exist only in Europe. In 1915, however, at
Vero, Florida, a Pleistokene horizon was discovered, in
which not only were there bones of several species
of extinct animals, but also human bones in the same
state of fossihzation as those of the animals and
numerous stone artifacts. There was also unearthed
with these one tusk on which are a number of marks,
recalling somewhat the marks of the European Azilien
horizon, and a small, crude, rather square drawing of
a head.* The squareness of the drawing suggests rudi-
mentary Amerind drawing. As the Vero horizon is
unquestionably Pleistokene and Paleolithic it may be
* E. H. Sellards: Human Remains and Associated Fossils from the
Pleistocene of Florida: "Eighth Annual Report of the Florida State
Geological Survey, 1916."
38 ART AND MAN.
that this drawing is Pleistokene and from its square-
ness the work of a Pleistokene ancestor of the present
Amerinds. We must await further discoveries for any
certainty in the matter, but, if this drawing is Pleis-
tokene, there is a possibility that art was born inde-
pendently in America a good many thousand years ago. *
It is exceedingly difficult to divide Amerind art
into secondary arts, and any classification can be
considered only an attempt to sjjecify variations in the
type. In Alaska and British Columbia, art is indi-
vidual enough to bear one name. West North Amerind
art. To the south of this, art might be classified as
Californian art. In the United States, east of the
Rocky Mountains, there was some prehistoric art made
by the Moundbuilders which was followed by the vari-
ation of Amerind art, extending also in Canada, which
may be called East North Amerind art. In the south-
western United States there was formerly Cliff Dweller
art and at present there is Pueblo art which also
extends into northern Mexico.
In southern Mexico there were several prehistoric
branches of art, among which Aztec, Zapotecan, and
Mayan are prominent. Some of this art may be five
or six thousand years old, while some of it lasted until
the time of Hernando Cortez. In Central America and
in the Antilles there were two local variations of the
parent Amerind art.
In South America west of the Andes, there was in
prehistoric times a great art which culminated in Inca
art. This was closely alUed to Mayan and Aztec art
and largely died out with the invasion of the Spaniards.
It might be called West South Amerind art. East
* Fig 24.
ART AND MAN. 39
of the Andes, to this day, there survives another
branch of Amerind art, which has certain individual
characteristics and may be called East South Amerind
Amerind art has some traits which distinguish it
from other arts and rank it as one of tlie great arts
of the world. It resembles most closely in certain
respects Australasian art, but it has also certain
resemblances to East Asiatic art and South Asiatic art.
In Alaska the Australasian resemblances predominate,
whilst the Asiatic resemblances are most apparent in
Mexico and Central America. Altho Amerind art must
be considered as partly autochthonous, yet one must
also recognize that it gradates away almost imper-
ceptibly from its nearest western neighbors and thus is
a proof that all art is one with many subdivisions.
40 ART AND MAN.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE ARTIST. INSTINCT AND
Among eveiy agglomeration of men, call we them
as we prefer, races or peoples or nations or tribes or
clans or families, we find art. Art is infinite in its
varieties, it is not identical in any two localities, it is
not identical at any two periods, but the rule seems
to be absolute that in every clime, at every time,
among every tribe, we find art in some form or shape.
Art is not universal among persons, in fact it crops
out strongly only sporadically among individuals, but
it is universal in man racially, since it is found every-
where. How can this be accounted for? Apparently
there is but one answer, which is that an instinct to
hke art, and an impulse to make art is ingrained in
many members of the human family.
The art instinct might be defined as a love for
and observation of form and color. It is not a seeking
after intellectual thoughts and ideas. It is a purely
human instinct, as no quadruped — except that in a
few cases some animals seem to distinguish differences
in colors — ever showed the faintest glimmer of it.
It varies with different peoples, different periods,
different circumstances, different environments. Never-
theless underneath it is always the same thing, a love
of form and color, a product of the same emotions
cropping out izi different ways, a mental abiUty to
appreciate and enjoy the craftmanship and accom-
plishments of other artists. The art impulse might
ART AND MAN. 41
be defined as the desire to express and make visible
the feelings aroused by the art instinct. When the
art instinct and the art impulse are found in the same
person, that person may become an artist.
This instinct, which appears among all races of men,
is the same as and is usually called the esthetic sense.
Certain members of all races appear to have this
esthetic sense, and those who have it are the ones who
want to paint or sculpt. They are the men who, because
forms and colors appeal to their artistic or esthetic
faculties, try to reproduce in painting or sculpture
men or animals or landscapes, or who Uke to decorate
their persons and possessions with patterns and designs.
The art instinct might be called a primal instinct
in man. It is certainly universal, as people made or
make art in every part of the world. It seems to
spring up instinctively and naturally among men
much as does for instance speech, indeed art itself
is a mode of human expression just as is language,
in fact one might say art is perhaps the most universal
There is certainly a universal instinct to make art.
Does now this instinct grow up everywhere of its
own accord, or is it a transmitted quality? An
answer to this psychological question might help
towards solving the problem whether art thruout the
world is all one art or whether there are many arts.
All art has its roots in and evolves from an art
instinct and art impulse, that is from the enjoyment of
and desire to produce things seen by the eye. All the
beginnings of every art must spring originally from an
art instinct and art impulse based on vision. That
that art instinct and art impulse were born once and
42 ART AM) UXS.
since then transmitted to man everywhere is mani-
festly impossible. On the contrary it appears self
evident that the art instinct has been born over and
over again with the individuals themselves who have
applied it because they also had the impulse. It is
therefore more probable on the whole, that races like
the Eskimo or the Melanesians were impelled by their
own feelings and went to work to make some art of
their own in their own way, much as a bird sits on a
branch and sings, rather than that different tribes or
races should have inherited qualities descended among
all men generation by generation.
The art of the European Plcistokenes is the earliest
art known to us. Admitting that it is the oldest art
implies that it could not have been influenced by any
other art, and therefore it must have sprung solely
from an art instinct and art impulse. It must have
begun in some of the Plcistokenes becoming interested
in things they actually saw and a desire to mimic
these things being aroused. The observation and
attempted imitation of the animals and men the Plcis-
tokenes looked at around them must have been the
elemental factors in the start of naturalistic art.
Decorative art appears to be due in the main to an
innocent desire to play with lines and colors. Some of
it is a degeneration of naturalistic art, but some of it
does not imitate anything in nature. Many people
love bright colors and make use of them simply because
they do like them, without any meaning behind them.
This may not result in art, or perhaps only in the
crudest art, but the impulse which prompts applying
patches of bright color in any way to things, is really
a result of the art instinct.
ART AND MAN. 43
That the esthetic sense is the underlying motive
power, the art impulse, of all artists in the glyptic
arts, is easily seen in the procHvities of some young
children to make pictures. Their first art work is
observing and trying to delineate in some way what
they see, because they like to do it. It is the art
instinct working crudely which finds expression in the
pictures made by children. At four or five years of
age, if a boy has the gifts of a sculptor, he probably
makes extra pretty mud pies, whilst if he is cut out
for a future painter he begins to draw pictures of
men or houses or cats on the side-walk. It is this
desire to imitate, to reproduce figures or scenes he
observes, which eventually leads an older child to
become an artist. If he does not have this faculty,
he turns to some other work, never to art.
The recognition of this underlying impulse among
children is of great importance when seeking for the
starting point of the arts of primitive peoples, of the
Kongo Negroes, the Papuans, the Amazon Amerinds, etc.
Their minds in many ways appear to act much like
the minds of the children of advanced races, and it
seems therefore prima facie probable that their wooden
figurines in most cases are simply the outcome of
their esthetic desire to reproduce the human form.
But while all art apparently appears to spring
primarily from an art instinct depending on the sense
of vision, some art proceeds secondarily from an attempt
to visualize mental conceptions. This sometimes brings
forth good results but sometimes it produces dire fail-
ures in which it is difficult to perceive any art impulse
due to the eye. The Neolithic European peoples, for
instance, left a great many pieces of pottery whose
44 ART AND MAN.
upper parts vaguely resemble an owl's head. Whether,
as some ethnologists believe, these potteries personate
some female anthropomorphic divinity or whether they
do not, and whether they are or are not decorative
degenerations, it is difficult to associate a genuine
ocular art impulse with the specimens themselves.*
The artist's impulse is not unlike that of a good
mouser cat, which, as soon as its eyes are opened,
goes for the first mouse it sees. The artist's impulse
might also be likened to that of a spider when it
makes its web, a wonderful and beautiful piece of
work, which the spider, untrained and untaught, makes
by its natural instinct and impulse. Why does a duck
take to water? Why do little cackling ducklings,
hatched by a hen, waddle off from their distracted
foster mother to go swimming on the farmyard puddle?
And the answer is, because it is their nature to!
Instinct impels them to go swimming. And it is the
same with the real artist. His instinct drives him to
art, just as the cat's instinct prompts it to catch mice,
just as the duck's instinct drives it to water. All the
best art of the world comes from this impulse, and in
many cases artists do not know exactly how they do
their work and are unable to teach others. They
simply do as they do because it is their nature to.
Certain men have the art instinct so strongly devel-
oped as to overbalance their reasoning powers. Things
seen, the glyptic rudimentary art sense, and not things
heard or things thought out, control them. The art
genius of such men sometimes dominates and stalks
away with them so completely, that in the everyday,
commonplace affairs of life, they act in the strangest
* Fig. 3.
ART AND MAN.
Fia. 7. Woman with dwarfed figure and with dri
statue from Gold Coast, Africa.
bead. Large wooden
46 ART ANT) MAN.
way, and are considered eccentric, if not insane. These
men must follow their instinct. They do not reason
about art in general: they just do. They can not tell
others why they do, or how they do. But they do.
This does not mean that artists never reason. On
the contrary, some of the best intellects in the world
have been painters or sculptors or musicians, as for
instance Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens, and Hector Berlioz.
Leonardo was a great engineer and a good geographer.
Rubens was as polished a courtier and diplomat as ever
lived. BerUoz was a witty and incisive writer. These
men and a great many others also, used their minds
and reasoned out all they could of the principles of
their art. The best painting is not all instinct. The
best paintings show knowledge of composition, masses,
values, harmony, etc. Without the art instinct these
would be useless. With the instinct added, great work
is sometimes produced. It is the same with music. A
knowledge of harmony, counterpoint, fugue, etc., is
necessary. But the gift of melody, the underlying musi-
cal instinct, is imperative. And how few composers
have had the real gift!
Turner may be taken as a type of a thoro artist.
He hved in a httle, dirty, uncomfortable London
suburban house. After his father's death, he had no
one with him but an old ignorant housekeeper. But
he hved in a world of dreams. He probably never
noticed his surroundings. He saw visions, of rainbows,
and breaking waves, and rising suns. And he trans-
ferred those visions to the most heavenly landscapes
ever shown to the world. His art instinct obhterated
the man. He was uneducated, gruff, unsociable, and
illiterate. But what difference does it make if Turner
ART AND MAN. 47
in his everyday life often acted like a bear with a
sore head, since he transposed for us the facts of
nature into the dream land of Turneria.
Richard Wagner is another artist who may be
mentioned here, since many of his scenic effects fall
within the confines of pictorial art. He was queer
and eccentric. Some of his biographers have said
hard things about him. He is reported to have stood
on his head whilst leading the rehearsal for a concert.
The fact of the matter is that Wagner had an
abnormal brain. As an ordinary personage, he was a
Uttle mad. A man who could hear the Liebestodt, or
the Pilgrim's Chorus or the Funeral March singing in
his brain, could not put on his clothes straight or
talk Like a boarder in a summer hotel. But his
personal eccentricities do not alter the fact that
Wagner was the most universally creative artist that
ever lived .
Besides the art instinct and impulse which are the
driving powers within the artist himself, however,
there is a great extraneous force which has much to
do with shaping the lives and output of artists. When
an artistic child begins to grow up, he may turn to
art as a pursuit. If so, he tries at first to work in
the field he enjoys the most, whether sculpture or
painting or architecture, specializing besides in this in
whatever direction appeals to him most. If he is rich
and ambitious, he may follow his own chosen path
without hindrance. But if he is poor, and the
majority of artists are poor, the need of finding food
and shelter and raiment, that is the great extraneous
force of the struggle for existence, is bound to affect
him. And the necessities for the support of life he
48 ART AND MAN.
must obtain from persons who will pay him for his
art work. These persons are spoken of as "art
patrons," and this art work, done for pay, is descrip-
tively termed by artists "potboiUng."
Potboilers in fact represent a large part of art.
Artists mainly spend their time in working at something
which will enable them to live, in fact they have to.
They paint portraits of old gentlemen in black coats
or illustrations, or they sculpt clocks and candelabras,
or they erect skyscrapers, or in fact they do some-
thing by which they can earn an honest penny. It is
simply the working of the law of supply and demand:
the customer wants some kind of art work and the
artist does the rest. It is the stomach and not the
brains of the artist which rules in this case, and not
infrequently with direful consequences.
Patronage, therefore, is really a main force in regard
to the output in the fine arts. It is entirely distinct
from the esthetic sense. It is hostile to it, in the
sense that it forces many artists to work against the
grain at things they do not care about, and it is
largely responsible for much of the inartistic art of
the world. It is an aid, however, to the artists in
many cases, in impelling them to work and produce
something, which if perhaps not their best, is at
least better than nothing. And in many cases, if it
were not thru the push of potboiUng, the artistic
temperament would fritter itself away in laziness and
the artist accomplish less in his favorite hne than
he does thru the stress of necessity in some direction
he is not specially interested in.
ART AND MAN. 49
THE PERSONAL EQUATION OF AN ARTIST. SINCERITY.
PERSONALITY. STYLE. OBSERVATION. IMAGINATION.
"Soyez naif! — Cherchez Men les masses!" were two
of the favorite sayings of my first painting teacher, Henri
Marcette, of Spa, Belgium. And they are sayings which
might well be taken to heart by all painters. For what
the French convey in the word naivete is an important
element in a work of art. Unfortunately there is no
exact equivalent in English for the French word naif as
used by Henri Marcette. It can be paraphrased in the
adjectives sincere, genuine, natural, truthful, individual,
personal, instinctive, spontaneous, straightforward, but
none of them renders absolutely Marcette's thought.
What he meant, however, was that you should look at
nature and paint what you see in your own way without
regard to any traditions or anyone else's work. Naivete
means that an artist allows his art instinct to express
itself untrammelled by convention. When he does so,
his individuahty crops out, his work shows freshness
and is not quite Uke any other work.
There are three main stages in an artist's hfe. When
he is a child he is sincere and his one desire is to put
down and express something that he sees or some idea
in his head. He works hard to do this and the result,
even if shapeless, is at least genuine and is not a copy
of some one else. Then comes his period of training.
In this he is pretty sure to follow others, in fact he can
hardly help doing so. Whether working in an academy
50 ART AND MAN.
or with one master, he is bound to be more or less
influenced by his education and to do copying rather
than original work. He may never get beyond this
stage, in which he may leave his freshness or person-
ality behind, except to gain more ease of expression:
and continuing to follow others, his natural development
may be arrested. But if he is strong enough, after
having acquired technical knowledge thru his training,
he may throw traditions to the wind and obey only his
own youthful art instincts. In that case he probably
becomes a real artist, a leader.
Excellent examples of sincere, genuine personaUty,
can be found in many of the works of the early Italian
and Flemish painters, Giotto, Piero della Francesca,
Pinturichio, the Van Eycks, Memling, etc. These men
did not know everything. Thej^ had few pictures round
them to lean on. They had to forge ahead for them-
selves and do things as they felt them. In other words
they were thoroly naif and their work has enduring
An exact contrast to the work of the early Italian and
Flemish painters is found in that of their imitators, the
EngUsh Pre-Raphaelites. The early ItaUans and Flemish
were striving to do the best they could, they used all
their knowledge, they moved steadily forward towards
later art. The Pre-Raphaehtes were trying to go back-
wards, they left out knowledge which was already a
common possession, in an attempt to attain the quali-
ties which the Itahans and the Flemish got thru lack
of knowledge. Their work was not genuine, it was
imitation. It is like modern printed tapestry as com-
pared with the old original article. The result was that
the Pre-Raphaelite machine skidded into the ditch.
ART AND MAN. 51
Some of the most artistic art work in the world,
nevertheless, has been done by one of the least naif
of races, the Chinese. Probably the same rule apphes
with them as with us, that the best work is done when
an artist has been thoroly trained yet is strong enough
to cause his individuahty to stand out above his train-
ing. But I suspect that a good deal of Chinese art is
conventional, precisely from the lack of sincerity among
the lesser men causing a loss of spontaneity in their
The art of primitive races depends for its strength
partly on its freshness and sincerity. It stands to
advanced European or East Asiatic art somewhat in the
same relation that the scribbhngs of an artistic child do
to his matured work. European and East Asiatic art
show greater intellect, knowledge and training than
primitive art, but they sometimes lack its freshness and
sincerity. Primitive art is the result of the art instinct
and sincerity acting freely without much knowledge or
training. Much of it is real art, even tho often
undeveloped. Lots of the art of primitive races, in
truth, is ever so much better than much of the art of
civilized races. Primitive men, for instance, do not
know enough to ruin their instinctive desire for vivid
colors. And they frequently instinctively make pretty
things; whilst civilized men, reasoning and putting intel-
lect into their work, make ugly stuff.
Sincerity alone, however, without the artistic instinct,
is useless in art. The Negroes have plenty of sincerity,
they are in fact all sincerity, and nevertheless much of
their art is inartistic. This is possibly because appar-
ently many Negroes lack a sense of beauty. Sincerity
is only another mental trait urging the art instinct to
52 ART AXD MAN.
work freely: it does not take the place of the art
instinct if this is wanting.
Personality or individuality is closely associated with
sincerity, and again is closely associated with style.
Personality is practically synonymous with individuality
and both terms are used about an artist when he puts
enough of himself into his work for it to be recognized
as his work at a glance. Every strong artist has his
own personal way of working, which is his style, and
this becomes just as recognizable to an expert as a
man's handwriting. Style is an expression of the
artist's taste and it is mainly from the individual style
that an expert can often see at a glance who it was
painted a picture. For art is like handwriting. It is
not a mechanical performance like printing or photog-
raphy. Like handwriting, art is carried out by the
hand in obedience to an impulse from the brain,
and as a result, art reveals character just as does hand-
Style is found in all arts. Style appUes both to
schools of art and to individual artists. It means the
special manner in which a work of art is carried out,
that is it refers to the technic. When a number of
works of art come from some one place and epoch, they
are designated as a school. All glyptic arts from all
places, all schools of art, have their individual style, and
by much observation and comparison one may become
able to tell, almost with certainty, to what art any
piece belongs and where it came from.
With personaUty it is different. In ^Modern Euro-
pean art and in East Asiatic art we can often tell from
the work the name of the artist. In some other arts,
like South Asiatic, we can do so occasionallv, but in
ART AND MAN. 53
many arts, such as the African, Australasian, and
Amerind arts we can not do so at all.
Personality in art, it must be added, refers only to
the work and not to the moral or mental character of
an artist. He may be a good man or a bad man, a
sensible one or a foohsh one, but his work rarely gives
any clue on which to form a judgment. Many popular
notions about artists, however, are entirely erroneous.
The great majority of artists are perfectly decent citi-
zens, and the amount of labor they are forced to do to
forge ahead, prevents their being anything else.
Observation undoubtedly is at the bottom of all
art. Artists sculpted and drew and painted in the
beginning what they actually saw. They worked from
the animals they knew: they sculpted and painted the
forms and features of their own race. Enlarged ears
or small waists or long finger nails in art imply that
they originated in fact. Observation underlies not only
all sculptural and pictorial art but also most decora-
tive art, for this is based on human, animal and plant
forms, or on basketry patterns, and in nearly all cases
it starts in observation, which, when accurate, is per-
sonal and sincere.
A good example of this principle is offered by the
fabulous animals which are found in many arts over
the greater part of the globe. So many artists, in so
many places, could not have dreamed them. They
must have started in something actually seen. And
the only apparent solution is that animal headed
humans and human headed animals originated in
hunting disguises: while such an unnatural beastie as
the Chinese dragon was an invention made from
animals which had been observed, an artistic evolution
54 ART AND MAN.
from the crocodiles and pythons, or possibly even from
now extinct reptiles, which had scared the artists'
Everything therefore actually represented in art
must be assumed to be based on something the artist
or his ancestors actually saw. Artists did not dream
first. Underlying any use of the imagination or the
memory there was observation of the things around
the artist. Art is thus a record of ethnology, of
zoology, of botany, of customs, of history.
Nevertheless imagination, invention and memory are
important vital factors in an artist's make up and
but little good art is produced without their help.
The idea commonly accepted among Europeans, that
all sculpture, drawing and painting must be done while
looking directly at nature is a fallacy based on the
equally prevalent fallacy that art must be true to
nature, must be a photographic imitation of her. It is a
fact, on the contrary, that great painters and sculptors
often work largely from memory or imagination. They
either make studies until they know their subject, or
they look at it until they memorize it, or they invent.
Memory and imagination are of perhaps greatest value
in obtaining hfe and motion, and fleeting effects of
color and light. When a work of art is produced to
some extent from memory or imagination, the figures
are seldom wooden and rarely posing; but when it is
not so produced, the Ufe is often arrested, and the
figures seem petrified and are merely models in an
unhappy state of rest.
Imagination, invention and memory are more or
less present in all good art. In European art hundreds
of artists may be cited as exponents of these qualities:
ART AND MAN.
Fig. 8. Woman with dwarfed figure and protruding abdomen with glass window
inserted. West Coast, Africa.
56 ART AND MAN.
Giotto, Fra Angelico, Pisano, Tintoretto, Michael
Angelo, Turner, Bocklin, Millet, Boutet de Monvel,
Ch^ret, William Morris Hunt, George Inness, etc.
The Chinese and Japanese masters all painted almost
entirely from memory and imagination. But the artists
of other races also show tliese same qualities. The
Pleistokenes certainly had them, for how otherwise
could they have painted their wall pictures at Altamira
and Fond de Gaume, in dark caverns, whose only
access is a tiny opening no bison nor mammoth could
possibly have squeezed thru. The Bushman and the
Eskimo certainly have capital memories. And some
other races, whose art is less realistic, such as the
Melanesians of New Ireland with their strange figures,
or the Alaskans with their totem poles, or the Poly-
nesians with their wood carvings, or the Arabs with
their patterns and arabesques, evince the liveUest
imagination and invention in producing strange,
original and beautiful works of art.*
*Figs. 11, 12, 18, 19.
AET AND MAN. 57
TRAINING AND ENVIRONMENT.
Training in art has much to do with the shaping
of art and artists. It is not part of the art impulse,
but an outside influence. As a rule training is of value,
but sometimes it has a deleterious effect. The saying
that as the twig is bent so is the tree inclined, applies
perfectly to art training. For the training given to
some artists is not always suitable to them, and makes
one wonder whether no training would not sometimes
be best. It seems well therefore to examine training
from both points of view, from its helpful and from its
Technical training up to a certain point is usually a
good thing. It, at any rate, saves time and often much
floundering to a beginner. Unfortunately sometimes it
destroys individual imagination and naivete. It gener-
ally happens that an embryo artist is recognized because
he does art work, out of his head or from nature, as he
himself feels. Then he goes to an art school, where he
is taught art as at that time understood in that coun-
try. Sometimes by the time he has got thru with his
course of study, he has lost his own individuality and
become conventionalized. Sometimes, however, he keeps
or recovers his personality and his imagination, and
then, with his training to boot, he does good work.
Manet, for instance, shed his academic training and
showed the absolute sincerity of a child in looking at
nature: he painted what he saw, not what he was told
58 ART AND MAN.
ought to be there or what other people had seen, and
the result was he did something new, something no train-
ing of that time could have taught him.
This is frequently the case with the pioneers in art.
The art pioneer is the man who is least influenced by
his artistic predecessors, training and environment. The
art pioneer is a man who thruout his artistic training
preserves his own personal way of looking at nature or
seeing visions of beautiful things. And these art pio-
neers truly deserve the title of great artists. Some mili-
tary critics claim that the great soldiers are those who
found war one thing and left it another, and they assign
special rank on this account to Alexander, Hannibal,
Csesar, Gustavus Adolphus, Frederick the Great and
Napoleon. It is the same with artists and any one of
them who, like Ruysdael or Diirer or Constable or
G^ricault, made one, even if but a small, advance in
art must be considered a pioneer and deserves to rank
among great artists. All these men had training, but
they all broke thru training and convention, and went
into fresh fields. The greatest artists indeed always go
beyond their training.
The importance of training can easiest be seen by
considering the innumerable art academies of the present
day, and how the thousands and thousands of living
artists are all trained and taught at first. The history
of art in Italy, in Flanders, etc., tells the same story:
that all the successful artists in those countries were
trained in their youth by older men. Japanese artists,
it is well known now, are trained for years, in copying
caUigraphy and works of art, repeating one form over
and over again, and it is this continual training which
eventually gives them their power.
ART AND MAN. 59
It is evident, therefore, that training has had much
to do with the forming of the greater arts. When we
find art of a certain sameness with a certain amount
of quaUty, it is safe to infer that it shows training in
its makers. That is, when the general level of art
in any place is high, it implies that the artists had a
training which could only have come with a surround-
Judging by the arts whose histories we know, it is
safe to infer that training was a factor in all the
greater arts. Whether there are any data in the matter
or not, we may rest assured that there must have been
training among the artists of Crete, of Egypt, of
western Asia and of southern Asia. There may have
been schools of some sort answering to our art acade-
mies, or there may have been teaching by older artists
to pupils as in Italian and Flemish studios, but un-
doubtedly there was some sort of regular art instruction.
When one looks at the primitive arts, the problem
becomes more difficult. Still, by analogy, it seems as
tho we are warranted in thinking that training played
a part in Mexican art, Peruvian art and Benin art.
In the other Amerind and Negro arts, in Australasian
art, and in Arctic, Bushman and Pleistokene art, it
seems as tho training must have been a more limited
force. It scarcely seems as if this could have been
more than what might come thru propinquity. Younger
artists in the same community may have followed or
copied their elders more or less consciously. But there
could scarcely have been anything like regular instruc-
Environment is one of the chief factors in the
making of an artist and of his art. The lie of the
60 ABT AND MAN,
land, climate, material substances, means of subsist-
ence, patronage, customs, in fact many surrounding
causes all have their effect on him. No artist gets
away really from his environment and available
materials any more than lie gets away wholly from
his race. The most original artist at best does work
only trifiingly different from that of his friends and
neighbors. An artist is bound to do something hke
the work of his immediate predecessors and of those
around him and it is only geniuses who break the way
by something a little different and new. This may be
looked on as a universal law, except in some sporadic
cases, due for instance to transplanting, as where a
Japanese has settled in Europe. Then he is usually
influenced by his new environment, altho some of his
racial qualities may persist.
Environment is always more or less local. The
character of countries is different: one is mountainous,
another flat; one is wooded, another treeless. Climates
are different, cold or hot, wet or dry. Customs are
different. Religions are different. Materials are different;
in one place there is wood, in another stone, in a
third bone or ivory, or something else. Conditions of
life are different; in one place an artist lives in the
wilds by hunting; in another he lives in towns on
starvation patronage. There are many different factors in
fact which go to make up the environment of an artist
and all these as well as his race help to mould his art.
The influence of the actual physical materials on
art is of importance and must be looked on as a part
of environment. A race that hves on open plains, as
that of the American prairies or that of the Russian
steppes, and which therefore has no wood or stone
ART AND MAN. 61
does not bring forth much sculpture. The marble of
Greece and the granite of Egypt played definite parts
in shaping the arts of those countries. The soft paint
brush and water colors in Asia brought about different
results from those obtained in Europe with hard points
and oil colors. In fact the materials offered to an
artist have much to do with his accomphshment.
The fact that some one vital condition of life is
similar in different places, does not necessarily imply
similarity in art. Take hunting for instance. In the
Eskimo and the Amerinds of the northern plains, we
have two races of hunters whose arts are essentially
different. And this shows that hunting as a condition
of life does not always develop the same art. The
reason is, that in each of these cases, there are many
other environing influences which are different from those
of the other, as well as a difference in race and hence
in art instinct. Therefore when we find some race to
whom hunting is of such prime importance that it
depends on it for its means of subsistence, we must not
assume that necessarily this means similarity in art to
that of some other race equally dependent on hunting
to keep body and soul together.
Judging by certain examples, it would seem as if
commercial prosperity and advanced social organization
often helped to bring forth great art. The Greece of Phi-
dias and Praxiteles, the China of the Sung and the Ming
artists, the Venice of Giorgione and Titian, the Nether-
lands of Rembrandt and Rubens, are good instances of
the principle that when art flourishes in any one spot,
that place is probably in a condition of material pros-
perity and that some of its inhabitants have reached an
advanced stage of mental development.
62 ART AND MAN.
It sometimes happens, however, that too rigid a civil-
ization destroys some of the quaUties of art thru con-
ventionahzing it. This would seem to have been the
case, for instance, in Egypt and in Assyria. In both
these countries the artists apparently were so hampered
by tradition, by custom, by convention, that their art
never matured to the highest planes. The environment
was only partly favorable.
Nor does it necessarily follow that great commercial
prosperity imphes great art. A certain amount of art is
pretty sure to follow commercial prosperity, as the latter
means patronage, but the art instinct and impulse is
also necessary and may be lacking. In the England
and America of today, for instance, art is an important
element in hfe. Art is advancing in these countries,
partly as a matter of education, and possibly also from
the increasing immigration of the Mediterranean race.
For art is not a strong inborn instinct with the Anglo-
Saxon peoples, who lean more towards business, politics
and the exact sciences, than towards the more poetical
and less profitable fine arts. In fact race, as well as
environment, is one of the factors which plays a part
in the formation of the fine arts, and an artistic race
will probably accomplish more in an unfavorable mater-
ial environment than an inartistic race in a favorable
Too much stress must not be laid on prosperity and
ease of life as art developers. Artistic abiUty is far
more important. For among the Bushmen and Eskimo,
and some Africans and Australasians, there was some
decidedly good art, altho there was neither material
prosperity nor advanced social organization. They must
therefore have had a tolerably strong art instinct and
ART AND MAN. 63
art impulse to counterbalance material disadvantages.
It follows from this that when we find good art among
any race, even if we know little of its makers, we may
be pretty sure, as for instance with the Pleistokenes, that
some at least of their race had advanced intellectually
into full fledged modern manhood. Good art in fact
implies a certain mental ability, but not necessarily
what might be considered a favorable environment.
64 ART AND MAN.
It is an unfortunate fact that the men who pass
upon the merits of works of art, and especially those
who use their pen to do so, are called art critics. For
the word critic now implies condemnation. Criticism
has come to mean an adverse judgment, and it has
come to mean this because it is so much easier as well
as more human to pick flaws in another man's work
rather than to praise it that most persons pick flaws.
Much criticism is mere fault finding: often it implies
an element of hate, of superiority. And the adjective
most commonly associated with the noun criticism is
severe: some one criticised "severely" some one else.
But criticism should be based on love as well as on
comprehension. For art implies love: no one produces
real art unless he loves to do it. And anyone writing
about art or even only studying it should try to feel
and explain that love and not merely scold about it.
If that is all one can do, better leave discussing art
alone. The best critics are the least violent. "Tout
comprendre, c'est tout pardonner!"
It is a pity that the term art critic cannot be
abolished but unfortunately there is no other term in
the English language which would take its place
exactly and act as a substitute. There are several
words, however, which might sometimes be used to
paraphrase it. These are art lover, art connoisseur,
art teacher, art judge, art expert, art writer. These
would all be better in certain respects than art critic.
ART AND MAN.
Fig. 9. Wooden statuette of man with palm leaf headdress. Nias Island, Sumatra.
66 ART AND MAN.
which in some cases almost seems to mean artist hater.
Anyone of course may be an art lover. An art con-
noisseur may be perhaps described as the first step
beyond plain liking, when a person begins to discrim-
inate. Art judge or art expert might perhaps be used
when persons have reached an advanced stage of
knowledge about the fine arts in general, and art
writer of course apphes to persons who put their
knowledge into print.
Accepting, however, as an unfortunate necessity,
the unpleasant term art critic, the first point that
suggests itself is: what qualifications entitle a person
to be considered an art critic? Some persons with a
general education only and no art training apparently
assume to a greater or lesser degree that thej^ are
warranted in discussing and passing upon the merits of
works of art. Now there are various degrees of
untrained-in-art persons. Some untrained-in-art persons
seem to know and to care so little about art that it
may be doubted whether they would recognize the
difference between "Botticelh and Chianti." Some
untrained-in-art persons on the contrary love art dearly
and even if perhaps they know but little about it,
yet they can be called art lovers, the most favorable
state of mind towards good criticism. And some of
these untrained-in-art-technic persons go a step further
and by study learn to recognize and to discriminate
between the works of different painters and different
schools so that they are entitled to the name of art
As a general proposition, it may be said that the
views of persons who have not done any practical art
work are often of little critical value. I have been
ART AND MAN. 67
assured, for instance, on two occasions that Turner was
color blind. Volumes have been written by untrained-
in-art-technic persons and many of them are incorrect
but patronizing. "What people are not up on they are
down on" someone has said, and it truly appKes to a
good deal of chatter about art. It is probably accurate
to say also that, as a rule, the greater the number of
persons who admire a work of art, the poorer is the
work; which of course is only another instance of the
fairly universal law, that the minority is usually right.
A favorite remark of unfledged talkers about art
is "I don't know much about art, but I know what
I like." If artists are present, this generally causes
them to wink at each other. For it is not infrequently
followed up by positive, wide of the mark statements.
Nevertheless "I know what I like" is sometimes a
criticism of more importance than artists are inclined
to admit. For it means that to that particular onlooker
art conveys or does not convey some pleasant or
unpleasant emotions. And if it happen that that
particular individual is an art lover, it may also
happen that his judgment is more accurate than that
of other more highly trained persons who lack the
discrimination which proceeds from real feeling.
There are a certain number of persons, who while
not having had a practical art training, nevertheless
are good judges of certain phases of art work. These
are the art dealers and the art collectors, that is the
men who sell and the men who buy art works. They
are forced to study art to pursue either their business
or their hobby, and the fact that there is sometimes a
good deal of money involved in the transaction sharpens
the wits wonderfully. Some of tlie employes in museums
bO ART AND MAN.
also become good judges of art. But while such art
connoisseurs or art experts in their own lines frequently
are clever and show the keenest possible appreciation,
still often they are uncertain judges, because they do
not understand technical points and also because they
are too apt to be specialists in their sympathies.
Artists, men who have had a practical training in
art, are sometimes excellent critics. Often however
they are poor judges of art: they are too narrow, too
much wrapped up in their own work; they are too
much swayed by their emotions and see good only in
work of the same kind as their own. Whilst often
able to judge of the technical merits of art works,
they sometimes seem unable to gauge the relative
merits of many arts. The mind has sharpened too
much to a point to enable it to act as a critic's mind
should, namely from a wide and tolerant standpoint.
Artists are sometimes jealous and intolerant of other
artists. I believe they almost always rate highest
artists whose work, whether for better or worse, is
on the same lines as their own. And in many cases
they condemn artists who do not work as they do
themselves. In other words artists are apt to be
A common fallacy among artists is to think and
say that poor art is better than good criticism. This
remark is often made and is as pointless as it would
be to say that General Grant's victories were greater
than Benjamin Franklin's scientific discoveries. One
cannot compare nor gauge art and art writing by the
same standards, because they are different things. Art
is painting, sculpture and architecture: art writing is
literature. Compare pictures or sculptures as much as
ART AND MAN. W
you please and assign them any relative rank you
choose. But if you want to judge what merits any
book on art may have, compare it with other books
on art: not even with poems or novels: and certainly
not with paintings or automobiles or anything else
which it is not.
Apparently there are two classes of men, namely art
connoisseurs and artists, who each respectively have
some of the qualifications necessary for art critics. To
unite therefore, in one person, all the qualifications
necessary, implies two kinds of training. One is a
practical manual training with brush and modelling
tools, the other is an extensive acquaintance with many
art works in numerous galleries and museums. That
is to say, to be a reliable art expert or art writer
necessitates being both an artist and a connoisseur.
An artist alone is too narrow; a connoisseur alone is
lacking in technical knowledge. It is indeed only per-
sons who have had a long training both in practical
work and in the study of many works of art who
really become experts. And it is only experts who can
tell with any approach to certainty the work of most
well known painters or sculptors, and this they deduce
as a rule from the style or quality of the painting or
sculpture which varies with every art worker.
An art writer must have an artistic temperament
and emotions, but he must also have a scientific bent
and a judicial restraint. All the best art critics are
practical artists to the extent at least of having had
a good deal of manual training and practice. They
are really artists up to a certain point, a point at
which their intellect seems to overwhelm their art
impulse. They begin to think, to compare, to reason
70 ART AND MAN.
out the why and wherefore of art. They see too much
and too widel3^ Instead of producing in the narrow
groove of their art impulse, they spread out over too
wide a field, they are influenced from too many
extraneous sources. Sometimes their art production is
arrested fruitlessly thru this, but occasionally it leads
to their producing in another direction for which they
are better suited, namely art writing. And the best
writers about art, such as Philip Gilbert Hamerton and
Eugene Fromentin, and great art teachers like Wilham
Morris Hunt will, I believe, always be found to be
persons who have had some serious practical training
but who have studied also extensively the works of a
great many other artists.
An art writer, to do good work, requires breadth of
mind perhaps more than any other quality. He must
be able to sympathize with — which means to suffer
with, to enter into the feeUngs of — many different
artists and their works. He needs the art instinct but
not the art impulse. He must have the art instinct to
understand art, but he does not require the art impulse
which urges a working artist to produce graphic art.
It is especially necessary for an art writer to look out
for the good points of all kinds of art works of his
own race and it would broaden him to study the art
of other races than his own. And he should always
remember that if works of art are different from those
he is used to, it does not necessarily follow that they
are bad. Art writing should be based on knowledge
and on an intelligent appreciation of art, and it should
be an attempt to present the strong points and not
merely the weak points of art. In fact an art writer
is an art judge, and he should be towards art matters
ART AND MAN. 71
what a law judge is in legal matters, namely a man
learned in the law who tries to give an impartial
opinion. It might be, however, the truest wisdom
for an art writer to cogitate over the Bibhcal text
"Judge not that ye be not judged": then to keep
his opinions to himself, since he is certain to displease
many and to be criticized "severely."
To write or even to talk intelligently about art is
intrinsically difficult, and a paramount reason is that
the basal qualities of the fine arts are intangible and
elusive. Art writing is really a science, in that it
should — it does not always — tell the truth. But, from
the nature of the facts studied, it can never be an
exact science. Since art does not need to be true to
nature, and nine-tenths of it is not, one cannot usually
apply scientific tests in criticising it. Since art may
seem beautiful to some persons and ugly to others, one
cannot lay down the law about it from any esthetic
standpoint. A certain amount of cold fact can usually
be stated about the externals of a work of art, but
underneath lies its soul or feeling. And about this soul
or feeling, an art writer can only feel this feehng as
well as he can, and then try to express his own feeling.
And this at best is only his opinion, and not an
authoritative statement. He needs therefore some of
the faculties of a scientific man, to deal accurately with
the technical parts of works of art; he must also have
the feeling of an artist, to be able to peep into the
soul of other artists; and he must have some of the
qualities of a judge on the bench, in order to give a
well balanced, impartial opinion on the numerous points
of a work of art.
An art writer's life work should be modelled on a
72 ART AND MAN.
plan which might be Ukened to an open fan or a cart-
wheel. Starting with a knowledge located at the handle
or hub, he should try to keep on extending that knowl-
edge along the ribs of the fan or the spokes of the
wheel. The more his knowledge widens and spreads,
the more he compares and gauges the relative values
and places of different arts, the more likely are his
opinions to be worth something. But he must see to it
that his art instinct does not become swamped by his
reasoning powers: he must make them keep in pace
together. For if any one lets his esthetic sense be over-
mastered by his historical or ethnological learning, his
art writing almost surely will suffer thru his judgments
becoming scientific rather than artistic.
Nobody can possibly foretell what his likes and dis-
Ukes may become with advancing years. For taste
sometimes widens and sometimes narrows. But, as a
rule, it is probably correct to say that if a child likes
certain forms of art before his taste is vitiated or has
been tampered with, in all UkeUhood he will enjoy the
same and similar forms of art when he has grown to
man's estate. He may also learn to Uke manj^ other
forms of art, besides those he did at first. It may be
explanatory to mention here how my own sympathies
have acted in regard to art. Starting out with a love
for European art, I later became fascinated with East
Asiatic art, and afterwards gradually got interested in
all the other arts. And as my eye got more and more
accustomed to those, I began to see beauties in some
of the specimens I certainly did not at first. Going on
one occasion to a museum not far from my own abode,
in its great hall, besides many pictures by Uttle known
French painters, there happened to be half a dozen
ART AND MAN. 73
Papuan shields from New Guinea labelled "from the
South Sea Islands." And my impression then was and
still is that these naive works by untrained wildmen
were more genuine art than some of the surrounding
works of the trained civilized painters.
It seems inevitable that to an observer of many arts
there comes with time a change of feeling, a change in
his view point about art. The more he studies art and
the more arts he studies, the more will his sympathies
broaden and gradually he will learn to like many things
unnoticed or perchance despised at first. The average
European or American grows up with certain feelings
and notions naturally acquired from the European or
American art he sees around him. These act as deter-
rents, so to speak, when he begins to look at African
art or Australasian art or Amerind art. These arts do
not conform to our conceptions and at first blush there
is a tendency to belittle them. But starting out, as do
most European and American art writers, with the basal
idea that Greek sculpture and European painting are
the top notch of art, protracted observation may lead
an art lover thru East Asiatic art into recognizing that
many other arts have beauties of their own which are
entirely unthought of at first. After awhile, when the
eye has got used to fresh conceptions, one begins to
reaUze that often there is much feeling for form, for
color, in art which at first seemed strange, and in time
one begins to wonder whether sometimes naive untutored
primitives do not conceive art which, while different from
our own, may have qualities which are sometimes lack-
ing in our own more learned, but in some ways less
natural, modern art. And the realization that a Masai
shield or a New Ireland paddle may be a pleasing
74 ART AND MAN.
work of art need not detract in the least from one's
appreciation of the Elgin Marbles nor of the portraits
of Velasquez. In time one gets to understand that these
are all expressions of the emotion and the knowledge of
their makers, some in the stone axe and others in the
shrapnel stage of culture.
ART AND MAN.
Fig. 10. Large wooden figure from New Guinea or New Ireland.
76 ART AND MAN.
' CHAPTER VII.
ART AND NATURE. NATURALISM. IMITATION.
REALISM. IDEALISM AND IMAGINATION.
Art is a world of its own. Art is in large part
based on nature, but it is not nature. Art is a
product of human emotion, thought and work. Art
starts originall}^ in observation of nature. Some art
sticks closely to nature and attempts to imitate or
interpret forms or colors: while some art diverges more
or less widely from nature. In its extremest forms,
some art has an almost scientific accuracy of resem-
blance to nature, while some art is absolute fiction.
But even in its most naturalistic renderings, art is not
nature but is only a human interpretation or present-
ment of it.
Art is one thing; nature is another. Art is a
human product: nature is not a human product. But
man, thruout most of the world, fashions nature to
suit himself. Does he in so doing make nature more
artistically attractive? And the answer seems to be
that, as a rule, he does not. Nature left to itself, in
mountain, in plain, in forest, in fertile country or m
desert, is almost invariably artistically interesting. The
forces of nature, wind, water, fire, carve the surface
of the earth into forms whose Unes and shapes and
colors usually are attractive to the eye. In woods,
in savannahs, in wastes, there is almost always some-
thing pleasing or terrifying to the eye, something
which will arouse artistic emotion, something from
which a landscape painter can make a picture.
ART AND MAN. 77
But when man tackles nature, what does he do?
The numberless, endless, sinuous, artistic Unes of
nature he intersects with the straight inartistic lines of
railroads and streets and fences. The beautiful flank
of a rocky bluff he makes hideous by digging a quarry.
He takes a piece of moorland, variegated by wild
roses and burdocks and thousands of beautiful plants
anathematized as weeds, pulls up all these eye-pleasing
growths, and changes the bewitching wild ground into
a green grass lawn which, while excellent as a pasture
for cattle, is deficient in arousing artistic emotion in a
In saying this there is no intention of running
down the works of man nor of denying the interest
and the beauty of much of what man does fashion
nature into. What it is proposed to bring out is that
when man tampers with nature he changes it into
something radically different. And this different thing
while generally less beautiful than the original, in
many cases is beautiful in itself. And this beauty
comes from the mind of man and is what we call art.
Wild nature is one thing: nature altered by man is
another thing. Wild nature is almost always, if not
always beautiful: nature altered by man is often ugly,
but sometimes beautiful. But whether ugly or beauti-
ful, nature altered by man is no longer nature: it is
something else, and that something else, if beautiful,
springs from the art instinct.
There is a rather widespread misconception among
European peoples that good art means "truth to
nature." This notion is to a large extent crooked and
is probably responsible for a great deal of the poorer
art of Europe. To combat this harmful dictum some-
78 ART AND MAN.
what, it may be as well to mention briefly in what
field of human endeavor truth takes precedence.
There are three sets of human efforts which can
be classed as science, ethics and art. While philo-
sophically these three fields of thought are distinct,
yet in the actions and works of man they are not
absolutely separate, but overlap at certain points and
in certain ways. These three great products of the
human mind may be placed also under the three head-
ings of the true, the good and the beautiful, for it
may be said, speaking in general terms, that truth is
the foundation of science, goodness the principle of
ethics, and beauty the mainstay of art.
It is hardly necessary to tell scientists that truth
is the bed rock of science. Science might almost be
called a search for knowledge, and in seeking knowl-
edge, science is steadily groping for something much
tried for but never wholly reached, namely that most
elusive phantom, truth.
What people really mean when they seak of "truth
to nature" about the fine arts, is nature as reflected
in a mirror or as reproduced in an untouched photo-
graph. Now of course there is some art which is
an attempt to imitate nature absolutely, and it is
accurate to say of this art that it is true or is not
true to nature. But it is wholly inaccurate to say
that truth to nature, that is mechanical photographic
imitation, is the basis of all art: for the greater part
of art is not imitation at all.
There are several words which convey approximately
how much any art leans or does not lean towards nature.
These terms are naturalism, reahsm, imitation and
interpretation, ideaUsm, imagination. Naturalistic art
AET AND MAN. 79
is any art based on nature. Naturalistic art has two
main subdivisions: realistic art and idealistic art, the
latter implying imagination, the poetical faculty, also
as a sponsor. Naturalistic, reaHstic, and idealistic
are terms applied principally to the sculptural and
ReaUstic imitative art is art which counterfeits
nature to the limit of the artist's abiUties. In its
extremest form it might perhaps be defined as an
absolute imitation of the reflection in a mirror fixed
into permanency. Any such slavish imitation, however,
is rare, as generally almost any artist, no matter how
imitative, interprets nature to some extent and puts in
at least some other attributes thru his own feeUngs. A
purely imitative art work almost always lacks charm,
and falls into the class of what is termed a study or an
academy rather than a work of art.
Reahstic interpretative art is art which interprets and
suggests nature without pretending to absolutely imitating
her. Reahstic art is based entirely on observation of
nature. It does not necessarily need to be done directly
in front of nature, as it may be carried out thru the
memory. In fact much of the best reahstic interpreta-
tive work is memorized observation.
IdeaUstic art is art in which imagination succeeds
in inventing something which, tho based on nature,
was never seen in the natural world. In its extremest
form, it might perhaps be defined as art made up in
the artist's head. It is an attempt to represent to
some extent in the concrete some abstract thought or
dream about forms and colors. That is the conception
of an imaginative art work is something dreamed about
rather than something observed. But the dream is
80 ART AND MAN.
always of something which the artist sees in his mind's
eye. Idealistic art is a mental vision.
Idealistic art which is good, which has quality,
implies artistic ability in its maker. An inartistic per-
son cannot produce idealistic art, any more than an
ordinary commonplace mind can write great poetry or
compose great music. " Poeta nascitur, non fit" applies
perfectly to an artist, and especially to one who works
idealistically. Inartistic persons, however, arc some-
times guilty of making certain graphic productions,
which other inartistic persons sometimes think are
ideaUstic art. Many things, however, thus looked on as
idealistic art are mere unintelligent unobserved symbols as,
for instance, dramngs of a cart with the body and horses
drawn in profile and with two of the wheels drawn above
and the other two drawn below the cart. Such drawings
are not idealistic art, they are merely silly performances
by inartistic minds, who could not do an ideal drawing
if they tried to for a thousand years.
Decorative art, that is the art of decoration or
ornament, usually is based on nature or on patterns
produced by man in basketry, etc. Decorative art
based directly on nature might be called naturalistic
decorative art, altho no such deUneating terminology
is of common usage. Some decorative art also, Uke
the Solomon Islands' human and the Alaska grizzly
bear, is distinctly idealistic*
Whatever the nearness or aloofness of any art to
nature, it may be good, bad or indifferent. This
depends principally on the ability of the artist, but art
may also seem good, bad or indifferent to the onlooker,
according to his temperament and inteUigence. A
* Figs. 12, 19.
ART AND MAN. 81
necessary corollary of this is that no universal rules can
be laid down for the production of works of art or for
their appreciation, because the individual mind of each
person, whether artist or onlooker, is such a varying
entity. There can be no standard.
Whether realistic or ideaUstic, art, to be good,
must convey some artistic sensation, some pleasure or
emotion, to the mind: there must be some technical
qualities: there must be form, or color, or drawing, or
grandeur, or beauty: that is there must be something
While it is certain that any art, whether imitative
or imaginative, might be classified thruout by different
critics as good, bad or indifferent, it is equally certain
that one can say truthfully that good idealistic art is
one peg higher than imitative art. And the reason is
that idealistic art implies imagination: it requires the
mind of an artist to work poetically.
The whole of architecture is evolved, without refer-
ence to nature, out of man's brain for his own
necessities. Hut or palace or shed or skyscraper or
cathedral, they are all the invention of man, and not
in the least the imitation of natural things. Caverns
and intertwined branches of trees may have given a
hint in the start, but beyond that nature has not
aided. The forms and colors of temple and church and
hotel and private residence are sometimes beautiful and
artistic. But there is nothing in nature Uke them.
Architecture is a useful and mechanical art which often
is also a fine art, but it is never in the least a nature
art. No one thinks of speaking of the Pennsylvania
railroad station in New York as true to nature.
Sculpture proper is one of the most imitative and
82 ABT AND MAN.
one of the most closely allied to nature of the arts.
For, as a rule, all sculptures are suggested at least by
something in nature. Generally they represent a human
or an animal of some kind, except a certain number
which are more purely ornaments, carvings for other
objects. But tho a great deal of sculpture is reaUstic,
a great deal of sculpture is ideaUstic. Most Greek
sculpture is surely an attempted improvement on human
forms, or perhaps rather an attempt to bring together
into one imaginative composite figure the best points
of numerous models. And when one turns to the
sculptures and carvdngs of some of the more primitive
races, it will be found that they usually diverge widely
from any objects in nature.
There is an immense class of objects, which properly
belong to the mechanical arts, but many of which are
suflEiciently esthetic in their make up to become semi-
sculptural fine arts. Many articles of household use such
as beds, chairs, tables, water pitchers, coffee urns, tea-
pots, etc., fall into this class and any one of these in its
forms and colors, independent of any decoration, may
be good enough to rank as a work of the fine arts.
And surely no one would claim that a chair or a tea-
pot resembled anything in nature or was based on
nature. They are therefore not naturalistic art nor are
they decorative art. Perhaps they might be classed
most accurately as semi-sculptural art.
Painting may or may not be imitative. Which it is
rests wholly in the volition of the artist. The most
imitative painting at best only suggests the appearance
of things and is largely a deception. But there is not,
in fine art painting, the sUghtest compulsion on an
artist to be accurate. As long as he does not offend
ART AND MAN. 83
his public by departing too widely from recognized con-
ventions, he can revel in fiction as much as he chooses.
And it is surprising how much is accepted as "true to
nature" which is principally made up. It is especially
to the subjects that this statement applies. All religious
subjects for instance are wholly inventions of incidents,
some of which never occurred, and those which did
occur did not resemble in the least what the painters
made of them. Most historic subjects equally are
largely imaginary. And many other pictures, Claude's
and Wilson's landscapes for instance, are partly dreams
or visions, which evoke a desire to see such scenes, a
desire which is never quite fulfilled.
To obtain deceptive imitation in painting it is neces-
sary to use, not only line and color, which are the
essential concomitants of non-imitative pictorial art and
of decorative art, but also perspective and light and
shade. The best imitation, however, can never come up
quite to the reahty. Art therefore should not try to
literally duplicate nature which it cannot do, but rather
to suggest something like nature, a something which the
observer nevertheless never has seen nor will see in the
There is an anecdote which illustrates to some extent
what idealistic painting should be. The well knowTi
French impressionist painter Degas, while standing in
front of a little pool overshadowed by three great willow
trees, once said: "How beautiful they would be, if
Corot were to paint them!"
Most good decorative art is untrue to nature.
Decoration in itself does not exist in nature. A rock
on which some beautiful mosses grow, does not thereby
become a decorated rock: it is one form of nature
84 ART AND MAN.
covered by other forms of nature. Only man decorates.
He decorates sometimes with imitations of certain
natural objects, but he decorates also with all sorts of
patterns in lines and curves and rectangles which are
never found in nature. If one takes some phase of
decoration, for instance tattooing, what has it to do
with nature? Nothing! A man may permit his skin to
be pricked full of colored dots, and these may or may
not imitate a little something in nature. But they are
not true to anything in the natural world.
It would be difficult to state positively the definite
amount of imitation or imagination underlying any
individual work of art: one could only point out its
general tendency. Perhaps a few illustrations may
clear up a little some of the intricacies of the matter.
For instance if an artist sits down before nature and
observes carefully and tries to reproduce imitatively
what he sees, he is doing a realistic subject in a
realistic way. Carried to an extreme, this method pro-
duces sometimes some very inartistic work. When the
imitation is not pushed to the limit and nature is
interpreted rather than imitated, especially if memory
is called to some extent into play, some very fine
work sometimes results. As examples of this more
thoughtful method one might cite most of Fortuny's
and of Manet's pictures and of Barye's sculptures.
Suppose now an artist paints a picture of some
historic or rehgious scene. As he did not see his
subject, he has to invent it, that is his subject is
imaginative. Then he may turn to nature or to
models for his details and his figures, in which case his
picture becomes partly realistic. Holbein's "Madonna,"
or Veronese's "Marriage of Cana," or Rubens' "Descent
AET AND MAN.
Fio. 11. Paddle from Nissan Island, Solomon Islands
B6 ART AND MAN.
from the Cross," may be mentioned as widely known
successful instances of this method. The attempts at
rehgious pictures by Velasquez and Manet on the other
hand illustrate the danger even the greatest realistic
interpretative painters incur in trying to paint subjects
which require primarily imaginative conception.
Among modern European artists, there is one, whose
drawings of mountains are unapproached in their vivid-
ness and naturalism. This is Edward Whymper, the
conqueror of the Matterhorn, the Aiguille Verte, Chim-
borazo and many other great peaks. His merits as
an artist have been too much overshadowed by his
fame as the greatest of mountaineers. His composi-
tion is first class, liis tiny figures on the mountain side
are portraits, altogether there is no one who comes
within miles of Edward Whymper in the rendition of
that most difficult part of all landscape, Alpine scenery.
The subjects of the great S^\iss artist Bocklin are
pure pieces of imagination, but his pictures are both
realistic and idealistic. For his humans and land-
scapes are admirablj^ done. And tho he invented
strange figures of mermaids and satyrs, they look as if
BockUn had actually seen them: that is his work
looks like reality, even when it was pure invention.
But it may be well to add that Bocklin was a genius.
In contrast to these, some perfect examples of
highly idealized form in art may be seen in Australa-
sian and Amerind art. The strange human on paddles
from the Solomon Islands, for instance, is entirely
imaginative in its subject and decorative technic. So
are some of the so called deities in Zuni sand pictures*
* Copies Harvard Univ. P. Mus.
ART AND MAN. 87
which do not look like anything seen. They are
simply dreams, symbols of Zuni conceptions and are
perhaps less anthropomorphic than any other deities
There is perhaps no art which is absolutely imita-
tive or absolutely imaginative. All art probably has
some imitative and some imaginative qualities; only
usually it leans more, sometimes much more, in one
direction than in the other. And the fact that some
arts have imitation tempered by imagination, and other
arts imagination steadied by imitation, makes it
difficult to classify the arts of the world by any
absolute reahstic or ideaUstic standard. It seems to be
correct, however, to say that the Pleistokene, Bushman,
and Arctic arts and the arts of Europe are mainly
reahstic and imitative, and that their makers saw the
appearance of things and tried to render it: with the
result, however, that much inferior European art gives
you what you see, only much better, in nature. The
arts of southern and eastern Asia, on the contrary, are
imaginative but with a great deal of reaUsm: with the
result that much good East Asiatic art gives you what
you never saw in nature. Finally the African, Austral-
asian and Amerind arts are mainly imaginative and
decorative, either because their makers did not look
at nature at all or at any rate did so more rarely and
less observingly than the Europeans and the Asiatics.
ART AND MAN.
SCULPTURAL, PICTORIAL AND DECORATIVE ART. TWO
DIMENSIONAL AND THREE DIMENSIONAL ART.
Sculptural art, pictorial art and decorative art are
three classes of art which have certain relations of
great importance and of great complexity. In speaking
of these relations, sculptural art must be held to include
all the arts especially of form, such as architecture and
pottery, as well as sculpture proper. Sculptural art,
pictorial art, and decorative art in the main are due
to the same instinct and the same impulse: and the
fact that these three classes of art are parts of the
same thing and yet are different, and that they are
separate and yet work into each other, makes their
relationships most compUcated and involved. So com-
plicated are they in fact, that an attempt to explain
them a little makes one think of the old definition of
philosophy "When one fellow explains to another fellow
what he doesn't understand himself, that's philosophy."
Sculptural art and pictorial art, because they are almost
wholly naturalistic arts, are more closely related to each
other than is either to decorative art: indeed in certain
ways they may be included under one heading: sculp-
tural-pictorial art. And also because they are natural-
istic arts and in the main attempt to represent things,
sometimes also, not inappropriately, they are called the
arts of representation.
The fundamental feature which differentiates func-
tionally sculptural art and pictorial art from decorative
art is whether the art work is itself the object, the
ART AND MAN. 89
result sought for; or whether the art work is intended
to beautify some other object. In sculptural art and
pictorial art the sculpture or picture is the primary
interest; in decorative art the decoration is the secondary
interest. In sculptural art and pictorial art everything
should be subordinated to the sculpture or picture: in
decorative art the decoration should be subordinated to
the object decorated. To give some concrete examples:
the "Dying Gaul" is sculptural art, but the carvings on
medieval furniture are decorative art; the "Angelus" by
Jean FranQois Millet is pictorial art, but the color
daubings by an Amerind on his person are decorative
One of the complexities of the matter is due to the
fact that some art is naturalistic, and some art is non-
naturalistic. And in sculptural, in pictorial and in
decorative art respectively we find that some of each
is naturalistic and some non-naturalistic. Nevertheless
it is possible to lay it down as an axiom that most
sculptural and pictorial art is naturalistic, while a great
part of decorative art is non-naturalistic.
Another complexity of the matter comes from the
fact that sculptures and paintings are frequently used
to decorate buildings with. One has only to think of
the thousands of figures and heads placed on all parts
of Gothic cathedrals: the Cathedral of Milan is decorated
with statues all over the roof. Hundreds of great
buildings have mosaics and frescoes and other paintings
on their walls. Some painters — Puvis de Chavannes is
the best known modern instance — have subdued or
dulled their colors in order to subordinate them to the
architecture. But many of these wall paintings and
most of these statues are not decorative art: and yet
90 ART AND MAN.
they are unmistakably decorations. Here therefore is
a case where decorative art and decorations are not
Sculptural art, pictorial art and decorative art spring
from the same art impulse and have so many traits in
common that it is sometimes difficult to specify to
which class an art work belongs. The very terms used
in connection with them tend to confusion. For
instance, leaving aside sculptural art, and speaking only
of pictorial art and decorative art, some misunder-
standings arise on account of the word "painting."
For whether in colors or in monochrome, in lines or in
patches, all pictorial art comes within the generic term
painting. But much decorative art also is painting.
Yet altho they are thus both painting, they are not the
same thing. Again most decorative art is two dimen-
sional, and omits perspective, light and shade, and
values; but some decorative art is three dimensional.
On the other hand, while a great deal of pictorial art is
three dimensional, a great deal of it also is two dimen-
sional. Here therefore are two points on which it is
impossible to dogmatize and extremely difficult to talk
Underlying the whole question of pictorial and
decorative art, is the most fundamental material fact
in all graphic art, namely that painting is formed of
spots, or dabs, or patches, or masses, of pigments and
paints, black or colored, on a flat plane. Every
painting, whether pictorial or decorative, consists of
some material, canvas or silk or paper or wood or
stone or burnt clay or live human skin, with some
paint or color put upon it. It has, except in the case
of painted sculptures, only two real dimensions, height
ART AND MAN. 91
and width. All other material facts connected with
painting are secondary to this one that painting is
nothing but a layer of spots of color on a surface,
whether that surface is flat or cubical.
Many pictures however suggest a third dimension,
depth. An attempt is made in them to cause the
onlooker to think he sees not a flat plane but a cube
stretching away into distance. It is with this third
dimension that many of the technical points of painting,
such as perspective, atmosphere, distance, are connected.
These technical attributes which have to do with this
third dimension, depth, in painting, are not an actual
part of the hard material substances out of which a
picture is constructed, they are pictorial learned devices,
tricks, and conventions intended to produce certain
illusions. Put all the technical devices suggesting the
third dimension you can into a picture, yet it remains
a piece of canvas or paper with paint on it and with
this paint all in the same plane, that is in two dimen-
sions, no matter how much people may delude them-
selves into beUeving that there is distance, atmosphere,
perspective, etc., and that these have changed a flat
rectangle into a cube. Depth, or the third dimension,
in painting, is really an illusion; but an illusion of
It is, however, precisely the use of drawing, line,
colors, values, light and shade, and many such varied
devices, which makes a picture. A picture is a paint-
ing, but it is something more than painting, for
painting is not necessarily a picture. The word paint-
ing is used too loosely in this connection. You can
cover a wall with a coat of paint of one color or of
two or more colors and it would correctly be a paint-
92 ART AND MAN.
ing, but it would not be a picture. If a variegated
coat of paint is applied to a house wall and sub-
ordinated to the architecture with the intention of
enhancing the appearance of the house and not of
taking the leading place, it would be a decoration,
it would be decorative art. But if a painting is
applied on the wall of the house regardless of the
architecture and is carried realistically or idealistically
so far forward as to become a work of art standing on
its o\\Ti merits and not as a part of the architecture
which it might entirely obUterate artistically, it becomes
a picture, that is pictorial art.
Decorations, or decorative art, as the name implies,
is art used to ornament a person or an object, and
therefore it should be secondary or subordinate in
importance to that person or object. A flashily dressed
man in the street or a frumpily dressed woman at a
ball, violate this canon of art, and people who see them
often instinctively comment adversely. Decorative art
being secondary to some other object utihzes line and
color to enhance that object. As it is not therefore
necessarily either sculptural or pictorial, it does not
need to bring in many other art attributes, which
belong properly to sculptural or pictorial art. As a
rule, provided a decoration is pretty and appropriate,
the simpler it is, the better.
Perhaps the nearest approach that can be made to a
definition of painted decorative art is to say that it is
pattern art. Its special technical points are lines and
colors, subordinated to the object decorated. It should
be two dimensional, and perspective, values, and light
and shade, do not properly belong to it. Persian rugs
are among the most obvious examples of the special
ART AND MAN. 93
technical points of decorative art. It is especially in
some European art, such as Sevres, Meissen and English
porcelains, and in some paintings on architecture in
Europe and possibly in Hindustan, that decorative art
runs away from its true subordinate function, and is
clapped on regardless of the object decorated.
Decorative art is not infrequently looked on as an
inferior branch of art. Sculptors and painters some-
times use the term "decorative" as an adverse criti-
cism, applying it for instance to paintings with brilhant
colors, or to plein air pictures, or to Chinese and
Japanese art. But miscalling such works "decorative"
does not make them decorative art, it does not prove
they are bad: it only means that those who use the
term do not feel color, or are unable to produce fine
color, or at any rate do not Uke that kind of art.
When one considers that decorative art is something dif-
ferent from pictorial art, it is hard to see how it could
be inferior to something which it is not. It is a differ-
ence of kind, not of degree.
A classification of the arts of the world according to
their sculptural, pictorial and decorative quahties is an
extremely complex matter. For some arts are mainly
sculptural and pictorial; some are sculptural and decora-
tive; while some are sculptural, pictorial and decora-
tive. And in attempting to classify the various arts
into sculptural, pictorial, and decorative, it should be
understood that any such classification can be made
only in the most general way.
Of the primitive arts, the Pleistokene, Bushman and
Arctic decidedly lean towards the pictorial and sculp-
tural. Their makers produced many two dimensional
pictures and, while they do not achieve perspective,
94 ART AND MAN.
atmosphere or values, they arrive at form and some
color. As part of their instinct and impulse to repre-
sent natural objects, they seek for correct form in their
sculpture; while they neglect any arrangements of spots
Neolithic art, in Europe and Western Asia, is almost,
probably altogether, purely decorative.
European art is sculptural and pictorial. European
artists have always shown an instinctive preference for
sculptural form and for pictorial drawing, rather than
for decoration. Much of the best European decorative
art is an exotic. European painting is almost wholly
three dimensional. In the Egean, in Greece and Rome,
and in modern times, European painting has sought
for form, drawing, perspective, values, atmosphere, etc.,
in preference to spots of color. The European artists,
in fact, often do not appear to understand, or else
they forget that a painting consists of spots of color
on a flat plane. In tens of thousands of pictures
they evidently never thought of making the spots
of color "a thing of beauty" and "a joy forever;"
and the most fundamental fact that the materials force
on the workman is lost sight. The fact that European
art is three dimensional, and East Asiatic art is mainly
two dimensional, tends to show that European art and
East Asiatic art are independent.
The decorations on the more expensive European
porcelains, furnish a good example of the lack of the
decorative sense among Europeans. The whole basal
idea of what decoration on porcelain should be seems
to be wanting; pictures instead of decorations are
attempted. The first thing about a piece of porcelain
is its fitness and serviceability for actual use, the
ART AND MAN.
Fig. 12. Figure in black and red on paddle from Solomon Islands
96 ART AND MAN.
second is the beauty of its form and color. Any
decoration put upon it should be an enhancement of
its form and a part of its color scheme. This, Euro-
pean porcelain makers apparently do not realize. They
take a plate or a jar and paint a picture upon it
"Napoleon's return from Elba," or something equally
incongruous. As a picture, the work is usually a
failure, a weak copy of some oil painting; but the
worst art phase is that it is inappropriate as a decora-
tion: the picture becomes the thing and the porcelain
itself is forgotten. Barring certain exceptions, such as
some Copenhagen porcelain, a frank imitation of Japa-
nese porcelain, Dutch tiles, a descendent of Arab or
Chinese tiles, and Valencia pottery, a legacy from the
Moors, European porcelain decoration, it seems to me,
is artistically inferior to Chinese or Japanese porcelain
or even to Zuni pottery decoration The essence or
spirit of decorative art is lacking, and neither the
makers nor the purchasers seem aware of what is
suitable and fit in porcelain decoration.
Egyptian art and West Asiatic art may be classified
together as principally sculptural and decorative arts.
They both have some excellent and some poor sculp-
ture, and some fine and some ugly decoration. Some
of their bas reliefs and colored paintings are evidently
intended to represent events which probably happened
or scenes which were actually seen, but the artists
scarcely ever thought of drawing anything in artistic
perspective, much less in mechanical perspective, and
they seldom achieved artistic two dimensional, much
less three dimensional pictorial art.
Arab art is purely decorative.
South Asiatic art takes in all three classes of art:
ART AND MAN. 9T
sculptural, pictorial and decorative. It occasionally
produces some first class sculpture: it certainly never
rises to the front rank in pictorial art; but in decora-
tive art, for instance in Persian rugs, it is unsurpassed.
Thru its inclusion of the three forms of art, it evinces
in certain respects a closer relationship to East Asiatic
art than it does to European art.
East Asiatic art, like South Asiatic art, is sculptural,
pictorial, and decorative. It has produced some great
work in all three hnes, but it seems to me that it is in
its painting that it is unsurpassed, and in its painting
it leans towards the two dimensional. East Asiatic
artists have always placed foremost the arrangement into
beautiful patterns of the lines and spots of color of
their pictures. Apparently the art instinct of the
Chinese and the Japanese led them to discern that
the underlying material fact in a painting is that it
consists of spots of pigment on a flat or curved plane,
and as a rule they appear to try, altho not always
successfully, to make the arrangement of the spots of
pigment agreeable to the eye. They have always made
a more secondary matter of the qualities in painting
connected with the third dimension or depth, with atmos-
phere, perspective, values, etc. There is plenty of atmos-
phere, and values, and artistic perspective in their work,
especially in their landscapes which sometimes are three
dimensional, but in the main these quaUties are less
sought for than is the production of a beautiful arrange-
ment of lines and spots. As a result their work usually
suggests flatness and not depth, a picture in a rectangle
with height and width, rather than a picture in a cube
with height, width, and depth.
Of primitive arts, Negro art and Amerind art lean
98 ART AND MAN.
towards the sculptural and decorative, and Australasian
towards the decorative and sculptural. In these arts
there is almost never any pictorial work; there is
never a trace of perspective or values or atmosphere
but, in their stead, there are often most beautiful
patterns in colors or carvings. In some of the African
and Amerind sculptures we find imitative attempts,
which show the faculty of observation, but all the
painting of these three arts is two dimensional and
almost all of it is decorative.
The Negroes have made some good decorative art
and some poor decorative art, much bad sculptural art
and some sculptural art which has certain good points.
The Amerinds have produced some good decorative art
and some poor decorative art, a good deal of bad
sculptural art and some sculptural art, namely the heads
on monoliths in Mexico and Central America, which is
distinctly good. The Australasians have produced an
immense amount of really beautiful decorative art, and
some sculptural art which is usually poor but neverthe-
less most interesting ethnologically. It is perhaps not
incorrect to say that the Australasians have the weakest
sculptural-pictorial art sense and the most distinctly
decorative art sense of any peoples.
The geographical habitats and courses of the sculp-
tural, pictorial and decorative arts are instructive. In
Europe art is sculptural and pictorial, with decorative
art as an adjunct; in Asia art is sculptural, pictorial
and decorative; in Africa, Australasia and America art
is sculptural and decorative. Sculptural art is thus found
almost everywhere, a hint that the sense of form is the
starting point in the fine arts. Pictorial art and decor-
ative art on the contrary are not so universal. Taking
ART AND MAN. 99
Europe as a starting point there is a sort of gradation
from the pictorial art of Europe into the decorative art
of Africa, Australasia, and America which suggests a
gradual change both in the way of looking at things
and in the impulse in carrying out an artist's ideas.
In looking over the arts of the world, the specimens
show that the arts of Europe are mainly sculptural
and pictorial, the arts of Asia are sculptural, pictorial
and decorative, the arts of Africa, Australasia and
America are mainly decorative. The peoples of Europe
paint pictures; the peoples of Asia paint pictures and
patterns; the peoples of Africa, of Australasia and of
America paint patterns. Does this imply that the
distinction is one of civiHzation? That advanced or
semi advanced races make imitative art, and primitive
races decorative art? It might seem so and yet this
cannot be laid down as an axiom. For three primitive
races, the Pleistokene tribes of Central Europe, the
Bushmen of South Africa, and the Chukchees and
Eskimo of the Arctic regions, make two dimensional
pictorial art. No statements in regard to the matter,
however, can be made too baldly nor as more than
general hints. It is only general tendencies which can
be stated in words, and to these tendencies in probably
all cases there are exceptions.
100 ART AND INIAN.
SUBJECT AND MOTIVE. TASTE. SELECTION. BEAUTY.
Subject or theme, and motive, are terms applied to
certain important phases or attributes of art work.
Objectively these terms apply to the same thing:
subjectively they mean different things. The art phases
these words represent are so dovetailed into one another
that the terms subject and motive, which are used
to describe them, are often confused and misunder-
stood. Nevertheless subject and motive are such vital
points in comparative art that it is imperative to make
some attempt to formulate their meanings.
Subject or theme in the fine arts might perhaps be
defined as any object or scene in the world of nature
OT in that of imagination which any person tries to
sculpt, draw, or paint. Subjects are as universal as art
itself. Anything is a subject; humans, faces, animals,
plants, landscapes, whether taken from the real world
or mere figments of the imagination, may be subjects.
Motive might perhaps be defined as any object or
scene in the world of nature or in that of imagination
which an artist tries to sculpt, draw, or paint because
he likes that object or scene. Any such object or
scene may be a subject, but it is only when the
emotions of the artist are stirred, when he is moved by
the object or scene, when it appeals to his taste, that
it becomes a motive to him. Humans, faces, animals,
flowers, or dreams of the imagination, provided they
appeal to the artist, may all be motives. One man
ART AND MAN. 101
enjoys painting portraits, another animals, a third
landscapes, a fourth visions of the unseen, and to each
of the four respectively these different subjects are
In looking at works of art one can do so from two
points of view: from the literary standpoint, of from
the artistic standpoint. One can look at the subject or
theme, that is for the scientific or historical or religious
meaning of the work. Or one can look for the esthetic
motive, that is for the sculptural or pictorial or decora-
tive value of the work, and in the latter case one
must perforce examine its technical qualities. In study-
ing an art work from the literary standpoint, that of
the subject, one may be studying the ostensible subject,
while the esthetic qualities of the work were the real
subject, the motive which the artist was seeking.
Someone defined genre painting as "Art in its anecdot-
age" and this dictum in certain ways hints at what is
meant by subject.
The subject might also be defined as being that
part of a work of art which appeals to a literateur or
a scientist, and the motive might be defined as that
part of a work of art which appeals to an artist. And
the remarks made or questions put about a work of
art show clearly the attitude of an onlooker. If a
person says: What is the title of this work? What is
its nam 3? Is this a statue of a god or a king? Does
this picture represent the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian
or the Rape of the Sabines? he is thinking of the
ostensible subject, of what the work illustrates, that is,
he is looking from the standpoint of the literateur or
scientist. But if a person says: How is a work of art
done? Is the color harmonious? Are the figures in
102 ART AND MAN.
proportion? Does it hang together? he is thinking of
the esthetic motive, of the technical quaUties and
handUng which appeal to the eye, that is, he is looking
from the standpoint of the artist.
It is who or what a statue or picture represents or
illustrates which usually interests primarily an archaeolo-
gist or historian: its beauty or art value and its tech-
nical quahties are, to him, only secondary: he wants to
understand the ostensible subject. In looking too hard
for the subject and neglecting the motive, it seems as if
ethnologists and missionaries have often been misled
themselves and have misled others. For instance, the
moment missionaries see a rough sculpture of a human
in the hut of some primitive man, they seem to jump
to the conclusion that this sculpture must be a repre-
sentation of some supernatural being and so they call it
an idol: and many ethnologists follow as close seconds
on the same trail. That the poor primitive artist may
have been, and probably was, merely obeying his artistic
impulse and making the best work of art he could in
sculpting a man is usually passed by, and the real
significance of his work as art is thus lost sight of.
What an artistic person is interested in primarily in
a work of art, is in what the eye takes in, what can be
felt wholly thru vision. A statue or a picture, tech-
nically well done, is, regardless of what it represents,
interesting to an artist. It is how that statue or pic-
ture is handled, how it affects the artist by merely
looking at it, which is the basic cause of his forming a
favorable or unfavorable opinion of a work of art. It
is not the Uterary or historic side of a statue or picture,
it is not its ostensible name, which rouses the esthetic
feeUng of an artist. An artist may easily tire of a sub-
ART AND MAN, 103
ject picture, good tho it may be; but he will not tire
of a figure or landscape motive he is in tune with.
An anecdote will perhaps make my meaning clearer.
An American lady was invited to lunch in Paris at the
house of a well known American painter. His wife
received her cordially, but the painter himself came in
hours behind time, and apologized by saying he had
been with another painter at the Louvre looking at a
recently acquired Perugino, whose technical quaUties
caused him to forget his lunch. When his guest, who
related the incident to me, asked him what was the title of
the picture, he said he really had not the sHghtest idea.
This is a practical illustration of a profound esthetic truth,
namely, that the best art needs no title for an artist.
There are, of course, pleasant and unpleasant subjects,
and a pleasant one is naturally more attractive to an
artist as well as to a literateur. A peaceful Corot, or
Titian's "Medea and Venus," would be more agreeable
to Uve with for any instinctively right minded person
than would be a representation of an auto-da-fe or a
gladiatorial show. Whilst unpleasant subjects may be
equally well done as pleasant ones, yet the graphic arts,
like Uterature, may be debased and degraded thru the
choice of unpleasant themes.
In comparing arts for their resemblances and their
differences it must be done principally from the artistic,
not the Uterary side. It is the motive and technic, not
the subject, which must be the main base of comparative
art studies. A subject may be similar in different arts,
but the technic or handhng furnishes endless variations
and it is largely by comparisons of these variations that
one may hope to find resemblances and differences in
art of value to ethnology.
104 ART AND MAN.
As an example, take the figure of a man. As an
art motive, the human is almost universal. In most
arts we find statues, and in some arts pictures also of
humans. From the point of view of comparative art,
what is most important about them is how they are
done, among different races, at different times, and in
different places. Their proportions, their various feat-
ures, their action; whether their legs are too long, or
their heads too big; or whether they are too rigid, or
unnaturally soft; these and many other points are the
vital ones in comparative art. Any man or woman is
an art motive, but it is the manner in which that
motive is treated by various artists in all races, which
underUes any comparison of them. To look for instance
at a more concrete case, take such a religious subject
as the mother and child. It is found in Egyptian, in
Hittite, in East Asiatic, in European art. But while
the pose may be identical, yet the technic is different
in all four arts and expresses the race of the artist.
While placing the motive ahead of the theme in
studying art comparatively, nevertheless the theme is
of importance. It often reveals much ethnologic, archaeo-
logic and historic fact. It may show the fauna sur-
rounding the artist, or the manner of dressing in a
country, or the period of history, or the style of
architecture; in fact it may illustrate many points
about the manners and customs of the race of the artist
wliich writings or language or anatomy or implements
do not. And for this reason, when studying art
comparatively, it is worth while not only to seek the
esthetic motives in a work of art but also to see what
else it can tell us thru its theme. But, despite these
facts, ethnologists who may happen to study the arts
ART AND MAN.
Fia. Vi. Woodeu
statue about six feet high, Froiu a M
oral or cemetery, Hawaii.
106 ART AND MAN.
of various races comparatively should never forget that
motive and technic are much more vital than subject
in tracing racial characteristics and relationship, and
they should not allow themselves to be misled by the
subjects when searchinfi; for resemblances and differ-
ences in art.
Choice of subjects, which from the artistic stand-
point is synonymous with motives, varies with different
races and peoples according to their characteristics,
their development, their training, their environment,
their customs, their reUgion and other circumstances,
but especially it varies with their taste. The Pleisto-
kenes and Bushmen were led to draw by a liking for
animals; the Greeks sculpted from their innate sense of
the beauty of the nude human figure; the Asiatics
painted largely because harmonious colors pleased them.
It is difficult to specify about the subjects and motives
used by different races. All one can say is that certain
subjects rather than others appealed as motives to
various races, and that certain subjects which did not
appeal as motives were sometimes forced on artists by
their customs or religion.
In a certain number of works of art, the visible
subject, such as a lamb surrounded by kneeling men
and women, or a dragon amid clouds, is clear and
definite. There may be no suggestion of mystery thru
the technic or handUng. Nevertheless the subject may
be intended to represent something different from what
it apparently does. The object or model treated may
seem clearly evident, yet have some hidden meaning,
express some attribute of a deity or some force in
nature, which is inteUigible only to the initiated; that
is it is symbohcal, one thing is used as a symbol for
ART AND MAN. 107
another. The lamb and the dove in Christianity, the
asp in Egypt, the serpent in India, the dragon in
China, are such symbols. Artistically there is nothing
mysterious about such works of art, except that the
apparent subject is sometimes misleading. It is not
always possible to tell by looking at art specimens
whether they are symbolic or not, and for this reason
it is difficult to tell sometimes whether there is sym-
bolism of this kind in some primitive art.
There is another form of art symbolism which finds
expression in repeating or exaggerating that part of the
human anatomy which is associated with the chief
quality or attribute of the subject represented. Such
are the many breasts of Diana of the Ephesians, and
the numerous arms of some Hindu deities. Something
very similar is found on some Polynesian figures from
the Hervey Islands and the Austral Islands;* and these
tend to prove, that if primitive races have no art
mystery, some of them have symbolism. And in all
these cases, the artistic result is absurd and hideous
and quite lacking in mystery or charm.
If one looks at the great arts of the world, it
would seem as if the taste of their makers, which
may be paraphrased as their ideals of beauty and
which caused their choice of motives, is always, in
one locality, at one time, more or less similar. To
a great extent, taste as manifested by art works is
racial, that is underlying artistic ideals are a part of
a race much as is its straight or woolly hair or its
white or yellow skin. These racial art characteristics,
however, are sometimes trained out of an individual
or even out of a race by some external force, the
* British Mus.
108 AET AND MAN.
result to art not being always beneficial. But even
when they seem to be trained out, they sometimes
bob up in unexpected ways.
Taste, or the underh'ing racial ideals of beautj^
really rules and makes art. The lowest primitive artist
unconsciously and the more advanced civilized artist
often unconsciously follows his taste. Taste leads an
artist into selection. He has to select his subject,
select his technic. Selection is one of the most
important factors in art, a choice of what to put in,
what to leave out; what to emphasize, what to
subordinate. It comes entirely from the taste, the
feeling of an artist; and by his selections, by his
eliminations, one can tell what his taste and feelings
were. Selection has a great deal to do with beauty.
For unconsciously the artist selects what to him seems
beautiful, and apparently the members of his own
race as a rule agree with him in their ideals of what
Thus among some of the primitive races, the
Negroes, the Australasians and the Amerinds, we
find a predeUction for a distortion of the human
figure, an exaggeration of certain parts of the anatomy.
They place a big head on a small body and short
legs, and insist on certain minor points. It seems
evident that their selection is made because they are
most interested in the heads and the other things they
dwell on. Apparently they are unable to grasp the
relations of different portions of the human figure as
a whole. Their attraction to certain details with
corresponding neglect of the whole, leads them
frequently to such a lack of proportions as to make
their figures almost caricatures. Their taste seems to
ART AND MAN. 109
be that of a grown up mind in certain ways and of
a youthful mind in others.*
With Europeans, taste leads to distortions and
exaggerations which are the exact opposite of the
taste of some primitive races for big heads and small
bodies. English and French fashion plates show this
taste carried out to its extreme. The female figures
are elongated sometimes to twelve heads; the heads,
hands, feet, and waists are Lilliputian, whilst the busts
and hips are Brobdignagian. In these fashion plates
one sees one European ideal of beauty carried beyond
all bounds into unconscious caricature. The bad taste
of the fashionable dress makers who rule costume
runs riot, and thru their selection of proportions and
of increases and diminutions of certain parts of the
figure, for the sake of supposed elegance and grace,
the facts of the human figure are distorted out of all
anatomical reality. As long as Europeans continue
making fashion plates, they cannot shy bricks at
primitive artists on the plea of lack of beauty or taste.
When we turn to artists like Titian or Chardin or
Sesshiu or Mori-Sosen, it will be found that their
selection is governed by their taste, just as is the
case with African or Australasian or Amerind artists.
The art of the former is more matured and fuller
and the ideal of beauty is thoughtful instead of purely
instinctive but the difference in selection is rather one
of degree than of kind. As examples of selection
among Europeans one might cite Greek sculptors.
They liked rather small heads and rather long bodies,
to enable them to reach an expression of athletic
grace and strength, points which apparently were to
* Figs. 7, 8, 13, 26.
110 ART AND MAN.
the Greeks the ideal of beauty. Some details are
somewhat enlarged, others diminished, not as they
usually are in humans, but as they might be. Rem-
brandt in his etchings draws carefully all the details in
the shadows, but leaves his Ughts largely bare paper.
It was his taste, his selection which guided his needle,
and his selection was so good that you feel the detail
all over his plates, even in the places where there is
The subjects which artists choose when they have a
free choice, are those which move them, that is they
select the subjects which appeal to their taste. And
as a general rule taste leads an artist to pick some-
thing he thinks is beautiful. Beauty indeed seems to
hold the same relation to art, that truth holds to
science, and that goodness holds to ethics and religion.
Beauty is not the only factor in art, for truth and
goodness and many other forces also play a part, but
beauty is certainly a predominating power in the
shaping of the fine arts. "A thing of beauty is a joy
forever." Art might be defined in one sense as the
visible productions of man which seek beautJ^ The
French recognize this, for they call the fine arts "les
Beaux Arts." They say of works of art: "Ce n'est
pas mal": "C'est tres bien": "C'est beau": in gradu-
ally strengthening praise, and the last and strongest
"C'est beau" tells the tale.
One must not, however, assign too absolute a role
to beauty in the fashioning of the fine arts. To the
artist, the production of art is largely an expression of
his emotions, and these may be aroused by something
in itself ugly. To the layman, the products of art
are also largely an appeal to his emotions: and if
AET AND MAN. Ill
these products give pleasure, so much the better. But
one cannot lay down any dogmatic canon that art is
a search for beauty. Beauty is not at the bottom of
all art; for imitation, sometimes of ugly things, causes
some of it; and ideas, sometimes hideous ones, are also
responsible for a good deal more.
In stating that beauty is the base of most art, one
is immediately confronted by the question: what is
beauty? To this one can only say that beauty is an
intangible something, based on feehng or taste, another
intangible something. Beauty and feehng and taste are
elusive and variable, changing in different climes, at
different times and among different races. "One man's
meat is another man's poison" and "De gustibus non
est disputandum" are certainly most accurate dictums
about ideals of beauty when looked at from a broad
minded standpoint. What beauty is and what taste
is, it seems impossible to really define. One thing is
certain, and that is that the taste for external things,
which one perhaps might call the underljdng ideal of
beauty, varies in different races. What appeals to one
race does not appeal to another. Even in the same
race taste, the ideal of beautj^, varies at different
times; and in more complex societies, the ideal of
beauty varies with different individuals. All these
varying ideals of beauty cause differences in art.
One test of beauty in art which applies especially
to decorative art is based on the fact that in decora-
tive art beauty cannot be divorced from use. There
is no greater beauty in a decoration than its perfect
adaptation to the purpose for which it is used.
One phase of beauty in art results from the
attainment by the artist of character. Character in
112 ART AND MAN.
art is difficult to define but it may perhaps be
explained. It is mainly associated with imitative art,
and especially with portraiture. When the sitter is
really suggested in a portrait, when his living person-
ality seems to have been transferred to a canvas,
when the technic in other words is first rate, an artist
would say the work had character. The model might
be ugly, but if that ugliness be artistically handled, if
the figure has vitality, the portrait may be a beautiful
work of art. Character is one of the intangible some-
things in art whose presence or whose absence means
a great deal in the value of many a sculpture or
The beauty in a work of art is of course a perma-
nent quality and reveals the feeling and taste of the
maker. But that very beauty is certainly an intangible
something, for it is apprehended differently by different
onlookers, according to their feelings and taste. Some
examples of how various people see the same thing will
perhaps illustrate how difficult it is to speak of the
absolute beauty of a work of art. In the Harvard
University Peabody Museum is a Ufe size model of an
Amerind of the northern plains, in full war dress of
buckskin shirt and eagle feathers. To me this seems
beautiful, that is artistic. But standing before this
figure once a stranger chanced to look at it also and he
said to me that he could not see any beauty in this
costume, that to him it looked grotesque. The beauty,
that is the art, which I thought was there, to him was
a non existent entity. In the Salem Peabody Museum
is the root of a banyan tree, carved into a number of
semi-tangible forms by some clever Chinese artist. I
consider it a great work of art. But whoever wrote the
ART AND MAN. 113
label for it evidently did not think so, for the label
reads "Banyan tree root, grotesquely carved by the
Chinese." Perhaps the labeler assumed that some coolies
carved this root when not occupied in other manual
labor. One can only say that the standpoints of art
students are many and various.
Beauty in fact is so uncertain a quality, it seems so
different to different persons, that there is no positive
standard of beauty to go by when judging works of art.
Nevertheless when a number of educated people e.xclaim
on seeing a work of art, "What a beautiful picture!"
"What a beautiful statue!" there is some probability
that that picture or statue deserves the studio adjective
"good." And in using the word good, or the word bad,
to particularize a work of art, it should be remembered
that artists do not refer to the moral or ethical qualities of
that work. Good or bad or poor really refers to beauty,
to the quaUties connected with technic, not to the subject.
Good or bad means whether a picture or statue rouses
pleasant or unpleasant esthetic emotions in the onlooker,
not whether it teaches morality or tends to immorality.
Beautiful and ugly would be more accurate and descrip-
tive terms than good or bad, nevertheless good and bad
have been adopted by artists and their meaning must
be recognized and accepted. And since the words good
and bad have acquired a specific meaning in reference
to the technical and esthetic qualities of a work of art,
the words moral or immoral must be used if one refers
to its moral significance.
Now the words moral and immoral present for dis-
cussion another point connected with subject and
motive in art, namely ethics. What are the ethics of
art and what have they to do with morality?
114 ART AND MAN.
It would seem to one not learned in either ethics
or religion, as tho the inspiring force in ethics and
religion was goodness, to be good oneself and to teach
others to be good. Ethics and religion both might be
assumed to try to teach man his duty and to lay down
rules of conduct, saying what man should or should
not do, and in the main to urge him to higher and
Art in itself is certainly nothing of the kind. Much
art teaches nothing whatever. Ordinary architecture
and decorative art certainly do not. Sculpture pri-
marily deals with form, and painting with lines and
colors, irrespective of any ethics or goodness: and they
deal with human figures, and animals and landscapes,
from their outside and their appearance, without bother-
ing about any mental or moral qualities within.
Glyptic art in itself has nothing to do with morality
or religion. Glyptic art springs primarily from observa-
tiop made by the eye and from dehght in things seen.
Morality and religion come from mental causes, they
are not the result of sharpened vision.
The ethics of art, in fact, are different from the
ethics of human life. Morality in art is different from
morality in human life. Art is a world of its own
with its own code of ethics and this has to do with
other laws than those which govern human conduct.
The morals of art do exist, they are fundamental, but
they are not the same as the morals of life. For
instance "thou shalt not steal" is a law of humanity.
But "thou shalt not draw the two ej^es on the same
side of a human face:" "keep the limbs of a figure in
proportion with the body:" "it is wrong to make mis-
takes in drawing:" might be considered laws of art.
AET AND MAN.
2. S, /3.
Fig. 14. Hei tiki or neck ornament of greenstone, New Zealand.
Fig. 15. Wood carving, possibly a bear, Amoor River region.
Fig. 16. Iroquois mask.
Fig. 17. Koryak mask.
116 ART AND MAN.
The right and wrong of art are not the right and
wrong of Hfe and they differ in different parts of the
artistic world, but they are estabUshed with variations
just as moral codes are. The point of departure
between morality in art and morality among men is
different, but there is such a thing as ethics in art
and this consists in not transgressing artistic laws.
Battle pictures may perhaps be taken as an example
that morality is not the fundamental basis of art.
There is certainly nothing more immoral than a war
of aggression, which besides legalized murder, includes
burglary, perjury and other crimes. Yet battle subjects
have appealed to some painters, such as Horace Vernet
and De Neuville. And altho there is an element of
patriotism in their work, yet in their case there seems
to have been a liking for that class of subject, because
it offers violent action as well as form and color.
Soldiers appealed to them as motives and as a result
they did some good painting.
There have been other artists, however, who have
painted battle scenes with the avowed intention of
moralizing and of showing the hideousness of war.
And tho as moralities their war pictures are successful,
as art they are inferior to the portrait or landscape
work of these same men. It is another example of
the unwritten law that an art work must primarily be
artistic: if it is primarily didactic, the art is sure to
ART AND MAN. 117
SOME ART ATTRIBUTES. COMPOSITION. SYNTHESIS
AND ANALYSIS. HARMONY AND FINISH. QUALITY.
Composition might be defined perhaps as the
planning of a work of art. Composition is a technical
term and refers to the design or pattern of a picture
or decoration, or to the placing or grouping of a
sculpture. Composition is a mental act of an artist,
the one thru which he decides how he will place or
arrange the technical parts, the forms, lines, colors,
light and shade, etc., of his work.
Composition is one of the points which most
differentiates art from nature. As soon as an artist
begins a work of art, he is obhged to compose. He
may decide to imitate something in nature as nearly
as possible, but even if he does only that, he has to
select, an act already on the high road to composition.
But if he departs in the least from a photographic
imitation of nature, he perforce selects and changes
and alters, that is he composes. Composition implies
therefore that an artist puts his brain to some use and
does not act wholly mechanically. Composition in
one sense therefore is synonymous with idealization.
Composition can be taught or explained only to
a most hmited extent. There are a few facts which
can be set down about composition; and these cannot
be considered as rules or laws, but merely as guides,
which may be utilized or neglected, according to the
118 ART AND MAN.
volition of the artist. Among these facts are such
ones as the following. Lines running horizontally or
vertically across a picture attract the attention to the
foreground: lines concentrating from the edge of a
picture towards one point of it tend to produce the
illusion of distance. Straight linos accentuate curved
lines and vice versa. Darks and lights maj^ be
darkened or lightened by the placing of other darks
or lights near by or far off. Coloi"S may be toned
down or enhanced by other colors, thru similarity or
contrast. A violent action of a figure may be increased
or diminished by another figure in repose or action.
Altho there are a few guiding facts which can be
told about composing a work of art, yet no one can
tell another how to compose a picture or statue. The
art instinct and art impulse must take care of that.
Anyone who attempted to compose by rule would
immediately become conventional. Indeed much con-
ventional art is precisely the result of following set
rules of composition. The repetition of a subject,
which has taken place scores of times, especiallj' in
religious pictures or statues, has enforced time and
again repeating a composition with merely subordinate
changes, and nothing has ever crystallized art into
convention quicker than this.
As an instance of good composition, one might
study Giorgione's great picture at Castelfranco, North
Italy. A mother and child above with a vista of
landscape on each side; a knight and a monk below,
with a wall behind them. The hght is whoUy in the
upper part of the picture, forcing the eye instantly
to the intended center of interest, the Madonna.
While the subject is religious, and the picture therefore
AET AND MAN. 119
due to the force of patronage, the composition and
everything connected with technic is magnificent and
reveal how the art instinct and art impulse were
stirring Giorgione, regardless of his ostensible subject.
Composition is found, more or less, in every art.
Much of it is instinctive racial selection and taste.
It is mainly in this respect that primitive arts some-
times reveal incipient instinctive composition. It seems
doubtful if the composition of the Africans, the
Amerinds, the Australasians, was ever reasoned out.
Among the Asiatics and the Europeans, on the con-
trary, composition is frequently reasoned out. And
while sometimes great results are obtained thereby,
often it does more harm than good. Undoubtedly
when artists were forced to obey certain already
selected sets of forms and lines and colors it repressed
their originahty and injured their art.
Synthesis and analysis are present, in varying degree,
in all art work. Synthesis means getting the whole cor-
rect, in preference to the detail; analysis implies elabor-
ation of detail, sometimes at the expense of the whole.
Synthesis is more important than analysis because it is
more important to shape out the masses, the great
features, than to attend to the smaller bits. It is, for
instance, more important to get the proportions, the
swing, the action, the center of gravity of a statue,
than the shape of the nose or the ear. Tony Robert
Fleury used to express this to the students at Julian's
ateher in the catch aphorisms: "Clignez les yeux. Ne
cherchez pas la petite bete." Analysis, however, is also
necessary. Detail need not be elaborated, but an under-
lying suggestion of detail, even if apparently invisible,
must be present in a work of art: otherwise it is not
120 ART AND MAN.
vapory or mysterious, but empty or sloppy. Detail is
indispensable, but detail subordinated to the whole, or
the result is poor art. In painters' parlance, a well
painted picture hangs together and carries across the
room, but it also reveals, when examined nearby, lots
of careful detail which at a distance melts into the
In all the arts we find .synthesis and analysis, vary-
ing with the different artists, varying with the times,
varying with the development of the arts. Sometimes
there is more synthesis, sometimes more analysis. In
comparing the various arts, there is undoubtedly apparent
a greater leaning towards synthesis in some arts and
towards analysis in others. It is impossible to lay
down any strict dicta about the various arts, but in
the main it seems correct to say that European and
Asiatic artists are more apt to get their masses and
ensemble correct, than either African, Australasian or
Amerind artists, who often achieve much elaborate
detail with incorrect wholes. This is synonymous with
saying that sj^nthesis is more an attribute of natural-
istic art, and analysis an attribute of decorative art.
Harmony is essential in any work of art. However
many elements are introduced they must be blended
together. Whether the work is roughly hewn out or
smoothly elaborated matters not, but if all its various
constituents are not in harmony, it is bad.
The feeling for harmony seems to be almost universal,
to be one of the constituents of the art instinct. How-
ever undeveloped a primitive man's faculties are, how-
ever rough or elementary his art productions may be,
he is pretty sure to obtain harmony in his results. It
is not until he begins to get learning or training from
ART AND MAX. 121
some extraneous source, that this great quality seems to
leave him. A native primitive may draw some outlines,
or carve a semblance of humanity, or put down some
splotches of color, but as long as he is not interfered
with, he will bring them sufficiently in harmony to
be artistic: and this is one main reason why primitive
work is generally, to some extent, good. But when he
no longer follows his feelings, his work gets out of har-
mony and becomes poor. This may be seen among the
Amerinds and the Australasians, but the most salient
example I know of is the deterioration of Japanese art
thru European contact.
Decorative patterns are frequently repeated on the
same object, apparently partly from the instinctive
desire for harmony or perhaps more accurately sym-
metry. Thus among the Peruvians, patterns were
often repeated in sevens. There is some attempt on
Greek vases also at making symmetrical patterns.
Among the East Asiatics, there is less of this, showing
that they do not care for the somewhat commonplace
harmony obtained thru repetition of mechanical decora-
tive patterns. In their better decorative work at least,
the East Asiatics do not attain harmony thru sj^m-
metrical repetition, but by giving free rein to their
instinct for form and color.
Harmony is a chief factor in finish. No art work,
in one sense, is ever finished. Any art work in
harmony, is finished as far as it goes. There is abso-
lutely no rule or law by which an outsider can deter-
mine when an art work is finished. A vapory myste-
rious picture, may be elaborated into endless detail.
A carefully analyzed canvas, labored to minuteness,
may be all blotted out into vagueness. Finish is a
122 ART AND MAN.
question of volition or power on the part of the artist.
When he feels that he has done what he wanted as far
as his abiUty permits, when he has carried his work
forward so as to express his idea, if the work is in
harmony, it is finished to that extent. About the
only restriction one can make is to say that a work of
art which does not give one impression of a harmonious
whole needs something to be done to it.
Quality is a technical term applied entirely to tech-
nical matters. Quality cannot easUy be defined but
might perhaps be explained as meaning that the
technical processes used in the making of a work of
art have been thoroly well carried out. Quality has
nothing to do with the subject or motive, but every-
thing with the way a thing is done: it is a matter
of handling. Quality in a work of art implies that the
artist knew his business thoroly and had the true art
instinct. It is often found in the better European
and East Asiatic art. Some Pleistokene drawing is
full of quaUty. There is a great deal of it in Arab
art, and some, altho less, in Egyptian art. It is a
rarer attribute in African, Australasian, or Amerind
art, altho it is sometimes present, as for instance in
some Polynesian wood carving. But it is also rather
surprising to find how lacking it is occasionally in arts
where one might expect it, as in AssjTian or Hittite
and in some Hindu art.
Conventionality is an important factor in all art.
All art is more or less conventional, that is, all art is
more or less similar to the art produced in about the
same place at about the same time. No artist gets
entirely away from his environment, but when an artist
is spoken of as unconventional it generally means that
ART AND MAN. 123
he has seen and done something a little dififerent from
his contemporaries. The principle on which conven-
tionality acts is that in all arts the master minds,
urged on by their own power and perhaps tired with
what has been done before, do something fresh and
branch off into some unbeaten track. Other artists
then follow and imitate these leaders, and run into a
groove forming a so-called school, which in time
generally becomes mannered and conventional, when
some other original mind usually breaks away again
in some new direction.
In all art there is conventionaUty, but in some arts
less than in others. The classical or Greek ideal for
instance is just as much a convention as the Egyptian
or the Assyrian ideal, altho it is less pronounced,
because it is closer to nature. In European and East
Asiatic art, while there is always more or less conven-
tionaUty, there is also always a constant change, not
always a progress, but at least a breaking up of set
customs. But in some art on the contrary, such as
Egyptian, Assyrian and Mexican, conventionaUty ruled
with an iron grip. These arts reached a certain point,
which became accepted as correct, and then the
patron or potboiling forces of church and state kept
them in statu quo, and they petrified into pure con-
vention. In regard to most African, Australasian, and
Amerind arts, while some of their output was too naive
and unformed to be due to convention, certain other
parts of them, such as Alaska totems, foUowed the
dictates of tribal legends and laws, and became conven-
tionalized in accordance with the beliefs and customs
of their makers.
There are a certain number of paintings which are
124 ART AXD MAN.
SO undefined that it is hard sometimes to know exactly
what they mean. The technic is so Uttle carried for-
ward apparently that one cannot tell what any of the
details are. But in their very indefiniteness these pic-
tures have charm, the charm of mystery.
A little gray landscape, of some trees, a river and a
sail boat, in perfect harmony, belongs to this class. It
is scarcely more detailed than this sentence. But it
sets the mind to thinking of pleasant places, of floating
down sylvan waters, where vistas open on to cheerful
landscapes. Its mysteriousness forms its charm.
Mystery in art, indeed, is one of the most subtle
attributes of painting. The French have an admirabh'
expressive term for it, Vau-dela. ]\Iystery is in some
ways the highest development, almost the vanishing
point of painting. It is the product of an art which has
evolved to a degree where some of the artists have
learned to leave out almost everything: where without
actual representation of things, by means principally of
values and colors, the spectator may be made to think
and to dream: to feel visions which he does not
Mystery as produced by a few wide washes or spaces
of colored values without detail is found, I beUeve, both
in modern European and in East Asiatic painting.
Turner, Corot, Rembrandt and some of the Sung and
Ming landscapists may be mentioned among those who
have given us visions of Vau-dela.
As a rule, however, the mystery in East Asiatic art
is of a somewhat different kind from that of European
art. It is produced mainly by the painting of a few
details and the omitting of the many details. One streak
of cloud will suggest a sky. Large empty spaces are
ART AND MAN.
Via. IS. Drawing of human on skin, Alaska.
126 ART AND MAN.
peopled by the mind from seeing a few. East Asiatic
art when thus simpUfied, can be called perhaps sugges-
tive more appropriately than mysterious.
To take an example of mystery from another art.
Compare the description of the Grail in the Grail Hong
of Lohengrin, with the representation of the Grail in
Parsifal. In the first there is the charm of mystery:
the mind imagines something far away, something entran-
cing. But in the other, the red glass vase, lit by elec-
tricity, never comes up to the dream vision of the
Grail: the real is inferior to the ideal.
There is no mystery of any account in any of the
other arts. South Asiatic may perhaps show a glimmer
of it: but Egyptian and West Asiatic; Egean, Greek
and Roman; Pleistokene, Bushman and Eskimo; Amerind,
Australasian and Negro wholly lack mystery.
ART AND MAN. 127
THE TECHNIC OF FORM. MATERIALS. DRAWING. OUT-
LINE. LINE. PERSPECTIVE. ACTION AND MOTION.
When a conclave of artists gets together and damns
the art productions of theu* brethren with faint praise,
the point on which their criticism is always first directed
is technic. And this is correct enough, because all fine
art consists in the carrying out thru the hands of a
plastic idea in the artist's brain. This carrying out
thru the hands, or handUng, or mechanical part of art, is
what conveys or makes visible to others the artist's con-
ception, and if this handUng or technic is poor or weak,
the idea is vitiated and the art is bad. Technic then refers
to the manner in which a work of art is carried out.
It deals with such art attributes as form, drawing, outline,
line, perspective, action, masses, colors, color, values, effect,
light, and it is by the knowledge and use of these tech-
nical attributes that artists are able to convey their
sense of beauty or their emotions to other people.
Technic is greatly influenced by materials; in fact
materials have an immense deal to do with the technic
of art. Where an artist has oil paints, he is apt to
try for light and shade and often lands in mud, to
which the bristle brush also may have contributed.
Where an artist has water colors there is more likeli-
hood of his securing delicacy. Where oil paints were
scarce, as among the Itahan primitives, they were put
on thinly and carefully and with less resulting mud.
Where a sculptor has a soft, pliable stone, he gets
flowing, curviUnear sculpture; where he has basalt and
granite, he gets rigid, rectangular sculpture. While no
128 ART AND ISFAN.
definite dogmas can be laid down about art materials
it can be asserted that the tools and materials furnished
to the artist have a great deal to do with his output.
Drawing and painting are attempts to represent, by
means of lines, spots and washes, objects on a plane
surface. Much of this pictorial art takes cognizance of
two dimensions only, height and width: .some of it
includes a third, depth.
The first thing an immature artistic mind, child or
primitive, tries to grasp and to represent is the form
of definite objects. This he does by insisting on the
contours of the objects, and these he tries to define
with one or more hnes. These lines, which act as
boundaries, are called outlines. They do not, however,
exist in nature, which the eye sees only as more or
less big or minute planes or spots of color. But where
the planes of color of an object meet the surrounding
planes of color, a beginner feels an imaginary line
between, and, for some reason, this is what a beginner
most seeks after. Later when an artist has realized
that there is no real outline in nature he still uses
outline in art, but less strongly and rather as a means
to an end. And he draws also with spots and masses
of monochrome or colored lights and darks.
The drawings of immature inartistic minds are
almost always done in pure outhne. Frequently they
reveal no glimmer of a sense of form and show an
utter lack of observation. For instance drawings of a
circle for a face with the two eyes looking at you
from the center and with the nose in profil on one
side or such like freaks are often done by inartistic
European children, and we find instances of such mis-
takes in certain arts, such as in Egyptian art and
ART AND MAN. 129
Assyrian art. Blunders of this kind, however, are rare
among primitive arts, among Amerind, Austrahisian, or
African arts. The reason for this possibly is that
among primitive peoples only the artistic members of
the tribe attempt to make any art at all, and stich
artistic persons would in the nature of things have
some gift of observation or imagination. When one
finds utterly impossible or grotesque drawings anywhere,
it is wrong to attribute them to any artistic invention
or imagination and they should be ascribed simply to
their real cause, lack of artistic feehng.
Wherever we find drawing, we find outline, and the
more or less insistence and dependence on outline may
be used as one gauge of racial artistic development.
The West Asiatics and the Egyptians stuck mainly to
hard and often incorrect outlines, and perhaps partly
therefore they never matured as painters. The Ame-
rinds, the Australasians and the Africans rarely got
beyond the simplest outline when they tried to draw
anything. The Pleistokenes started with outhnes of
profils, but grew beyond this to a stage using broad
washes of paint, and broken outlines. The Bushmen
altho drawing outlines showed rather a distinct leaning
towards drawing by washes and masses. It is probably
only the European and the East Asiatic artists who
ever reached a full comprehension of the function of
outline, and who use it or not, as they choose.
Line in art is something altogether different from
outhne. It refers in a general way to the lengths and
dimensions of objects and the way in which they point.
Rivers, roads, trees, fences, for instance, may be
referred to as lines. Each of these might or might
not have definite outlines. Groups of animals or of
130 AKT AND MAN,
humans may be placed in such positions as to suggest
Lines in art are a most vital point. They are of
especial importance in composition, particularly in
producing the illusion of the third dimension, depth, in
drawings and paintings. If, for instance, a river and
a road are introduced starting in the foreground and
vanishing in the background of a picture, a feeling of
distance and space is produced. It is in fact by some
such artifice, that an object like a mountain can be
made to seem big and far away. But if the road and
river are represented as running across the picture from
side to side, quite different feelings are aroused; the
mind concentrates on the foreground, distance is not
suggested in the same way, and objects in the back-
ground seem smaller and nearer.
When Knes suggesting the third dimension, depth,
are found in art it may be accepted as certain that
that art is far advanced. They are found in European,
and in some East Asiatic and South Asiatic art.
There are perhaps one or two Pleistokene and one or two
Eskimo drawings which suggest a glimmer of a notion of
depth, but in every other art this is absent. And it is a
proof that only the Europeans and the Asiatics ever looked
into nature as into a cube, and that the Amerinds, Austral-
asians, and Africans never saw nature except as height
In European art and in East Asiatic art we find
outlines and lines used in two distinct ways, which
have been termed classical and picturesque lines. Clas-
sical lines might be defined as long sweeping Unes:
picturesque Unes might be defined as short broken
lines. In the history of both arts classical lines appear
ART AND MAN. 131
earliest. And this is in accord with the mental develop-
ment of a painter in regard to nature, for the more he
looks at nature, the less does he feel the imaginary
line outlining form. This by no means impHes that the
picturesque line is the best, for one must always
remember that art is not nature. As examples of well
known painters in Europe and Asia using classical lines
one might cite Ingres and Utamaro and among those using
picturesque lines one might cite Fortuny and Hokusai.
All four men are good sound draughtsmen and painters.
And no critic could lay down the law as to which
outranked the other, any more than any critic could
say aught in regard to the superiority of the classical
or the picturesque line beyond stating his individual
taste: that is, unless he is more conceited than truthful.
Perspective perhaps may be defined as the science
of representing objects on a plane surface in such a
way that the eye sees them in the same position and
of the same size as they appear in nature. Perspec-
tive is mechanical and geometric, as well as artistic.
It is principally useful in drawing buildings and
machinery, and some painters of indoor scenes and
architectural effects go so far as to have their pictures
put into perspective by professional perspecteurs. In
free hand drawings of figures and landscapes, scientific
perspective is seldom resorted to, as an accurate eye
and ability to draw will obtain a perspective correct
enough for artistic purposes, the only rule almost
which it is necessary to remember being that "twice
the distance, half the size." Moreover, in free hand
drawing or paintings, artists often purposely violate
absolute perspective, as they transpose or alter or
change things to suit their artistic wishes.
132 ART AXD MAN.
Scientific perspective, if I mistake not, has been
carried to the full limit only by Europeans. Artistic
or free hand perspective has been attained not only by
the Europeans, but by the South Asiatics and the
East Asiatics. It is also reached in some cases, and a
start made to it in other cases, among the Pleisto-
kenes, the Eskimo and the Bushmen, who all were on
the highroad towards drawing scenes, not merely single
figures, as they appear. Among the Negroes, the
Australasians and the Amerinds on the contrary, nothing
of the kind is apparent, and it is a more noteworthy
fact that the West Asiatics and the Egyptians were
also in a pictorial stage in which even artistic per-
spective had scarcely dawned.
Action and motion are not quite synonymous terms
in the fine arts. Action applies to every object
depicted in sculpture or painting, whether at rest or in
movement. A man, an animal, a tree or a rock is
depicted in some attitude or position, and this is
called its action. The word motion is used in art
when animate or inanimate things are supposed to be
in movement. An animal running hard or a tree blown
by the wind, not only has its position or action, but it
shows a movement, and this is its motion: movement
and motion are synonymous.
Action, of course, therefore, is found in all art.
Motion, on the contrary, is not so invariably present.
It is common in European and Asiatic art and in
Pleistokene, Bushman and Eskimo art. But it is rare
in Amerind, Australasian or African art, and curiously
enough in Egyptian art. From one standpoint, action
and motion, that is life, is the best thing in Japanese
ART AND MAN, 133
CURVILINEAR ART AND RECTILINEAR ART.
Curved lines and straight lines play an important
role in art. All the arts utilize both curved lines and
straight hues. But certain arts tend more to curved
Unes, rounded forms, circles and spheres; while other
arts run to straight lines, angles, rectangles and cubes.
The first kind might not improperly be called cur-
vilinear arts and the second kind rectiUnear arts and
they offer a so far almost unnoticed field of study in
Why certain races should prefer certain lines and
other races certain other Unes is not easy to fathom.
Apparently, however, the races who observe nature
and who draw their impressions from it are the ones
who develop their hues and forms principally in curves.
And the races who follow mainly the patterns of
woven or plaited vegetable fibers and grasses in
basketry work or garments are the ones who develop
straight lines. That is to say, curved lines coincide
mainly with the more realistic sculptural and pictorial
arts while straight lines are found principally in some
of the more conventional primitive decorative arts.
But it must be emphasized that only general tendencies
of arts can be indicated under the terms curvilinear
and rectilinear: for all arts utiHze some curved and
some straight lines.
In Europe, the naturalistic Pleistokene art is dis-
tinctly curvilinear: straight lines and angles are almost
lacking. After Pleistokene curves, art goes into straight
134 ART AND MAN.
lines in Neolithic decorations and these continue
thruout Europe well into the Iron Age. Beginning
with Cretan-Mykenian times and continuing in Greek,
Roman and modern times, European art, except in
certain forms of architecture and to some extent in
the partially Oriental descended Byzantine art, is an
art of curved lines. The straight line and right angle
have never been the rulers in classical or modern
In Africa, Libyan, Bushman and Pygmy art is
distinctly curvihnear. Likewise the African Negroes,
in their sculptures of humans, and especially in the
bronzes of Great Benin, show full recognition of the
curved line. This is verified by the observations of
Dr. Livingstone who says of the natives southeast of
the Kalahari desert that if you want bricks to build a
house, the people cannot assist you much, for the
Bakwains have a curious inability to make things
square and, as with all Bechuanas, their own dwellings
are round.* This is passing strange, for African
Negro decorative art is mainly rectihnear. At least
in their decorations on shields and in bead work, etc.,
the Negroes generally use straight hues. In Egyptian
art the architecture is generally rectangular: the
sculpture, on the contrary, is curvihnear. Some of
the paintings have curved lines but most of them tend
to straight lines. They have a strongly convention-
ahzed decorative rigidity and it is not impossible that
this decorative tendency may, to some extent, have
come from the Negroes.
West Asiatic art has both curves and straight Lines.
* Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa, Chap. II.
ART AND MAN. 135
' IG. 19. Drawing of giizzly bear on skin, Alaska.
136 ART AND ^FAN.
It is much like Egyptian art in those respects. A good
deal of it is decorative, and in its later phases some of
it is highly colored. The early art of South and
East Asia appears to have been a decorative recti-
linear art. Nevertheless in South Asiatic art and in
East Asiatic art, the curved or rounded line is
predominant, a hint that these arts at bottom are
more realistic than decorative. Arab art is strongly
curvilinear. At the same time it is wliolly decorative.
The explanation probably is that the racial art instincts
of the Arabs were reahstic. They were blocked from
following their natural bent to the extent of not using
the human figure as a motive. So they turned to
plants and flowers and other natural forms for motives and
apparently they kept on going afresh to nature and thus
their decorations did not run down into stiff and rigid
In Australasia there are straight lines but also
many curves in Polynesian art; while Melanesian art
is mainly an art of straight lines and rectangles.
Amerind art is the extremest example of a rectilinear
art. Straight lines, zigzags, rectangles, diamond shaped
lozenges, cubes, predominate to such an extent that thej'
almost swamp any attempts at circles or curves. The
straight line is king from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego,
and it is only on the Arctic shores of America that
the curved hne commands.
Look, for a moment, at the art of Mitla. At first
blush, the decorations on Mitla walls seem geometric,
in right angles and sharp points. They imitate nothing
in the natural world. Some travelers have asserted
that Mitla art is totally unlike all the other Mexican
arts. But examined carefully, the Mitla pattern reveals
ART AND MAN. 137
itself to be a highly decorative rattlesnake: the head
of the snake attached to and rising above the body,
the rattles placed in separate bunches, with the tip
pointing downwards. Altho the Mitla people used as
their model, as did the other Mexicans, the most curving
and sinuous of all living creatures, the snake, yet they
turned him artistically into right angles. They also
used the snake markings as decorations. The Mitla
snake pattern is one of the most curious evolutions in
Of course, there are some curves and rounded lines
in Amerind art. And they are found as a rule in its
non-decorative attempts, in Peruvian pottery, sculptures,
Mexican monolithic heads, and North Amerind pipes.
Occasionally also, for instance among the Moundbuilders
and Cliffdwellers, decorations were in curves and rounded
Hues. But in the main Amerind art is based on the straight
line and the geometric angle.
138 ART AND MAN.
THE TECHNIC OF COLOR. PAINTING. MASSES. COLORS
AND COLOR. VALUES. ATMOSPHERE. LIGHT AND
SHADE. EFFECT. CAST SHADOWS. LIGHT. SUN-
There are some few painters who go far in their
neglect of outline and even of line, and who work
mainly by means of light and shade or of colors.
Among such men was my second teacher, Thomas
Eakins. He told me many times that he worked out
his figures on a middle line and let the outline come
of itself. His idea was rather sculptural than pictorial
and he sought for form by putting large dabs of paint
on a broken line giving the center of gravity of a
figure, much as a sculptor puts big lumps of wet clay
on an upright wire acting as a support or skeleton
for his figure. Delacroix also apparently worked on
somewhat the same principle, only more for color and
less for light and shade than Eakins. This manner of
procedure apparently suited these two artists and
enabled them to express themselves, and their use of it
goes to show that there is no right or wrong way of
arriving at good results in the fine arts: everything
depends on the individual.
Colors and color are two of the most important
and vital parts of glyptic art. "Colors" refers to the
individual shades of the spectrum, represented on the
artist's palette by pigments such as cadmium yellow or
cobalt. "Color" is a harmonious arrangement of all
the "colors." There has always been much confusion
, ART AND MAN. 139
in regard to colors, pigments and color. People have
talked for years about the three primary colors. There
is no such thing. There are three primary pigments:
blue, yellow, red. With these three pigments, one can
produce all intermediate pigment tints, tho with less
brilliancy than if one has the pure intermediate pig-
ments, such as green, orange and purple, in addition.
But there are no primary colors in the spectrum. The
spectral band consists of any number of colors. The
eye can perhaps detect plainly, and language can
express easily the name of about seven of those colors,
but there are many more. The eye can also see, and
words can state that there are three masses of colors
in the spectrum far wider than the others and these
are green, yellow and red. But the misunderstanding
of the terms "colors" and "pigments" has, it seems to
me, up to now misled many a painter as well as the
Colors are one of the earliest apprehended art attri-
butes among all races, for they are used almost every-
where with early or budding art. Almost if not quite
as soon as man begins to show recognition of form
and Une, he also begins to show a sense of colors,
which he is apt to reveal by daubing himself with
colored earths mixed with grease. Colors are first
used in patches or spots often with most variegated
effects without any thought of producing a harmony or
what is called color.
About color it is difficult to speak. For what
pleases one person, displeases another. Moreover color
is a purely glyptic art attribute, which must be seen
to be appreciated, and which cannot be described thru
language. Colors, used in a very simple manner such
140 ART AND MAN.
as in heraldry, can be specified in words but no one
can convey to another in words anything Hke the
appearance of or the sensation produced by a work in
color. Pictorial color, that is colors used as a har-
monious pictorial whole, is only a late development of
art, and in some cases, drifts so far away from colors
as to become inferior to less learned but more naive
This is especially the case where the imitation of
local colors is carried too far. Matching shades is
deadly. If one imitates as nearly as possible each spot
of the colors of a scene in nature, the whole picture
is apt to suffer. A more thoughtful method of pro-
cedure is to think of the relations of color. If one
part of a picture, for instance, is bright yellow, the
other parts must, of necessity, be more orange, more
red, more purple, more blue, more green. And atten-
tion to the relations of the more subordinate tones to
the dominant color key note of a picture, will more
certainly produce a good color harmony, than will an
attempt to imitate on the palette each individual color
note in nature.
The sense of colors and color among various
peoples can be compared only in the most general way.
Environment has something to do with it; so has
training; so has the degree of social development: but
race probably has most of all.
When a lot of people are herded together in big
towns of Europe or America the color sense often
seems lacking; possibly it becomes atrophied: possibly
also dull colors are used for practical reasons, because
they show less the dirt of our manufacturing centers.
Then again cliniale and geographical position liave an
ART AND MAN. 141
efifect. There is certainly more color and more sense
of color in Naples and in Cairo than in London or in
Stockholm. Then again the sense of color seems often
better among primitive or semi-advanced races than
among highly advanced peoples. Moscow is far more
beautiful in its colors than Vienna. And our own
surviving Amerinds to this day reveal more liking for
and sometimes better feeling for color than the
American descendants of the European invaders.
From the geographical standpoint, Asia is pre-
eminently the land of colors and color. The East
Asiatics and the South Asiatics both have a fine sense
of color. The Russians, a semi-Asiatic people, have a
strong inborn love of colors. No peoples perhaps, have
developed colors more into color harmonies than the
South West Asiatics, with their beautiful rugs and
Thruout North Africa, in Egypt, Tunis and Morocco,
we also find a great sense of color, and this seems
largely to coincide with the lands inhabited by Arab
Among the Amerinds, the Australasians, and the
African Negroes, we find a good deal of feeling for
colors. In some of their decorations or personal
ornamentation they not infrequently show a naive,
untrained liking for colors, and sometimes unconsciously
they reach harmonious effects of much beauty.
In Europe we find a lesser feeUng for colors than
for tone. Form and Ught and shade have ruled in
European art and have rather deadened the joy in
beautiful tints. There was a naive liking for colors
among the primitive Flemish and Italians. But the
abuse of dark brown, of Imperial Pharaoh dead and
142 ART AND MAN.
turned to paint, while conducive to shade, was destruc-
tive of colors. Europeans get color harmony, but
generally a dull color harmony. Huysmans said that
Millet colored in "bone de sabot" and Corot in "Ikgbre
fumee de pipe" and underneath his flippancy there
is some truth. Of late years the plein-airistes have
brought l)ack colors into European art. But the inborn
racial tendency of the White Race is not towards colors
and color: it is towards form, drawing, and light and
Values means the quantity of light or dark, irre-
spective of colors, in any part of a picture.
Chiaroscuro, or light and shade, is an artistic arrange-
ment of values. Atmospheric perspective is a phase
of values and refers to the softening and increasing
paleness of colors and lights and darks thru distance.
No one can realize absolute values, that is the
absolute relations between lights and darks in nature,
since the scale of paint does not include light. The
artist can only transpose into a very limited scale
what nature gives in a very extended scale.
To obtain values, that is the relations of lights and
darks, as reaUstically correct on the limited scale as
possible, necessitates close observation and also the
nearly entire covering of the picture by the paint.
Values may be suggested with only some hues and
spots, but this means doing without a part of their
strength. No matter how accurate they are, values
must always remain an artistic convention.
It is perhaps by careful attention to values, more
than to anything else, that the European artist reaches
his deceptive effects in imitating nature in oil paint,
that is, well considered values add greatly to making
ART AND MAN. 143
a flat painted surface into an illusion suggesting
Values are not a primal art instinct: they are a
late phase of art. They come only with advanced
knowledge, with advanced artistic mental development.
In primitive arts, in the African, Australasian and
Amerind arts, they are not found at all. They are
found only among the European and Asiatic arts and
in these they come forward only gradually and do not
become perfected until most other technical points
have reached full development.
Effect refers to the appearance of a scene or an
object at some one time. The time of day, the
position of objects, the play of light and shade, the
atmospheric conditions, and many other factors combine
to make an effect. A commonplace scene, uninterest-
ing in itself, if seen under some advantageous effect,
where there is interesting light and shade, may be
fine and artistic.
Effect as an art attribute, belongs mainly to the
modern Europeans and to a slighter extent to the
South and East Asiatics. It does not seem to have
ever dawned on any other races or peoples that effect
has a great deal to do with the picturesque. Curious
as it may seem, however, there is comparatively Uttle
use of effect in East Asiatic art, altho the artists
certainly know of it and use it occasionally. As a
rule East Asiatics do not represent cast shadows:
apparently they look on shadows as something too
transitory to perpetuate in painting. As a result of
this, their Ught and shade is much less pronounced
than that of Europeans, and partly also for the same
reason, they do not imitate nature as closely as do
144 ART AND MAN.
the Europeans. Their aim is rather for form and
color and therefore partly it is that their work is
usually more briUiant than ours.
Light plays a leading role both in nature and in
art. Everything is subordinate to light; unless there is
natural or artificial light everything is invisible. If a
person shuts his eyes tight and then opens them slowly,
he becomes cognizant of light before he recognizes
any detail whatever. Indeed, if a person with sensitive
eyes revolves slowly, with his eyes shut, before an
open window thru which sunlight is streaming, he will
be aware of when he is facing the room and when he
is facing the window: that is a person with closed
eyeUds may be conscious of Ught, when he is uncon-
scious of any forms or colors.
In the world of pictorial and decorative art absolute
Ught cannot be attained. Real light does not exist
in art. There is, however, what may be called artistic
light and this is an important attribute in painting.
The nearest approach to light, the highest value in
art is pure white and therefore the nearest approach
which could be made to actual light in pictorial art
would be to leave a surface of snow white material
bare of paint. Any work put on this will actually dull
the Ught of the material and lower the values. And yet
it is only by so doing that an effect of Ught can be
suggested in painting. This can be done in two ways.
One method of suggesting an effect of Ught in black
and white work is by leaving a piece of bare white
paper and working darks in around it, as one sees for
instance in some etchings of Rembrandt. In the same
way Ught may be suggested in colored work by
painting a bright, pale spot with darker tones sur-
ART AND MAN,
146 ART AND MAN.
rounding it, as is often seen in Turner landscapes. By
thus centering the brightest spot in a picture in a
border of darkness, something like an effect of light can
This method, as far as I know, belongs almost
wholly to modern European and to later South Asiatic
art. Both in Europe and in India it probably dates
back to somewhere about 1500 A. D. Whether it was
invented independently in both regions or traveled
from one to the other I do not know but possibly it
went from Europe to India. Certain it is that it
occurs in these two arts. It also occurs sporadically in
East Asiatic art, but it is distinctly rarer. Nothing of
the kind is found in any African, Australasian nor
Amerind art; neithei- does it occur, I believe, in any
pre-Gothic European, nor in West Asiatic art.
The other method of producing an effect of light in
a picture is by painting this entirely with brilliant pure
spectral colors. At bottom this is an attempt to throw
the spectrum on canvas. By making observations on
the beveled edge of a mirror and thru a cut glass
bottle of water, one can see for oneself that the
center of light of the spectrum is pale cadmium yellow
placed between emeraude green and vermilion-rose
madder. By moving the head a trifle the other colors
appear, and blue and violet lead to darkness. The
ochres, the earths, black, are not apparent in the
spectrum, which means that they do not belong to true
spectral colors. The use of the spectral colors as a
method of suggesting Ught is thoroly artistic, but it is
also scientific and is susceptible of the following
scientific explanation. A ray of sunlight whicli passes
thru drops of misty water or thru a glass prism,
ART AND MAN. 147
becomes decomposed into the rainbow or spectrum;
that is the rainbow or spectrum is the equivalent in
colors of a ray of white sunshine. But since painters
cannot paint a picture by leaving a bare white surface,
the nearest material approach to white light, they are
forced to resort to pigments to produce their effects, and
if they want to suggest light without centering a Hght
spot in surrounding darkness, the nearest they can do
with pigments is to paint pictures in the colors of the
spectrum. A copy in pigments of the spectrum itself,
would undoubtedly be the closest possible presentation of
an effect of Hght because the pale colors are centered by the
dark colors, but since the various accidental forms of nature
are infinite and as these furnish the basis of all pictures,
all a painter can do is to clothe all these accidental forms,
as far as possible, in the colors of the spectrum.
For an example, suppose we take a clean white
canvas, and a palette with the following paints: cobalt,
emeraude green, white, lemon cadmium, cadmium,
vermilion, rose madder. Then if we paint a picture,
toning the colors as much as we choose with white,
but mbcing greens, yellows, reds and blues as little as
possible, we will obtain a result possibly somewhat garish
in effect and inaccurate in local color, which however
will produce something like a suggestion of light. In
fact the picture would be not so much an attempt to
suggest the local colors of trees and buildings and
humans as an attempt to suggest the vibration of light.
Now it is not necessary to have a picture with
distinct forms to produce such an effect of hght. Any
pattern or arrangement of spots and lines formed out
of the various colors of the spectrum will produce
something like the sensation of light. In other words.
148 ART AND MAN.
this method can be utilized in decorative art. And in
fact we do find it used to some extent in decorative
art as well as in pictorial art, altho, except in rare
instances, probably unconsciously on the part of the artists.
Among many jirimitive races of Africa, Australasia
and America, we certainly find some brightly colored
decorative work. If they have any materials, such as
beads, they are sure to work them into patterns which
suggest brilliancy. A great deal of East Asiatic work,
both decorative and pictorial, is brilUantly colored;
and a great deal of their pictorial work, therefore, with-
out any centering of the light with a fringe of dark-
ness, certainly suggests light. In other words, the
desire for brilliant colors which suggest light, that is
the unconscious use of the spectrum in art, is general
among many races.
In European art the clothing of pictorial forms
in colors of the spectrum has quite recently been
advanced to the point of suggesting not only light but
also sunshine. This evolution is usually miscalled
Impressionist painting, but it is also more correctly
called plein air painting. The reason that the ap-
pearance of sunshine is attained is because the cast
shadows as well as the lights are put in in spectral
colors. It was not the great Turner so much as
Japanese color prints which set the ball rolling. And
this is curious, because there are no cast shadows in
Japanese prints and altho there is plenty of light,
there is no sunshine. But the latest development of
European naturalistic art, evolved in France, depends
in itself on the superseding of bituminous light and
shade by the vivid coloring which has always belonged
to the Asiatic, African, Australasian and Amerind arts.
ART AND MAN. 149
THE HUMAN FIGURE. PROPORTIONS. NUDE. POR-
TRAITURE. EYE. EAR. LIP. WAIST. ABDOMEN.
The sense of form is found more or less in all arts.
The conceptions due to the sense of form, the way in
which figures and objects are conceived sculpturally,
in their proportions, in their action, in their motions,
quite apart from the ostensible subject, are called by
the French " idee pZasii^we" which may be translated into
"plastic thought." In a statue like the Venus of Milo,
for instance, we see a plastic thought of the highest
type, showing a most idealized sense of form: altho
what her ostensible subject is, whether a Venus or a
Victory or something else, we do not know nor does it
matter. Altho all races have a sense of form, the
search for beauty in plastic thoughts is much more
developed and advanced among the Europeans and the
Asiatics, than among the Africans, the Australasians or
Proportions, that is the relative size and length of
different parts of the human body, vary in different
arts. The sense of proportion varies among different
races. Among the European races, the tendency is to
make the humans rather tall, with relatively small
heads. Even as early as Minoan Crete, the figures are
tall and rather thin, with pinched in waists, in fact the
Cretan type is a forerunner of the elongated Greek type.
The Greeks, among whom form or sculptural sense was
150 ART AND MAN.
the pre-eminent art characteristic, improved on the
Cretan prototype, and it seems as if they were
seeking for ideal type forms, rather than for portraits
of individuals. During the Gothic art period, circa
1100-1450 A. D., there was a temporary lull in seeking
for type form: at any rate a good deal of the early
medieval sculpture is in natural and reaUstic rather
than in ideal and heroic proportions. WTien Greek
art became known again, however, classical traditions
revived. These still continue to a great extent in
Europe, altho during the last hundred years various
extraneous influences and increased UberaUsm in art
have caused many artists to become more interested in
the individual than in the type.
The Chinese and the Japanese have an excellent
sense of form, and in many cases the proportions of
their humans are fairly accurate, about six to seven
heads in height. But in some of their art nevertheless,
notably in the colored prints of certain Japanese
artists like Koriusai and Utamaro, the humans are
sometimes eight or nine heads in height. Their
tendency, however, is to make the head of its natural
size in relation to the figure, and not to make it
smaller as is done in European figures of eight or
more heads in height. The hands and feet, however,
in much of their work, for instance in many Japanese
prints, are frequently exaggeratedly slender and short.
Among the Pleistokenes, Bushmen and Arctics,
there is always an attempt at purely naturalistic
proportions. There are so few sculptures or drawings
of humans among the Pleistokenes, that one can only
say that apparently they tried to be accurate. With
Bushman drawings and Arctic sculptures, however, one
ART AND MAN. 151
can go farther and say that their makers tried to be
accurate and to bring out individual and racial char-
acteristics. There is no parti-pris with them : they merely
tried naively to reproduce what they saw, and they
largely succeeded. In neither of these arts does one
see humans with the big heads, small bodies, and tiny
legs one finds in other primitive arts.
In the African, Australasian and Amerind arts, we
find frequently, altho not invariably, that the humans
have disproportionately big heads, small bodies and
tiny legs. The African Negro races, and the Austral-
asians, both Melanesians and Polynesians, are especially
prone to make short squat figures, averaging four to
five heads only in height. Among both Africans or
Australasians, however, the proportions are sometimes
fairly accurate, perhaps six or seven heads in height.
Among the Amerinds, the proportions vary very much:
sometimes there are big heads, small bodies and tiny
legs, but often the proportions are good and realistic,
about the same as naturalistic European art propor-
tions. On the whole it may be said that Amerind
proportions are, as a rule, better than either African or
It would be hard to say to what causes these
exaggeratedly short figures are due. I thought at one
time they implied Negro blood, but this is evidently
incorrect, as they are found all over Polynesia and in
Peru and Yucatan. They certainly show lack of
observation and of comprehension of the human figure
as a whole. For sometimes African figures with
enormous heads, with the hands perhaps extending
as low as the instep, nevertheless have the details
of each part nicely modelled and worked out. Parts
152 ART A XL) MAN.
are observed rather carefully, yet the whole is beyond
the grasp of the sculptor. There are endless variations
in these proportions, but on the whole, it seems as if
realistic proportions were beyond the ken of most
primitive race artists.
Proportions usually are considered only in con-
nection with height, but they should be considered also
in regard to width and breadth. What do different
peoples feel artisticallj^ about leanness and obesity?
Corpulency, except in caricature, is eschewed as a rule
in European art and in South and East Asiatic art.
This is certainly a sign that among European and
South and East Asiatic races corpulency is not looked
on as an element of beauty. In Egyptian art and in
West Asiatic art we find many stocky, strong figures
but no obese figures. Nor do we find any carvings
among the African negroes, the Australasians or the
Amerinds which seem to indicate any admiration for
overfat human models. On the contrary, we often find
in European fashion plates and in some tcte-de-coiffeur-
keepsake modern portraits, and occasionally in some
Japanese prints, figures which cross the border line from
slimness into exaggerated leanness. It seems as if every
race on earth preferred normal or below the normal
girths for their humans rather than exaggerated bulk.
Nevertheless it is on record that some races deUber-
ately fatten up their females. John Hanning Speke, for
instance, describes how the wives of King Rumanika
were virtually imprisoned in their kraals and how thej^
were forced, by the rod if necessary, to drink gallons
upon gallons of rich milk, until they were perfect moun-
tains of flesh and could barely waddle. Whether this
custom is due to esthetic reasons, that is whether cer-
ART AND MAN. 153
tain races admire overfat women, is hard to say. For
it may be due, on the contrary, to the opposite cause,
namely to the desire to make the women unattractive,
as has certainl.y been done by various other devices
among certain savage tribes, in order to make the
women less desirable for other tribes to steal.
Nude figures are found more or less in almost all
arts. In the primitive arts, my impression is that
nudes simply represent lack of clothing among the
makers, and not in the least any interest in the figure
as an art motive. Primitive draughtsmen and sculptors
generally saw their neighbors in a state of nature, the
more so the nearer they were to the Equator, and as
they saw them they tried to make their counterfeit
This is, to some extent, also the case in East Asiatic
Art. Nude figures never seem to have been a strong
impelling art motive for either Chinese or Japanese. To
them they are simply an incident in the picture; they
are not the picture. If, for instance, East Asiatics paint
a bathing scene, they introduce nude figures as part of the
scene. But they do not study the nude academically
as a solitary object: they do not paint nude figures in
front of a meaningless background, as Europeans do, for
the sake of the nude figure. They also rarely sculpt
nude figures. They are, in fact, not interested artisti-
cally in the nude, and their art naturally therefore pays
much less attention to it than does European art. This
might perhaps be used as an argument to show that the
Chinese and Japanese are or were more primitive than
the Europeans; and it is certainly one of the strongest
possible proofs that their art is not in the least descended
from the Greeks.
154 ART AND MAN.
It is the Europeans, the Greeks especially, who have
been inspired by the nude human figure as an art motive.
The Greeks certainly brought the nude in sculpture to
perfection. As a race they attached more importance
than any other race to athletic men and women. The
strong, well developed man or woman appealed to them
in nature, and naturally enough it appealed to them
also in art. The nude in modern European art is per-
haps rather an inheritance from the Greek nude than a
spontaneous growth. Modern Europeans undoubtedly
never see unclothed humans round them to the extent the
Greeks did, and the attempts of the earlier sculptors, the
Pisanos, Peter Vischer, etc., were usually at draped figures.
Still even thus, next to the Greeks, the modern Euro-
peans have probably made the most of the nude human
Portraits are the counterfeit presentment of a person.
In a good portrait, likeness, resemblance, character, are
sine qua nons; without them there is no portrait. In
portraiture, likeness and character supersede beauty or
imagination. But beauty may be put into the technic
and handling, and character brought out even if the
subject of the portrait is ugly. To obtain these, it
does not make any difference whether a portrait painter
hkes or dishkes his model personally, so long as he
loves him artistically as a motive.
Sculpted portraits are found in more arts than are
painted portraits. Some splendid heads in Egypt date
back already to the IVth Dynasty. From the Euphrates
valley come the Goudeas. The Greeks certainly made
some magnificent portrait sculpture, and the art was
continued among the Romans. In eastern Asia many
of the heads are extremely lifelike, altho, as a rule,
ART AND MAN.
e. s. /3,
Fig. 21. Painting in black of woman's body with pointed legs, head of white
wood. Bow of canoe, Alaska.
^CtS;^?, <=^ C.<:3 c^^-p
¥iu. 22. Metatc of puma. Central America.
156 ART AXD MAN.
they are more or less conventionalized. Some of
these, as heads of the Buddha, of Kouan Yin, of
Kwannon, etc., with their calm expressions and long
ear lobes, even tho in some respects sj'mbolic and
representing a type rather than an individual, are
handled with breadth, accuracy and dignity. The
same criticisms also may be made of some, altho
fewer, South Asiatic heads.
Of the primitive races, the Amerinds, in Mexico and
Peru, went furthest in sculpture heads. Most of the
heads on monohths and bas reliefs in Mexico and
Central America usually show pronouncedly the racial
Amerind type, and some of them are really fine
sculpture altho it could not be stated that they are
portraits of individuals. The Peruvian Incas went a
little further in the direction of individuality and
produced some heads, especially in terra rotta, which
if less impressive than Central Amerind monolith heads,
may be considered as sculpted resemblances, that is
portraits of particular individuals. In this department
of art, the Amerinds show good observation of nature.
Among the African negroes, the heads of their wooden
statuary are not infrequently good representations of
racial type: they are hardly portraits, but they are
African negroes. The Australasians scarcely ever reach
as far as the African negroes in this respect in their
wooden statuary and it is only very sporadically, as
for instance in a few small heads from Easter Island,
that they show anything like real observation.
The attainment of resemblance to the human head
among various races is distinctly rarer in drawing and
painting than in sculpture. There is nothing among the
Pleistokenes, Bushmen or Arctics, nor among the
ART AND ilAN. 157
Amerinds, Africans or Australasians, even remotely
suggesting pictorial facial portraiture. The West Asiatics
and Egyptians drew, perhaps with no exceptions, all
their faces in profil and with the eye, perhaps also
with no exceptions, full or partly full face: in other
words they never drew nor painted a head from obser-
vation: a strange fact, considering their excellent
It is among the East Asiatics, and the Europeans
and South Asiatics that we find real pictorial por-
traiture. There are certain resemblances and certain
differences in the portraiture in these arts corresponding
in the main with their technics. Before touching on
these, however, it must be noted that the underlying
technical attribute of pictorial portraiture is drawing.
Form must be brought out in portraiture. Color and
light and shade are wholly secondary. You can get a
splendid portrait in few or many lines with neither
color nor modelling: and in this method Holbein left
us many brilliant examples. You can also get splendid
portraits in dabs of color of varying values without any
visible lines: but those dabs of color must be in the
place where form requires them. In other words, a
portrait in dabs of color needs just as accurate draw-
ing as a portrait entirely in line.
Among the East Asiatics, portraiture belongs rather
to Une drawing than to painting. Sometimes the lines
are left to themselves but sometimes they are strengthened
by washes of color. As a rule, the East Asiatics,
dating from far back, drew and painted the face three
quarters, but sometimes full or in profil. In general,
their heads are highly conventionalized and do not
represent the individual: they lack individual char-
158 ART AND MAN.
acter: they are typical rather than speciaUzed. And
since the East Asiatics omit shadows and do not
model the colors much, the absence of shadows and of
modelhng produces flatness. And this method is so
much of a convention with them, that in the inter-
esting portrait by an American woman of the late
Empress of China,* the artist, it is said, was prevented
from putting in the shadows. It has also been said,
and doubtless accurately, that some East Asiatic so
called portraits were painted after the person's death
and were really symbols to memorialize that person
and not at all an attempt to get a hkeness.
In many instances, however, the East Asiatics
reached character and expression and almost certainly
likeness in some of their heads. With a few lines and
spots they drew the form. There are some Chinese
heads that one can call splendid examples of sincere,
straightforward observation. Many kakemonos of the
Sung and Ming Dynastiesf show heads worthy of any
artist. A splendid example of head drawing is a
"Portrait of Lu Tong-Pin, One of the Eight Immortals, by
T'eng Tch'ang-Yeou, Northern T'ang Dynasty, IX
Century. "J That is to say, a thousand years ago, some
Chinese could draw a head with a snap and a vividness
which is unsurpassable.
Among Japanese painters, there is one whose heads
may be mentioned as among the most original works
of art ever produced. This is Sharaku, who painted
towards the end of the eighteenth century A. D.
Little is known of the man, but he left a number of
* U. S. Nat. Mus.
t Boston M. F. A.
X Met. Mus. N. Y., November 1917. Lent by Mr. A. F. Jacacci.
ART AND MAN. 159
colored prints of heads, supposed to be of "No"
actors, which, with a few vital lines, reach a strength
of character and expression unsurpassed in art. They
may or may not be masks: they may or may not be
likenesses: but they are psychological drawings of the
very highest type.
European painted portraiture has its roots already
in Cretan-Mykenian art. It advanced to the stage of
being thoroly comprehended in Greek art, as is shown
by the portraits dug up in the Fayum. It is similar to
East Asiatic portraiture in that it has good drawing:
it is different from it in that it has light and shade
and modelling. And the carrying to the extreme of
these latter art attributes, gives something of a sculpt-
ural effe^ct to European painted heads, it makes them
seem round as the hving head is. European portraiture
thru these means arrives at a more imitative quality
than does East Asiatic portraiture without necessarily
being superior in regard to likeness. In fact in many
cases it seems as if in the laying on of the colors
the expressive lines of the face were lost, and likeness
weakened rather than strengthened.
Fine pictorial portraiture is one of the highest
achievements of European art, and great European
masters of the figure, men like Rembrandt, Velasquez
and Moroni, have certainly reached the top-notch in
the painted portrayal of human faces. But to obtain
anything approaching their results, imphes not only a
man of ability but also a man having a free rein to
get character in his own way. Unfortunately patronage,
the potboiling power, often steps in under the guise of
the family of the sitter to interfere with and boss the
artist. And in addition many of the sitters, well
160 ART AND ]\rAN.
knowing the defects of their appearance, wish to be
improved on and instead of seeming commonplace, to
become handsome and distinguished on canvas. And
in consequence of such various extraneous causes,
ordinarily our portraits are apt to be a sort of com-
promise between what the sitter looks like, what the
artist thinks the sitter looks hke, what the sitter
thinks he himself looks like and what he would like
to look like, and what the friends and relatives of the
sitter think and want the sitter to look like. As each
of the persons involved thinks he knows best and each
wants something different, the portrait is apt to suffer.
A painter must and can paint a portrait only according
to his vision, gifts, knowledge and feeUngs. And when
all the aunts and cousins of the sitter each want
changes and imaginary beauty instead of character, the
portrait loses freshness, life and snap.
Among the South Asiatics, pictorial portraiture has
much more the qualities of European painted portraiture
than those of East Asiatic drawn portraiture. This is
very apparent in the heads of Persian and Hindu
pictures of the fifteenth to eighteenth centuries A. D.:
and their characteristics might, it could be argued, have
come from modern European art. But there are certain
fragments of Hindu paintings, notably some in a sort
of fresco in the caves of Ajanta, supposed to date
from the first to the seventh centuries A. D., which,
in an incipient form, show the European characteristics.
They are certainly not descended from East Asiatic art:
they might be descended from Greek art: but it seems
far more probable that they are a native indigenous
growth of a race which is more closely allied to the
White races of Europe than to tlio Yellow races of Asia.
ART AND MAN. 161
Photograph}^ it is sometimes said, is doing away
with art. It is true that there is some beautiful
photography now: far removed from what it was only
two or three decades ago. Certain artistic results are
obtained by taking photographs out of focus, but the
photographs which are most admired are photographs
which have been worked over, which means that many
of the most artistic results are obtained by retouching.
The camera made the drawing: and on this the photog-
rapher drew and painted, softened and accented,
darkened and lightened, so as to pull the picture into
an artistic whole. These artistic photographs are no
longer merely the mechanical performance of a machine,
but they have the added work of a human intelligence.
In fact, the artistic value of a photograph is usually in
inverse ratio to its mechanical accuracy.
Artistic photography seems to reach its acme in
portraiture. Photography is a purely imitative mechani-
cal art, and as pictorial portraiture is based largely on
imitation, it is more closely in touch with photography
than is almost any other phase of art. And the very
beginnings of photography emphasize this point. For
as soon as Nic^phore Niepce, at Lux on the river
Saone in France, succeeded in fixing the photographic
image on a plate, his commercial partner Daguerre
utilized it in his daguerrotypes of people. The first
photographs thus were inartistic portraits; and the
latest ones are many of them artistic portraits which, if
lacking much that a good portrait painter obtains, never-
theless have a great many merits Avhich a poor portrait
painter is not always able to embody in his work.
The eye has attracted special notice in various arts.
The eyeball itself, however, without its nuiscular sur-
162 ART AND MAN.
roundings and settings of the lids and eyebrow, has no
expression of its own, excepting what comes from the
expansion and contraction of the pupil.
A big single eye, drawn full face, is occasionally used
for a decoration, in Australasian art, in North West
Amerind art, in Central Amerind art, etc. Chilkat
blankets often show the single eye. The European
Neolithic supposed divinity sometimes consists of little
more than two great owl like eyes.*
The most curious artistic freak connected with the
eye consists in drawing the eye full face, in a face in
profil. The Egyptians committed this blunder, and are
perhaps the only people who did so habitually. It may
have been due to some religious notion with them, but
artistically it shows lack of observation.
In some Assyrian slabs the ej^es usually are three
quarters in faces in full profil. This would seem due to
want of observation and poor drawing rather than to
an attempt to draw them in the strange Egyptian way,
altho of course the Assyrians may have been influenced
by this in depicting the eye.
In some arts, the eyes of the humans are inserted
in some shining substance or are colored differently from
the heads. For instance, in Polynesian art in New
Zealand and Hawaii, some of the eyes are of shell or
mother of pearl, and in Easter Island some eyes are
made of a stone resembling obsidian. In Amerind art
there are some Aztec humans with inset eyes and some
Peruvian pottery figures with colored eyes. There are
some cases from Africa also; there are some cases in
Roman art and perhaps in other arts also; in fact it is a
rather widespread custom.
* Fig. 3.
AKT AND MAN. 163
The ear, in some arts, has the lobe lengthened and
widened, occasionally several times more than its natural
size. In Asia this distortion is traceable from Baluch-
istan to the Malay peninsula and Korea; in Australasia
it is found in various islands, such as Easter Island, and
notably in Borneo: in America it is most common in
Mexico and Central America, and sporadic in the Antilles
and Peru. In a protrait drawing of an Amerind by
Saint Menin of about A. D. 1800, now in the American
Philosophical Society, the ear shows a cut extending across
the lobe and around the edge of the ear up to its top,
and this ribbon of flesh has been pulled till it rests on
the shoulder. This appears to be an extreme case.
The hps of figures are also occasionally found enlarged
in art, principally among the West North Amerinds and
The enlarged ear in art some writers have held to
be due, I believe, to some such rather fanciful notion as
that the Buddha had enlarged ears in order the better
to hear the prayers of poor people. In reality it is almost
surely due to the habit some Asiatics, Australasians, and
Amerinds had of extending their ear lobes with rings or
some other inserted article. The same explanation doubt-
less holds true of enlarged lips. Both these distortions
of parts of the human body in sculpture are really merely
renderings of what the artists observed in nature.
Small waists, that is waists pinched in or con-
stricted to below normal size, occur in various arts.
They are common in female figures, and even a little in
male figures, in Minoan Crete. They are found in
Egypt both in some prehistoric statuettes and in some
later dynastic sculptures. Some early Babylonian terra
* Fig. 6.
164 ART AND JifAN.
cotta female figures have exaggeratedly small waists.
Certain strange drawings from Australia* show pinched
in waists. Some Papuan men constrict their waists
with belts, but I have seen no evidence of this in their
art. It is hardly necessary to mention how frequently
small waists appear in cheap European art, in fashion
plates and Meissen porcelain. Undoubtedly all these
exaggerations of the human form are based on nature,
and they go to show how widely prevalent is the custom
of crushing in the inner man regardless of health and
pain, for the sake of obtaining a fashionable figure.
The abdomen is sometimes treated abnormally in
sculpture. From the Pleistokenesf, the Kongo NegroesJ
and the Alaska Amerinds § there are statuettes where
the abdomen protrudes, in some cases almost forming a
cube. Some of the Alaska Amerind protruding abdo-
mens have a hole cut in them. This is also the case
with some of the West African statuettes, but more-
over these also have a piece of glass inserted. None
of these figures can be considered handsome, and most
of them are hideous. |1
There is no certain cause which can be assigned for
these sculptural freaks. It has been suggested that
some of these peoples ate mud or clay in times of
famine and that their abdomens swelled out of pro-
portion thereby. It has also been thought that the
cubical abdomen maj^ represent the lines of the feminine
figure at certain moments. For the glass windows no
* N. W. Thomas: Natives of Australia, 1906.
t Musee de Saint Germain.
X Amer. M. N. H.
§ Harvard Univ. P. M.
li Fig. 8.
ART AND MAN.
166 ART AND MAN.
explanation, I believe, has yet been offered. Whatever
the cause of this queer distortion of the figure, however,
it seems strange that it should appear sporadically in three
places and races, quite unconnected with one another.
There is one curious probably unique instance, in
White Race art, of using the abdomen of a statue for
utiUtarian purposes. Some crank took a small copy of
the Venus of Milo and inserted a large watch in the
center of the abdomen, resulting in an as insane looking
artistic freak as ever was perpetrated.
The abdomen also is treated sometimes in another
abnormal manner. This is where it caves in below
the breastbone, in some cases hollowing back almost
to the spine. Such fallen in abdomens are found only,
I believe, on certain lean and gaunt wooden figures
from Easter Island.* There seems no reason to doubt
that they are characteristic of humans in the last
pangs of starvation, and it requires no stretch of the
imagination to associate these starvation abdomens with
The hand is, of course, found in all arts. In
general it is better in sculpture than in painting. In
painting it is only the best Europeans and a few East
Asiatics who have conquered the hand. There is, as a
rule, little character in Chinese and Japanese painted
hands: they are much alike and are often dispro-
portionately small. They are rather a type form, than
individual hands. Among the East Asiatics the long
finger nails which a few higher personages indulge in
are sometimes represented in art. Sculpted hands
are more frequently rendered successfully than are
* British Mus. Harvard Univ. P. M. Salem P. M. Univ. Penn.
AKT AND MAN. 167
painted hands and they are found not only in
Europe and Eastern Asia, but sporadically in other
places. For instance, some African Negro wooden
statuettes' hands are fair and betray observation.
But there is one pictorial rendition of the hand,
found among certain races, which is rather strange.
This is where a single hand is painted or drawn on
rocks or sculpted by itself. The single hand is found
in Pleistokene, Australasian, Amerind and Arab, and
perhaps in other arts.
Some hands of this type have been observed on
rocks in Australia, and they are quite numerous in
Southern California. From Alabama, there is a stone
known as the "Rattlesnake Disc"* on which is carved
a single hand.
Single hands are painted or perhaps rather printed
on the rock walls of some of the French and Spanish
caves. Usually they are reddish in color, as a rule
they point upwards, and they are almost always left
hands. The inference is that the painter traced his
own hand on the rock and then colored the tracing.
Some of these hands are now believed to date as far
back as Aurignacien Pleistokene art.
In Arab art, a single hand is frequently modelled
alone, usually in some metal like silver. It is known
as the hand of Fatma, and is used as a charm.
Artistically it is the same thing as the Pleistokene or
Amerind hands painted on rock walls.
What now do these hands mean, and why are they
painted or sculpted thus in a few such widely apart
places? No definite answer as yet can be given to the
* Smithsonian Inst.
168 ART AND MAN.
query. One can only say that something impelled
their makers to leave a print or tracing of their hands
on rocks, and that it is one of the earliest and most
primitive manifestations of the art instinct.
One must be on one's guard, however. Some years
ago, on a rock slab in some forest near Towanda,
Pennsylvania, I found a black painted hand. As many
Amerinds formerly lived in the vicinity, I tliought for
a moment I had made a discovery. But the initials,
G. B., in the same paint, close by, showed that white
men occasionally indulge in this primitive form of art.
The foot as a rule is drawn or sculpted normally
in almost all arts. There are a few exceptions, however.
Among these are the rare cases from Alaska, from
AustraUa and from Egypt, where the legs, instead of
terminating in feet, finish in sharp points.*
In some Assyrian and some Egyptian has reliefs, where
the figures are modelled facing the spectator, the feet are
modelled in profil. This may be due to the great diffi-
culty of suggesting a foreshortened foot in a relief, t
Distorted feet are found in European art and in
East Asiatic art. From Caen, for instance, comes a
stone statue of a monk of the fifteenth century,
which has a pointed toe. J Europeans, in fact, have
distorted their feet for many centuries. In Moscow is
a pair of emerald green leather boots of one of the
early Tsars, dating back to perhaps 1500 A. D., which
end in the sharpest of points in the middle of the
foot. And much modern European sculpture shows
more or less distorted feet, proving that many sculptors
are unaware of what the natural foot looks like.
* Fig. 21. t Fig. 5.
X Met. Mus. N. Y.
ART AND MAN. 169
There are some few Chinese drawings which show
the feet of high class women turned inwards and
crushed into a stump. As far as I know, these are
the only representations of distorted feet in Asiatic art.
Among all primitive peoples, on the contrarj^, the
feet, when drawn or sculpted, usually are done so nor-
mally. Primitive peoples may distort their heads or their
ears, or some other parts of the body. But they never
distort their feet, probably because under primitive
conditions of Hfe, a person with damaged feet would
have but a poor chance in the struggle for existence.
The Japanese also never show distorted feet in their art.
On the contrary, in some of the prints of Hokusai, the
bare foot in action is often to the fore. This is simply a
record of what Hokusai must frequently have seen. For
with the Japanese, the toes, untrammelled and undamaged
by leather shoes, have almost the prehensile qualities of
fingers and are used by mechanics almost as if they were
a second set of hands. I have never noticed the foot in
action in Chinese art, and maybe it is found only in
170 ART AND MAN.
HUNTING DISGUISES. MONSTERS. MASKS. MONOLITHS.
Hunting disguises have been used from time
immemorial among many races. A hunter would put
on the skinned head and sometimes the whole skin
of some animal or bird in order to stalk his game more
easily. The idea of such disguises evidently originated
in many places. The Pleistokenes and the Bushmen
used them, the Eskimo still use them, they have been
reported as worn in East Africa, and doubtless in
other parts of the world liunting tribes have benefited
by them. Even in Europe of late years, hunting
disguises have been utilized, as for instance by the
guide Laurent Lanier of Courmayeur* who, when after
chamois, donned a cap made of a chamois head with
horns affixed and on one occasion was nearly shot in
In certain arts there are representations of men
wearing the heads and sometimes the skins of animals
or birds. In most, perhaps in all cases these drawings
are taken from hunting disguises.
There are several such drawings from the Pleis-
tokene Magdaleneen, of hunters wearing chamois skins
and heads. There are a number of Bushman pictures
which show hunters dressed up with the skins and horns
of animals such as antelopes, or the heads and feathers of
birds such as ostriches. In both these arts, these draw-
ings are evidently representations of hunting disguises.
* Alpine Journal, 1911, Vol. XXV., page 676.
ART AND MAN. 171
In various arts, monsters or fabulous animals,
in the form of human headed animals, or animal
headed humans, are found. There are many such
monsters, of which the Sphinx is the most noteworthy
example, in Egyptian art. From Nuffer, Babylonia,
there are some badly done small sculptures of bulls
with human heads dating from perhaps 2500 B. C.
A sort of sphinx is found in Hatti art. From
Khorsabad, Assyria, come many monsters, among which
are human headed winged Hons and eagle headed
humans. From Hindustan, there are some animal
headed humans, known as Vishnu, Ganesh, etc., whose
technic, however, is quite different from that of
Egyptian or West Asiatic monsters.
These various monsters are usually looked on as
representations of deities, or as symbolic or allegorical
figures. Possibly they may be, but their artistic origin,
it seems to me, must be sought for in something
actually seen, and the only thing which can be sug-
gested is the hunting disguise. It is true that in
Egypt, in Western Asia, and in Southern Asia, statues
of monsters have got away entirely from hunting dis-
guises. But altho the original idea was obUterated,
it seems much more probable that these monsters are
reminiscent of an early hunting stage, than that they
were inventions springing out of some religious or
Certain other fabulous animals, however, such as
dragons and griffins, probably are conventionahzed
memories of wild animals and do not spring from hunt-
ing disguises. The Chinese dragon, for instance, may
easily be a degenerate crocodile.
There are some other statues, such as the Brahm-
172 ART AND MAN.
anistic Hindu figures with sometimes as many as forty-
two arms, which may also be called monsters. But
they have nothing to do with hunting disguises or
animals, for they are wholly human. Possibly they
are intended to symbolize by repetition some special
attribute of some deity. This would seem the most
available explanation for these freaks, which certainly
lack any genuine imaginative invention and artistically
Masks for the face are another widely distributed
art form which bears relationship to hunting disguises.
They are found numerously among the Greeks, Romans,
Europeans, South Asiatics, Chinese, Japanese, Malays,
Australasians, West North Amerinds, East North
Amerinds, and Mexicans. Thej' are less numerous
among the African Negroes. They are still rarer
among the Egyptians, the West Asiatics and the
Arctics. Among the latter masks were perhaps im-
portations: the few among the Alaska Eskimo, for
instance, being very Ukely imitated from those of the
West North Amerinds. Among the Pleistokenes and
the Bushmen, masks proper seem to have been entirely
Masks, as a rule, appear to be connected with
religious or dancing ceremonies. Among the Greeks
and Romans, and the Chinese and Japanese, they were
largely used for theatrical purposes. It may be that
masks started in hunting disguises, indeed it seems most
probable that they did: that originally they sprang up
because they were useful adjuncts in obtaining food.
Later they may have drifted away naturally from their
primal purpose, and have sundved, because thej' were
utilized foi' something else. But it would seem reason-
ART AND MAN. 173
able to think that the makers of dancing or reUgious
masks got their first idea from seeing hunters equipped
for the chase.
Monohths of stone, and carved poles of wood, are
found scattered over most of the globe. Of the stone
monoliths or megaliths, some are plain, some are
carved and decorated. The wooden poles are all more
or less carved and decorated. Altho the materials out
of which stone monoliths and wood poles are formed
are different, the underlying thought is the same, to
erect an upright monument in one piece.
Undecorated stone monoliths, usually called megaliths,
were set up already in early times. In western Europe,
they are common. Brittany is perhaps the locality
most famous for them, and Stonehenge and Carnac are
perhaps the best known places where there are numbers
of megaliths close together. West European megaliths
belong to Neolithic times, when art was almost lacking,
and for that reason perhaps, are not carved in any
Undecorated megaliths are found in other parts of
the world. Some are reported from Abyssinia; there
seem to be some at Zimbabwe; in Hindustan they are
common; and they occur in still other places. Whether
these megaliths are all Neolithic is perhaps uncertain,
but it seems as if they might be.
Decorated stone monoliths are especially common
in two localities, Egypt and Central America. The
Egyptian obelisks are nothing but megaliths decorated
with hieroglyphs, and the Mayan monoliths are some-
what of the same nature, except that besides bearing
hieroglyphs, they are also sculpted occasionally with
heads or figures.
174 ART AND MAN.
There are some Hindu monuments, which are a
sort of decorated monoUth. There is such a piece,
called a "Burso," in the Salem Museum, with figures,
animals, shrines, etc., carved one above the other.
The art form of wooden posts or poles with sculp-
tures one over the other, is found in western North
America, in Korea, in Australasia, in western Central
The carved wooden pole reaches its acme in Alaska,
whose totem poles are the best known instances of
carved wooden post art. They are genuine family
trees, for the totems carved on them show the descent
of the owner. These totems represent various animals
and birds, bear, beaver, seal, eagle, etc., and the
impelling force to make totems is probably akin to the
one prompting us to found genealogical societies and
the Chinese to ancestor worship. The Australian
Churinga marks are practically totems. The Scotch
plaid designs are really the surviving totems of the
clans. All heraldry is totemistic; it is a descent from
totems; in fact coats of arms are nothing but totems.
There are some guide posts from Korea, which are
wooden poles carved at the top into one big head:
their technic is closely related to Australasian art, and
they are doubtless a survival of Early Asiatic art.
From various parts of Australasia, there come carved
wooden posts. In Borneo, wooden poles with superposed
decorations are sometimes placed by the Kayans in front of
their houses. From the Hervey Islands, Polynesia,
there comes a pole with one big head and two smaller
heads under it. From New Guinea, Melanesia, there
are some poles which have as many as three heads and
three patches of decorative work sculpted one over the
ART AND MAN, 175
other: the technic is Melanesian and quite unHke West
North Amerind work.
There are a few carved wooden poles from Africa.
From Nigeria for instance, there come wooden posts
with several figures carved one above the other.* The
technic is purely Negro, not in the least Amerind nor
Australasian. But the idea of several sculptures one
over the other is the same in Alaska, Australasia, and
That all the makers of megahths or of carved
wooden posts are related by blood, is of course impos-
sible. Unless there is similarity in the artistic manner
of work, therefore, it is safe to assume a certain
amount of independent development for megaliths and
The makers of plain megaUths appear to be mainly
European or Asiatic: of decorated megaliths Egyptian
and Mexican: of carved wooden posts Amerind, Aus-
tralasian and Negro. In Pleistokene, Bushman, and
Arctic art there is nothing of the kind. It is a some-
what curious phase of art, for whose widespread distri-
bution it is difficult to account, except that big stones
and tree trunks gave an opportunity for a sculptor to
display his ingenuity.
* British Mus.
176 ART AND MAN.
. CHAPTER XVI.
POTTERY AND FRAMES.
Pottery apparently was invented only long after
the fine arts. For Pleistokene deposits in almost all
cases have not jdelded any specimens of pottery. It
has been claimed, however, that Dr. Oscar Fraas, at
Hohlefels in Wurtemburg, found a few potsherds in a
Paleolithic horizon.* It is possible, therefore, that some
of the later European Pleistokenes did have rough pot-
tery. In Neohthic times, on the contrary, pottery
was common, and some of it was decorated.
Not only is it not known when pottery was invented,
but it is not known where pottery was invented. While
it may have spread from one center, it seems rather as
if it grew up in a number of places. Porcelain, which
may perhaps be looked on as fine pottery, developed
first in China.
Pottery is almost, but apparently not quite, universal.
It is found among the Europeans, Asiatics, Africans, Aus-
tralasians and Amerinds, with two possible exceptions.
These are the Pleistokenes and Bushmen. It may be
that there was some pottery among these races, but
if so, museums are singularly deficient in specimens.
The claims mentioned above that potsherds have been
found in Pleistokene deposits, are rather a surmise than
a certainty, for the Hohlefels potsherds may be Neohthic.
And if it is true, and if seems as if it were, that these
two races, with arts so similar, are lacking in one of the
* Charles Rau : The Stone Age in Europe: " Harper's New Monthly
Magazine," Vol. LI, ISTf), page 243.
ART AND MAN. 177
most imperative necessities of life, we have a coincidence
at least of extreme interest.
Usefulness is the primary quality of all pottery or
porcelain. Is it useful? might be considered the first
test in judging any piece of pottery. A practical
shape, with a sufficiently wide base to prevent over-
turning easily, seems to be the elementary desideratum.
Beauty of form and beauty of decoration, in potteries
as well as in architecture, should be subservient to
usefulness. If potteries and buildings are not practical,
do not fulfill their purpose, they are inferior. Useful-
ness in some branches of art apparently has been con-
fused by certain writers with truth and has led to
some erroneous assertions and theories.
The potteries of primitive peoples thruout the world
come up well to the level of the test of usefulness.
Neolithic, Australasian, Amerind and African potteries
one might say are made invariably for some definite
purpose and in them beauty of form is not sought for
to the detriment of the function of the pottery. The
same apparently is true of Egyptian and West Asiatic
pottery. It is true also as a rule in the large majority
of cases of South Asiatic and East Asiatic earthen-
wares: altho occasionally in both these arts there are
some potteries which, while pretty, would be of no
practical benefit to anyone.
It is in Europe especially, beginning with the Greeks
and continuing anew among modern Europeans, that we
find an abandonment of useful for purely ornamental
shapes in potteries. Many of the Greek potteries and
of the Meissen, Sevres and English porcelains have such
small bases that they only barely overcome the attrac-
tion of gravitation; their delicate handles and necks are
178 ART AND MAN.
SO frail that the veriest zephyr would disintegrate them;
the spouts of jugs and pots for liquids are so contrived
as to empty the^ contents on the floor or the table
instead of in the cup: and the shape is planned so
that the inside cannot well be cleaned. This art, where
the appearance is placed ahead of the intrinsic purpose,
is bad. The primitive and the Asiatic races are really
ahead of the Europeans in this line.
When we turn to the decoration of pottery, we find
it as universal as pottery itself. Wherever pottery is,
there also is pottery decoration. And the essence of
pottery decoration is that it should be decorative and
not pictorial. For while a plaque or a tile may be
used as a surface on which to paint a picture, the
curves of useful potteries, vases, cups, etc., prevent, by
distortion, any successful painting of pictures. Such
attributes of pictorial art as perspective and values are
not suitable for pottery decorations.
Among the primitive races who had pottery, the
Africans, Australasians and Amerinds, and also among
the more advanced Egyptians and West Asiatics, pottery
decoration is almost wholly decorative. This comes
probably from the fact that these races never really
reached the pictorial art stage. In one or two sporadic
instances, as among the Zunis, an attempt appears to
have been made to give a naturalistic rendering of the
animals they drew as decorations. But the drawings
are not sufficiently good to be pictures, altho some-
times they make admirable decorations. Indeed the
decorative qualities of the drawings of primitive peoples,
obeying their art instincts and unhampered by too
much learning, often result in most pleasing and appro-
priate specimens of decorative pottery art.
ART AND MAN. 179
Naturalistic pictures, altho they do not seem to be
in perfect accord with the spirit of pottery decoration,
are painted, to some extent in eastern Asia and to a
much greater extent in Europe, on vases, jars, etc. In
the best examples, they are done on the flatter surfaces
of these vases, that is on the central parts or bodies.
The necks and feet of such vases, being more curved,
are often handled with purely ornamental designs, or
with circular bands of various kinds, corresponding to
collars and belts on humans. This method is found
commonly in Greek and modern European potteries;
less frequently in East Asiatic; and exceedingly seldom,
if indeed ever, among primitive races. It almost seems
as if the strong pictorial sense of the Europeans entailed
to some extent a weaker decorative sense.
While, as already said, it is not known when or
where pottery was invented but that it may well have
been in a certain number of places, it may be noticed
that there are two especially important centers of
dispersal, western Asia and China. Old Persian pot-
tery, whose possible birthplace is the Euphrates valley,
affected Arab glazed pottery, which affected in turn
Spanish pottery. These are all rather similar in their
make and also in their decorations, tho, of course,
there are local variations, such for instance as the
beautiful golden brown Valencia pottery of about A. D.
1500. Persian- Arab pottery certainly traveled into
India, and West Asiatic pottery may have had an
effect on early Chinese pottery, altho this might be
difficult to prove.
It was in China that pottery evolved to its highest
technical stage, that of true porcelain. We recognize
this in calling porcelain "china." The material technic
180 ART AXD ISIAX.
of porcelain does not seem to have spread to the west-
ward of China— since Persian, Arab and Spanish pieces
are glazed pottery rather than porcelain — until it came
to modern Europe across the seas. The improvement of
Chinese pottery into porcelain helped largely — just as
proper tools and materials bring about changes in other
branches of art — to bring about changes in decorations. A
comparison of Chinese porcelains and Greek potteries will
make this clear. When some hall in a museum is filled
with Chinese potteries and porcelains, there is an efifect
of briUiant multi-colored variety. When a similar hall
is filled with Greek potteries, a reddish-black semi-
monochromatic somewhat monotonous efi'ect is produced.
As a mass, therefore, Greek pottery must probably be
ranked below Chinese porcelain, a leading cause perhaps
being that the Greek artists were fighting with one arm
tied behind their backs, since they did not have at
their disposal the tools and substances the Chinese
artists played with.
The decoration of pottery in Europe is apparently
mainly a native growth. In NeoUthic times it may
have been partly an exotic, to the extent at least that
it is very similar to the decoration of the Neolithic
pottery of western Asia. Later also Arab decoration
and still later East Asiatic decoration had some influence
on European pottery decoration. But Cretan-Minoan
pottery decoration was an independent White race art.
It had a rebirth in Greek pottery and was continued
in Roman times. Then it revived again with Italian
faience, which had but httle aflftliation to Persian-Arabic
pottery, to which it is inferior, whilst it is strongly
reminiscent of old Cretan-Minoan pottery. The Italian
potters did not turn to decorative patterns however,
ART AND MAN.
182 ART AND UAN.
but attempted rough pictures, and their method and
manner of decorating evolved or perhaps degenerated
into Meissen and Sevres porcelains, where the picture is
painted on an already glazed surface.
Frames are an invention of man which profoundly
affect art. Pictorial effects in nature are not framed
either with rectangles or with circles. Frames are an
art convention and one of those which most differ-
entiate art from nature. The Europeans, the Asiatics,
and perhaps the Egyptians, thought out a surrounding
border for their pictures. Possibly the earliest idea of
a frame dates from Minoan-Crete. The Pleistokenes,
Bushmen, and Arctics; the Africans, Australasians and
Amerinds, never thought out anything Uke a frame.
The pictures by the latter races, therefore, all lack a
certain conventional finish; and may be spoken of as
drawings, or paintings, or studies, of one or more objects,
rather than as finished pictures. It seems as if peoples
who lived out of doors with few clothes did not evolve
frames, which go together with indoor house trappings.
Nevertheless, some of the unframed paintings of primi-
tive peoples are more effective and suggestive than
some of the framed pictures of more advanced races.
The technical make up of frames, a difficult prob-
lem, has perhaps been best solved by the East Asiatics.
They surround their water colors with a colored silk or
brocade border, and fasten them to a round stick, on
which they can be rolled up. From the utiHtarian
point of view the result is admirable. For the pictures
can be rolled up and stored away in safety or unrolled
and hung up in a moment. From the esthetic side,
the result is equally satisfactory. For the deUcate water
colors not only look well in their beautiful silk borders,
ART AND MAN. 183
but they can be hung up and looked at for only a
brief spell of artistic enjoyment, instead of hanging on
the wall until the owner becomes unconscious of their
presence. They are in marked contrast to the heavy,
costly and fragile European frames, whose only redeem-
ing qualit}^ is the gold.
184 AKT AND MAN.
THE EVOLUTION OF TECHNIC. FORM. COLOR. STONE
IMPLEMENTS. SCULPTURE. BAS RELIEF. PAINTING.
Evolution in art mu.st be held to include the birth,
life and death of everything connected with art. It
should take into account the rise and development of
the faculties of the artists themselves, of how they felt
and saw, of what caused them to sculpt and paint, of
their appreciation of form, of their sense of color, etc.
This phase of art evolution, however, is omitted here,
as it is sufficiently touched on in other parts of this
book. Evolution must cover all the beginnings, advances,
retrogressions and endings of technical processes, how
sculpture was invented, when drawing appeared, why
color was employed, how materials were utilized and so
forth. It must deal with subjects and motives, with
animals, humans, and landscapes in the various sculpt-
ural and pictorial arts; and it must include all decora-
tive art, its starts, its growths and expansions, and its
Evolution in art as a whole progresses in certain
respects as a continuous movement, but in certain other
respects it progresses rather in a series of steps or
jumps which might be described as a succession of
births and deaths. It does not seem as if art having
begun, as far as we know, among the Pleistokenes, went
from them by direct descent to the Cretans, the Egyp-
tians, the Chinese, the Eskimo, and so forth. It seems
as if it had evolved and disappeared, and re-evolved
ART AND MAN. 185
and re-disappeared, in place after place, rather than as
if it had swept on in one unbroken stream flowing peace-
fully and uninterruptedly from its source.
In a majority at least of and probably in all the vari-
ous arts, the earlier forms of any art were the simplest,
and in time by self development, and a process of give
and take, they were followed by more complex forms.
That is to say the art of each race has, like everything
else, obeyed the law of evolution.
The evolution of art technic is one of the most
comprehensive fields in the domain of comparative art.
Art technic begins far back in the history of man. It
is found, of course, in the earliest art works of the
earliest artists of European Pleistokene times, but in
fact, art technic antedates the earliest fine arts and
coincides with the first conscious efforts of the mechan-
ical arts. Art technic really first appears in stone imple-
ments. Man was forced, thru his necessities, to evolve
the mechanical art of chipping or splitting stones into
implements, and in so doing he unconsciously evolved
the method of how to chip or engrave stones and bones
into sculptures or bas reliefs. Stone implements are
really the first gropings for form and the technical start
of sculpture, drawing and engraving. And because
stone implements show the first development of the
sense of form in man, because the technic of the earliest
art undoubtedly springs from them, and because they
must be looked on as the beginnings of the fine arts, a
brief study of stone implements is imperative.
Stone implements and a few fossil human remains
offer the earliest clues of man's presence on the earth.
Stone implements have been found in Europe, Africa,
Asia, Australasia, and Anioiica, and altho there are
186 ART AND MAN.
some localities where they have not been traced as yet,
still it may safely be said that they are universal. All
the evidence afforded by stone implements, however,
leaves us wholly in doubt as to man's origin. Never-
theless it goes a good way towards showing that
there was no hiatus or break in the history of early
m.an. It also hints that he developed on a large part
of the earth rather than that he settled the earth by
migrating and wandering from one spot. Man undoubt-
edly moved to and fro on the earth to a certain extent
and did not always remain in just the same places, it
is true, but, at any rate, at the beginning of the Pleis-
tokene he was scattered over the whole of Europe.
Like everything else, stone implements obeyed the
law of evolution and their evolution must have taken
place as follows. The earliest man simply picked up
any convenient stone and used it to hammer nuts or
to throw at an enemy. Then when he began to exert
his intelligence, he proceeded to fracture stones to get
cutting edges and points: that is he invented imple-
ments, altho at first he gave them no special form.
In due time he fractured stones into distinct forms
because he found those shapes convenient, and this was
really the first application of the sense of form by
man. Finally he polished his stone implements smooth,
keeping nevertheless pretty much the same forms he
had evolved in chipped stones. Later when he had dis-
covered metals, he began to substitute copper and
bronze for stone. In accordance with their character-
istics therefore, stone implements may be divided into
four classes. First, ordinary stones or pebbles. Second,
stones chipped or fractured to obtain a cutting edge or
point, but not fashioned into any special forms. Third,
ART AND MAN. 187
stones chipped into definite forms. Fourth, stones
chipped into definite forms and then poUshed.
That prehistoric man once had depended on stone
implements to obtain food and shelter and to struggle
against wild beasts, had drifted entirely out of the ken
of present day man. Stone implements had to be
rediscovered by modern archaeologists and their dis-
covery was made backwards in the order of their
evolution. Polished stone implements were the first
accepted as genuine artifacts by scientists. Then
formed chipped stones were recognized. And only within
the last two decades have formless chipped stones been
accepted also as genuine artifacts by some, not by all,
The names which are now generally applied to the
three classes of stones fashioned by man are eolith,
paleolith, and neolith. EoUth refers to the stones
without special form, but which may have been chipped
by man, and the name comes from the Greek 'rjws
meaning the dawn. Paleolith is used for formed
chipped or spUt stones and means "ancient stone."
Neolith is applied to pohshed stone implements and
means "new stone." It is most convenient to use this
nomenclature, but the French terms, pierre eclatee, that
is chipped stone or split stone; and pierre polie, that is
poHshed stone or smooth stone, are more accurate and
descriptive. The weak point of the accepted termin-
ology, however, is that it is associated with time, and
not with shape or make. Dawn stones, ancient stones,
new stones, are certainly not descriptive terms like
formless chipped stones, formed chipped stones, and
polished stones. Moreover they are inaccurate, for if
we talk of paleohthic implements, the mind instinc-
188 AKT AND MAN.
lively assumes that they mean implements dating back
to Pleistokene times. Now the fact is that all the
forms of stone implements are in use even in our own
day. They have survived in Australasia, in Brazil, in
Central and South Africa, and perhaps in other places.
We ourselves sometimes act in a pre-implement stage.
When, for instance, boys shy stones, or a coachman
picks up a pebble and dislodges with it another pebble
in a horse's hoof, it is simply a return to the condi-
tions of life of our earliest forefathers and, therefore,
when unformed or formed chipped stones or polished
stone implements are found anywhere, one must be
very sure before asserting that the implements date
back so and so niany thousand years to the Pleis-
tokene or the Pleiocene.
Stone implements apparently took several hundred
thousand years for their evolution. The oldest are very
rough and their advance to polished forms is most gradual.
In Europe it has been possible, following geologic pre-
cedents, to classify a number of strata or horizons by the
stone implements found in them. The lowest strata
hold only the roughest kinds of stone implements, while
the horizons above these progressively in regular order
hold more and more perfect stone implements. But
while the rougher forms sometimes linger over into later
horizons, the developed forms are never found below
certain horizons. They therefore mark certain periods
of archseologic times in Europe and have thereby an
important bearing on Pleistokene times and Pleistokene
art. To how far back the earliest stone implements may
be assigned is still a moot question. Some ethnologists
claim that none of the finds antedate the Quaternary;
others, of whom I am one, think that some of the finds
ART AND MAN. 189
show that Tertiary man hved certainly in Europe, and
possibly in other places, among which may be mentioned
India and South Africa. Many of the older implements
found in northern France and in Great Britain are
marked with glacial striae, an absolute proof that they
were manufactured before at least the last great ice, and
possibly much earlier.
Formed chipped stones or paleoliths make their
appearance in western Europe towards the beginnings
of the Pleistokene epoch. The big almond shaped
chipped stones, known as coups de poing or axes, which
were among the first to be accepted as genuine artifacts,
are found in Europe in the so called Chell^en horizon.
Similar axes have been found in many parts of the
world, as in Somali Land by Mr. H. W. Seton-Karr,
and recently in Kansas by Mr. Brower, as proved by
Dr. Winchell. But tho the European Chell^en, the
Somali Land, and the Kansas axes coincide as to form,
there is nothing to show that they coincide as to time.
They may date from tens of thousands of years apart,
tho again they may not. It would seem as hkely,
however, that they were independent discoveries by
different races at different times, as that they were
forms transmitted by early travel and commerce.
As Pleistokene times progress in Europe, the forms
of chipped stone implements evolve. Scientists at first
assumed that all chipped stones were weapons, spear
heads, arrow heads, etc. This was gradually discovered
to be an error, and it was recognized that many stone
implements were not weapons, but tools such as
choppers, flayers, grinders, pestles, etc. Many of
them are broken away in such a manner as to form
a handle at one end. Others are so fashioned as to
190 ART AND MAN.
suggest that they were imitations of bones, such as the
scapula, which themselves were probably used as
implements. The New Zealand patu-patu probably
evolved from some such bone. Many of the forms of
these chipped stone implements are continued in
polished stone implements, that is the form of the
implement was found long ago and the polishing was
In America likewise, the forms and technic of stone
implements are an evolution. My friend. Dr. Charles
Conrad Abbott, discovered this fact before 1870 and
from his observations he reasoned out that the early
Amerind must have been a Paleolithic man, a con-
clusion he published in 1872.* Many further observa-
tions by Abbott showed that in the Delaware Valley
there are three horizons of culture, the earHest of
which is Pleistokene, facts which he pubUshed in 1881. t
Since then he has been entirely corroborated by the
patient researches, extending over many years, of Mr.
Ernest Volk.J The evidence so far goes to show
that early American man was the ancestor of the
historic "Indian;" that he was here before at least the
last glacial period; and that tho he is not nearly as
old as early European man, yet that he was here in
later Pleistokene times. § If 500,000 years is con-
ceded to European man, 50,000 years might readily be
conceded to American man.
* The Stone Age in New Jersey: "American Naturalist," 1872,
Vol. 6, page 146.
t Primitive Industry, 1881.
X The Archeology of the Delaware Valley: "Papers of the Peabody
Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University,
§ Edwin Swift Balch: Early Man in America: "Proceedings
American Philosophical Society," Vol. LVI, 1917, pages 473-483.
ART AND MAN,
192 ART AND MAN.
The earliest formed chipped stone implements are
most interesting in their relation to art, because they
are the first sign that man puts forth of a budding
sense of definite form and symmetry. Of course, these
roughly shaped stones are only specimens of mechanical
or industrial art, nevertheless with them man first
shows a recognition of form per se. We can feel
certain that at about that vague period of time, the
beginning of the Quaternary, man had evolved to a
point when he had already a sense of symmetry and
a recognition of form. He was therefore already
absolutely distinct from all other animals. Whether he
had any idea of color at that time, is at present
uncertain. As far however as actual specimens show,
form was the first art attribute which man developed.
As man kept improving the forms of chipped stone
implements thm the Pleistokene period, he also kept
improving his technic in chipping or splitting them.
That is to say he sculpted his stone implements better
and better. It is perhaps not surprising therefore that
towards the middle of the Pleistokene epoch, in the
Acheuleen, man already began to shape stones roughly,
very roughly, into a semblance of animals. And at the
beginning of the later Pleistokene, \nth the appear-
ance of the Aurignacien, we find man already really
sculpting, engraving and drawing animals and human
figures. SpUtting or chipping stone implements simply,
gradually, and naturally evolved into sculpture; that is
chipped stone implements are the technical beginning
of sculpture and engraving, or to put it even more
comprehensively, chipped stone implements are the
technical starting point of art.
The knowledge acquired by Pleistokene man of how
ART AND MAN. 193
to chip stones into formed implements was certainly the
starting point of art technic in central Europe. When he
began to observe animals and men and tried to imitate
them, by sculpting or engraving them, in wood and
stone and ivory and bone, he found his tools and mater-
ials all ready at hand, as also the knowledge of how to
fashion his materials with his tools. These are now
lost technical arts. For any sculptor or engraver of
today who should be presented with some stones and a
couple of animal skeletons and requested to make his
tools, sculpt some figures, and carve some bas reliefs
out of them, would be somewhat embarrassed, and
doubtless dechne the order.
That the technic of chipping stones into implements
was the start of art technic in central Europe implies of
course that it was the start of any art technic. For
European Pleistokene art is, as far as we know at
present, so much older than any other art that any
quality or attribute connected with it takes precedence
historically. But the question now arises, did other
primitive races start their art technic independently in
the same manner thru their knowing how to chip stones:
did Pleistokene art technic filter to the early Asiatics
and to the Australasians, to the Africans and the Amer-
inds, to the Bushmen and the Eskimo: or did art technic
among all or some of these primitive races start in some
different way? It is impossible to answer these ques-
tions in our present state of knowledge, but if they ever
are solved, they will go a long way towards proving
either that art is one, or that art is several. My own
opinion is that art technic was invented independently
in a certain number of places, and that its original base
in each case is possibly the technic of chipping stones.
ART AND MAN.
The accompanying geological, ethnological, archaeolog-
ical and artistic classification maj^ help to make the rela-
tions of early art to stone implements in Europe a little
clearer. The later horizons come at the top and the
earlier ones at the bottom of the columns, and our
knowledge of them becomes progressively more uncertain
the further down we get.
Formed Chipped Stones.
Whether sculpture precedes drawing is uncertain. It
seems to do so in Pleistokene art, since there are figure
stones but no drawings from the Acheuleen horizon.
But the latest finds in French caverns would seem to
indicate that the earliest Aurignacien drawings are
cotemporaneous with the earUest Aurignacien sculptures.
In many cases, for instance among the Amerind or the
Arctic races, it would be hard to tell whether sculpture
preceded drawing or whether they were simultaneous in
their birth, for there are really no assured data to go by.
On the other hand, some races, like the Negroes, evince
a greater aptitude for sculpture than for drawing, and in
ART AND MAN. 195
fact hardly evolved drawing; while some races, like the
Bushmen, evince a greater aptitude for drawing and
painting than for sculpture, so much so that it is con-
ceivable that they evolved drawing first. But it is also
a fact, that sculpture in stone or bone has a better chance
than paintings in black or color of resisting the hostile
forces of time, and in some cases sculptures may have sur-
vived when cotemporaneous painting may have perished.
Whether the sense of color developed as early as the
sense of form is impossible to ascertain positively.
Both these artistic attributes are universal and are
found in all arts, among all races. It is certain, how-
ever, that there are specimens extant of works in the
mechanical arts showing the presence of the sense of
form which long antedate any specimens revealing the
sense of color. It seems possible that painting origin-
ated as a useful art, and started from such an inar-
tistic cause as daubing the body with greasy ochres as
a protection against cold and insect bites. Color was
probably first used in daubs and spaces on the person
as a sort of underclothing, and this may be as old as
any form of the mechanical arts. Color spots and
patches doubtless appealed to the artistic eye because
some of them were brilliant, and the untaught mind
was attracted to color as a moth is to light. Then
some persons began to put patches of color on their
utensils as well as on their persons for decoration,
because they thought color-patches pretty. This was
evidently one of the starting points of decorative art,
as well as the origin of tattooing. Artistic painting
also almost surely evolved from this elementary color
daubing, but only after outline drawing had begun to
give shape to the human and animal forms.
196 ART AND MAN.
Still there are some evidences which tend to show
that art progresses first as sculpture in the round, then
as drawing, engraving and bas relief, and lastly as
painting. For instance, modern European art was born
or rather reborn in Italy in the thirteenth centurj^
when Avith Niccolo Pisano, 1206-1278?, and his son
Giovanni Pisano, 1250-1328?, it reached a maturity in
realistic sculpture which left such brilliant examples as
the pulpit in the Cathedral of Siena and the pulpit in
the Baptistery of Pisa. Painting lagged behind. Neither
Cimabue, 1240-1302?, nor Giotto, 1267-1336?, attained
in painting anything like the technical perfection the
Pisanos did in sculpture. Nevertheless they stand in
the front rank of painters, because they were leading
innovators. Painters then did not know as much of
the principles of imitative picture making, of color, of
light and shade, of perspective, as sculptors did of pure
form. Cimabue and Giotto began to solve problems
which the sculj^tural art did not need to solve, and
until these problems were solved and were common
property, imitative painting could not reach the perfection
of sculpture, which did not require this knowledge.
ART AND jSIAiSr. 197
THE EVOLUTION OF SUBJECT AND MOTIVE. SCULPTURAL
AND PICTORIAL ART: ANIMALS, HUMANS, LAND-
SCAPE. DECORATIVE ART: BASKETRY, PICTORIAL,
The evolution of the subject and motive in art
is an immense and involved matter. Subject and
motive have evolved among different races in different
ways, according to each race's characteristics, mental
powers, environment, customs, materials, tools and other
factors. In such a brief exposition of the matter as the
present one, one can only say that, in general, art
turns primarily to animals and to humans, and second-
arily to landscape, for subjects. This points to the
sense of form as the dominating force in art: the sense
of color evolving as a more subordinate attribute.
In regard to the evolution of the subject as affected
by the sense of form alone, it seems as if animals
appealed most strongly to certain primitive peoples.
They certainly do to the Pleistokene, Bushmen and
Arctic races. Among none of these races do we find,
except in the rarest instances, humans treated technic-
ally as perfectly as animals sometimes are. For some
Pleistokene animals are quite as good, and some few
Bushmen and Eskimo animals are nearly as good, as
European and Chinese animals. In these arts the sub-
jects best treated are certainly the animals.
That the drawing or sculpting of animals is far
superior to that of humans among the Pleistokenes,
Bushmen and Arctics, may possibly be due to the fact
that they were or are solely hunters, and that their
198 ART AND MAN.
observations were centered on their food supply, namely
the surrounding wild fauna. On the other hand, among
the Assyrians who did not live by hunting, animals are
far better than humans. For their lions and wild
asses and antelopes are often technically excellent,
while their humans are conventional in the extreme.
It is rather cui'ious that in several scarcely related
arts, especially the European, West Asiatic and South
Asiatic arts, galloping animals are often depicted with
their legs stretched out like a pair of open scissors.
It is now known that this is not the actual motion,
altho most persons who are ignorant of the true
motions of animals certainly think they see it. Some
bulls in Cretan art and some lions in Mykenian art
have this movement, and in Europe, until the advent
of instantaneous photography, galloping horses were
usually drawn with their legs extended horizontally
parallel to the ground. On some Assyrian slabs of
hunting scenes, from the palace of Assur-bani-pal, the
horses and some of the wild asses have this motion.
Some recent Hindu paintings also represent the horses'
legs spread out scissor-wise. Why this movement is
frequently represented in these arts, and rarely or not
at all in other arts, is something of a puzzle!
The Africans, Australasians and Amerinds turn to
humans more than to animals for motives, and in
general do them about equally well. Exceptions are
the heads on Old Mexican monoliths, and the animals
in Benin bronzes, both of which are way beyond the
level of most Amerind or African art.
Among the Europeans and the Asiatics, humans
play the central role in art. In Greek art and indeed
in all succeeding European arts, animals have a most
ART AND MAN, 199
secondary position in quantity altho in quality they
sometimes are excellent. The Chinese and the Japanese
reach the highest mark both in their humans and their
It is difficult to assign reasons for the preference
which some races have for animals and others for
humans, but the fact remains. And when the human
figure reaches a fairly high level in any art, it seems to
imply that the makers of that art have gone beyond
the more primitive conditions of life into a more
Landscape drawing or painting is almost unknown
among primitive races. Landscape is really found only
among the Europeans, the South Asiatics and the East
Asiatics. This offers a curious problem about the
racial development and environment of an artist. For
the more primitive hunting peoples were surrounded by
landscape, yet never noticed it in their art; whilst it
was town dwelling agriculturahsts who sought to jot
down the natural forms, the rocks, the trees, and the
waters, they saw but infrequently. That people Uving
in cities turned to landscape may be partly due to a
sort of reminiscent impulse towards primitive sur-
roundings, just as people Hving in cities turn today
towards forests and mountains to escape temporarily
from the highly artificial conditions of modern life.
Why primitive races paid so httle attention to land-
scape is a matter worthy of serious psychological study.
But at least it can be laid down already as an axiom
that landscape art is a child of advanced social condi-
tions and that it may be looked on to a certain extent
as a gauge of the advance of a race towards a station-
ary condition of life.
200 ART AND MAN.
The evolution of subject and pattern in decorative
art is an intricate problem. Formerly it was believed
rather generally that primitive men decorated in so
called geometric patterns which had no relation to
pictorial art; then the opinion grew that decorative art
patterns were nothing but degenerate pictorial art.
Probably there is truth in both views and it seems
as if there are certainly two fountain heads for decora-
tive art. And may be tliere is a third, namely acci-
One of the .sources of decorative art patterns is
surely the hues and patterns formed by woven or
plaited vegetable fibers and grasses in basketry work
or in garments. A great many of the so called "geo-
metric patterns" evolved naturally from the imitating
or copjdng on substances hke clay or stone or wood or
skin, of various forms of basketry weaving, etc. Prim-
itive peoples plait or weave all sorts of grasses and
fibers into utensils and garments. These grasses form
long lines, or zigzag lines, or squares, or rectangles, or
lozenges, etc. When primitive races begin to decorate
potteries or skin garments or teepees or even their own
persons, apparentlj^ in many cases they do so instinct-
ively with patterns similar to those the practice of
weaving their grass or fiber utensils has taught them.
Grasses and fibers rarely Aveave easily into circles,
and it may be that this accounts for there being so
many fewer "geometric" patterns in curved or circular
lines than in straight or angular lines. Many of the
decorations on potteries and skin garments, etc., in
truth, seem to be nothing but a reduplication in
another material of patterns evolved before in basketry
work. The blackening of pots by fire might also,
ART AND MAX. 201
possibly, give sometimes a suggestion for decorative
The other great source for decorative art patterns
is naturalistic subjects. Sometimes decorative art
is pictorial art used as a decoration, sometimes it is
degenerate pictorial art. In myriads of objects, pots,
rugs or what not, humans, animals, fishes, plants, etc.,
are used as subjects for decorations. Sometimes they
are poor and crude in form and color from the stand-
point of pictorial art, and yet they make good decora-
tions. Such is the case, for instance, with much of the
pottery from the southwestern United States. Nothing
like what we would consider realistic pictures has been
found in that locality. How then did and do the
Pueblo people decorate so well? It seems as if the
answer were a simple one. The Pueblo people had a
certain art instinct and a certain sense of observation,
sufficient to cause them to want to decorate their
utensils and to induce them to look at natural objects.
In their decorations, they made the best reaHstic draw-
ings they knew how. Their decorative drawings are
really pictorial to them. When decorating they were
trying to draw the animals and plants as well as they
could, and tho their results are inferior to Pleistokene,
Bushmen or Arctic work, yet they are an attempt in
the same direction. And as they happened also to
have a strong decorative sense they succeeded in pro-
ducing sometimes some most artistic and original decor-
ative pictorial work.
But, in the majority of cases, the attempt to por-
tray humans or animals or plants on pots and cloaks
promptly runs down hill. Facilis descensus Averno. One
artist draws or paints human.s or animals or flowers as
202 ART AND MAN.
well as he can; another artist copies these drawings,
in doing which he is sure to leave out or alter some
parts; a third artist does the same with the second set;
and this process continues until degenerate decorative
patterns are evolved which become fixed and conven-
tionaHzed. And so unhke to the object in nature they
were originally intended to represent do these patterns
sometimes become, that their origin can be traced only
by searching backwards most carefully.
Not infrequently it is difficult to tell whether con-
ventional decorative patterns are degenerate pictorial art
or imitative basketry patterns. From the Guianas and
Venezuela, for instance, there are some simple but
pretty decorative patterns on some modern baskets and
jars.* If these were suggested by and intended to
represent certain animals and plants, they certainly do
so most imperfectly. Moreover there is nothing to
show that these patterns are degenerate pictorial art,
for there is absolutely nothing like pictures in eastern
South America. There are in fact many cases where
careful inspection alone will not reveal the origin of
decorative patterns and this can be obtained, perhaps,
only by much questioning of the makers. An instance
of this is the cross found in some South American art.
Some rather fantastic explanations have been made
about this, but it seems to be nothing but a repre-
sentation of some of the markings on certain reptiles.
An analogous case is the art of Mitla. I have heard
American tourists claim that Mitla art was wholly
different from other Mexican art. The pattern, of
course, is different, but the motive, namely the diamond
back rattlesnake, is identical. Only from this motive,
* Harv. Univ. P. Mus.
ART AND MAN. 203
the Mitla people evolved a pretty decoration, and the
other Mexicans a repulsive one.
There is possibly a third source from which some
decorative art may spring, namely invention. Take a
pencil and make some curvilinear or rectilinear line on
paper. Repeat this Une in various ways. Some sort of
pattern will presently evolve almost accidentally. This
may be ugly and therefore useless as a decoration, but
it may be pretty and therefore appropriate as a decor-
ation. I doubt whether much decoration has been
invented thus but it certainly might be, and I am
inclined to think that some decoration is due to
invention and has not sprung from any pictorial motive
or any basketry pattern whatever. Decorations of this
kind might be termed invented, accidental decorations.
There is one cause, not often recognized, which may
have something to do with the start of decorative art,
and that is the desire to fix the ownership of an object.
It seems indeed not unlikely that some of the patterns or
marks on potteries and utensils are property marks, some-
what of the nature of totems, placed on them for much the
same reason that we label trunks with our names.*
Writing and everything connected with it, letters,
alphabet, handwriting, printing, is an evolution from
art. Writing in all known cases, possibly among the
AziUen Pleistokenes, almost certainly among the Egyptians,
Cretans, Chinese and Amerinds, started as pictorial writing;
that is to say rough, elementary drawings were used as
symbols, and gradually degenerated or evolved into
letters and writing. But the beginnings of writing
apparently are drawings, and we can safely say that art
antedates anything like an alphabet or handwriting.
* Christopher Wren: Aboriginal Pottery, page 26.
204 ART AND MAN.
LOCAL AND INTRUSIVE ARTS. AUTOCHTHONOUS ARTS.
MOVEMENTS OF ART. GRADATION IN ART.
An important problem in comparative art is whether
art arose in one spot and spread thence over the world,
or whether it arose in many spots. To formulate this
point more fully one might express it in the form of
questions like these: Is art one or are there several
arts? Did all art spread from one starting point, or
did it grow up in a number of spots? Is there one
fountain head for the whole of art, or are there many
independent centers of dispersal? Is art autochthonous
in only one spot and intrusive everj'where else, or is it locally
autochthonous in many places? These questions pre.sent
fairly clearly some of the most intricate problems of
comparative art, and altho it is impossible to answer
them categorically, yet by examining accessible data
one can reason out certain theories about them.
In considering the intricate problems touched on in
this chapter, it must be remembered that before the
days of railroads and steamers, any movement of art
took place under different conditions from present ones.
An art was affected by the environment under which it
grew up, it was affected by the arts of places imme-
diately round it, and in turn it affected them. There
was give and take all round, but it was a nearby, long
drawn out process. The spread of any art was slow and
its influence could not carry far rapidly.
The questions formulated in the first paragraph of
this chapter involve considerations in several lines, for
ART AND MAN. 205
they really cover the birth, life, movements, history,
geography and death of arts. Examination must be made
of local or autochthonous art; of historical and geo-
graphical movements of art and of geographical I^arriers
to art; and of gradations in art. These must all be
considered separately and inferences drawn from them as
a whole. And as far as I can judge at present from the
data, art may ))e autochthonous and local, or it may be
Necessity undoubtedly forced men in different parts
of the world to invent certain similar objects and imple-
ments of mechanical art. Jars for holding liquids, for
instance, must have suggested themselves, on account of
their purpose, to various persons, and have developed
independently, thru the needs of their makers, in widely
distant localities. Many similar useful objects are found
in places a long ways apart which could not possibly
have been obtained by either of the makers from the
other, and which therefore must have been invented in
those places. For instance the boomerang of the Aus-
traUans is almost the same implement as the patchoku
of the Mokis, and the patu-patu of New Zealand is
duplicated in Colorado. There could not have been
direct intercourse in either of these cases and therefore
the only solution of these resemblances is that these
implements, thru their own merits in filling some neces-
sity, were invented independently.
With the decorations on such objects and still more
with works of art pure and simple we strike a somewhat
different problem. For decoration, sculpture and paint-
ing proceed from feeling, not from necessity. They
come from an artistic impulse to fashion something the
maker likes to look at, not from the exigencies of life
206 ART AND MAN.
driving the maker to fashion something he needs. The
Greeks, for instance, had pottery jars. So had the
Hopi-Moki. As a rule, the Greeks and the Hopi-Moki
decorated their jars with black Unes, but they both in
certain cases decorated with black, red and white. We
can accept as fairly certain that Greek jars and Hopi-
Moki jars were invented independently, but how about
the decorations. The forms and motives of the decora-
tions are different. They certainly tend to sliow a
different artistic impulse in the makers, and that the
Greeks belonged to a different artistic family from the
That the art of almost every district of the world
has an individuality of its own is noticeable. This
individuality makes every art distinct from every other
art, even tho it closely resembles the art from many
surrounding localities and perhaps also some art from
distant localities. Just as it is possible to tell the
work of every great master painter by his individual
quality, so it is almost always possible to tell rather
closely where any art comes from. This seems to
point to art being largely local and native in a great
many spots. Widely extended arts, such as Chinese
art or Amerind art, however, may have sprung up
over quite a large territory, but nevertheless have
sprung up in very similar forms owing to the personaUty
of the race cropping out. It is conceivable that
Amerind art may have started from a number of
points, rather than to have spread from one single
In many cases however it is difficult to tell whether
art is native in its habitat or whether it came there
from some other place. As a typical example of this
ART AND MAN. 207
difficulty one might take Zimbabwe art, about which
authorities are divided. Some explorers of Zimbabwe
claim the art as local, others claim it is intrusive and
there are evidences pro and con.
There are undoubtedly some arts fairly close together
which are probably of practically separate growth.
West Asiatic art, Egyptian art, and Cretan art, for
instance, whilst showing certain resemblances which
may to some extent be accounted for by the inter-
course resulting from propinquity, also show enough
differences to warrant the opinion that they each
flowed from one separate fountain head rather than
that they evolved as different branches of the same
That similarities in arts at great distances apart do
not necessarily imply any other common origin than
the universal art impulse, may be inferred from certain
extremely primitive pottery statuettes, which resemble
the little figures which some European children knead
out of bread crumbs. Some of these statuettes from
Greece,* some from Cyprus, f some from the Huicholsf
and a Japanese prehistoric terra cotta horse, § belong to
this class. The artistic resemblance is absolute. If
these statuettes were placed side by side it would be
impossible for any art expert to tell where they came
from or to differentiate them. Now there can be no
descent nor intrusive influence in these statuettes. It
can be nothing but the inborn art instinct just budding
which produces such .similar results at such distances
* Met. Mus. N. Y.
t Met. Mus. N. Y.
t Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.
§ Met. Mus. N. Y.
208 AKT AND MAN.
apart. It seems as if these statuettes implied the birth
of art as an independent development in a number of
Every art is apparently more or less local, even if
that locality is held to extend over a whole continent.
Amerind ait is local to America, Melanesian art to
Melanesia, Negro art to Africa, etc. Art is sometimes
strongest in one center, as for instance Greek art is
purest in Greece, but sometimes art is about equally
strong over a large area. Polynesian art, for example,
altho varying somewhat in each archipelago, is nearly
the same thruout Polynesia. To show how local an
art can be, one might instance the beautiful coiled
basketry trays or "poata" from the pueblos of Miconi-
novi and Oraibi. These trays are not only different in
their respective pueblos, but they are unlike exactly
any other basketry in the world, and therefore they
must be a local invention. One might also instance
the starvation statuettes from Easter Island, those
where the abdomen falls in, as sculpture which is
sui generis and a local invention.
Art, in fact, is usually so local and so related to
surrounding arts, that it may be laid down almost as
an axiom, that propinquity causes and shows art
resemblances and that distance or separation causes and
shows art differences. Art, in any given spot of the
world, generally resembles more closely the art immedi-
ately near it than it does the art far away from it.
The art of Peru resembles the art of Yucatan, and this
resembles the art of Arizona more closely than either of
them resembles any African art. The natural inference
from this is that: if nearby arts resemble one another,
they are related; if distant arts resemble one another,
ART AND MAN. 209
they may be related but there is less likelihood of it.
And hence if distant arts have resemblances to each
other, as for instance Pleistokene art, Bushman art,
and Arctic art, whilst they may be related, nevertheless
the chances are greater that they are of separate
growth and that there is a different autochthonous
origin for each, than if they were close together.
When one considers how many decidedly locally
individual arts there are, it seems as if there must have
been multiple centers of creation. Art must have been
a genuine autochthonous growth among the Pleistokenes.
Without laying down any dictum that it was entirely
autochthonous anywheres else, it would seem as if it
must have been of native growth among the Sumerians,
the Egyptians, the Egeans, the Hindus, the Chinese,
the Bushmen, the Arctics, the Africans, the Austral-
asians, the Amerinds. Art may not have been entirely
autochthonous in all these cases, and it may have been
autochthonous in other cases than these, but it seems
probable that art started practically independently in a
number of places, and that there are some eleven or
more great racial arts, each with more or less numerous
subdivisions, rather than one single homogeneous art.
But all these arts proceed from the same art instinct
and art impulse, and in that sense therefore, art is one.
I may be wrong in my opinion, but the more I
compare the various arts, the more local do they seem
to me. Art seems to grow in many centers, that is
people in any given locality, when uninfluenced by
others, are apt to develop certain original forms of
purely local art, which, however, are branches of the
art of their own race and are not widely differentiated
from it. In the case of arts such as Mavan art or
210 ART AND MAN.
even Zimbabwe art, in the absence of other evidence
I should incline to the opinion that they grew up
on the spot in answer to the local art impulse, and
did not come to their abode from without. In almost
all the arts, it is impossible to specify exactly when,
where or how they started: possibly, however, it was in
a number of places thruout their habitat. Difficult as
these problems are, my own belief is, that unless the
intrusive connection of an art can be clearly and
definitely traced, the balance of probability is that art
is local rather than intrusive.
Nevertheless it is a fact that the greater arts filtered
gradually over larger and larger spaces. Whether they
started in one spot or in many, some of the great arts
certainly spread from their starting points and descended
or traveled to other races than their inventors: in
some cases they went half way round the globe. There
are indeed two movements among the arts; a historical
movement, which is vertical, in time; a geographical
movement, which is horizontal, in space.
In examining into the undoubtedly genuine historical
and geographical movements of various arts, it is well,
however, to be on one's guard and not to be carried
away beyond the bounds of plausibility. As an example,
let us see where a too firm behef in intrusive art may
land us. Take Mayan art. It has been argued that
Mayan art comes from the Hindu Buddhistic art of
Boro-Buddur.* It has also been argued that Hindu
art sprang from Greek art.f If we add these two
opinions together, we reach logically the conclusion that
the frightful Mayan skulls and snakes are the direct
* Arnold, C, and Frost, F. J. T.: The American Egypt, 1909.
t Theodore Duret: Critiques d' Ava7it Garde.
ART AND MAN.
Fio. 2(). Prehistoric pottery jar, Peru.
212 ART AND MAN.
descendants of the Hermes of Praxiteles and the Victory
of Samothrace. Is not this a redudio ad absurdum el
horrendum? Incidentall3% in mentioning the "Victory,"
it may be permitted to suggest how admirably that
beautiful fragment, with the head gone, the arms
smashed, and generally "busted," does tj^pify "a
Historical art evidence shows that art appears in
certain places and then dies out. Pleistokene art,
Sumerian art, Assyrian art, Egyptian art, Zimbabwe
art, Mayan art, each had its birth, hfe and death. As
an example, take Egean art. Some six thousand years
ago or thereabouts, an art developed in Crete and
Greece. As far as can be gathered from the hmited,
imperfect sets of specimens now accessible in museums,
this art does not quite resemble any other. There
doubtless were ideas brought to Crete, the lost Atlantis,
from Egypt and Asia Minor. Nevertheless Egean art
is a European art, not a West Asiatic nor an Egyptian
art. While we cannot say at present that Egean art is
a direct descendant of Pleistokene art, we can say that
it is the ancestor of Greek art and the forerunner of
American art. The logical conclusion is that it was
born among the natives of Crete and Greece and was
not imported from elsewhere. This can not perhaps as
yet be laid down as a positive fact: it can only be
said that the balance of probabihties is that it is so.
Not only does art grow up in certain places and
then die out, but it sometimes repeats the process,
possibly several times. This is notably the case in
Egypt where, according to Dr. Fhnders Petrie,* art has
* The Revolutions of Civilization, 1911.
ART AND MAN. 213
gone through no less than eight successive periods
during the past seven thousand years. The last wave
of art in Egypt was Arab, the preceding wave was
Greco-Roman, and both were clearly intrusive arts,
differing fundamentally from Egyptian art. But, altho
some e.xtraneous influences doubtless came in from
Crete and from western Asia, the earlier periods were
true Egyptian, and show that Egyptian art was born,
matured, went into decrepitude, and sprouted afresh
in consecutive cycles. That is to say the original
Egyptian art was a local art which kept rising and
falling until finally it was superseded by the art of
invading conquering races who put their heel on the
neck of the subjugated Egyptians.
Japanese prints are another striking instance of an
art which started, grew up, matured and faded away
in its own habitat. The principles of design, line, color,
etc., in these prints were all taken directly from Japanese
painting, but the printing processes in color were new.
Japanese prints went thru a regular cycle between about
1670 A. D. and 1868 A. D. This cycle is not unlike the
V or spiel of Lohengrin, so aptly described by BerUoz as a
chef d'ceuvre. It starts piano, then goes up crescendo to
a great forte, then dies away piano. It began with the
black and white work in long sweeping calligraphic
lines of Moronobu, Kiyonobu and others; evolved, with
Harunobo and Koriusai among the leaders, into two and
three color prints; then developed into the polychrome
prints of many such great designers as Utamaro, Toyo-
kuni I., Kiyonaga and Kuniyoshi, reaching its highest
point perhaps in the startling heads of Sharaku;
finally it passed into the more three dimensional
landscapes and the more broken picturesque lines
214 ART AND MAN.
and cruder colors of Hokusai and the two Hiroshiges.
After this, this beautiful local art temporarily died out.
At the present time a new cycle has been started and
may be it will mature. But it will be a different crop
from the former one. For the old Nippon, the life, the
customs, the costumes, that is the inspirations both
internal and external, have gone.
As an instance of an art movement in time and space,
that is as a historical-geographical movement in art,
take the art of Europe after Neolithic times. Without
saying that art grew up in Crete and Greece absolutely
of its own accord, yet Egean art certainly mainly origi-
nated there, and it is one of the two most vital lineal
ancestors of European art. Greek art is surely a
descendant, by renascence, of Cretan-Mykenian art.
The art of the Latin races was derived mainly from that
of Greece. This modified Greek art, under Roman
domination, was carried into North Africa, Syria, Gaul,
Britain, Germany and Spain. Roman art was super-
seded by Byzantine art which spread over most of
Europe and in a modified form is still found in Russia.
From Byzantine art there sprang in the early Middle
Ages in Italy, France and the Low Countries another
living art, Gothic art, which was largely a genuine racial
rebirth of White Mediterranean race art. Still later
many artists turned to Greece and Rome for their inspir-
ation and grafted on Gothic art much of the art culture
of Greece, so that even today the sculpture of Greece
stands to a great extent as the foundation of modern
European and American sculpture.
Colored tiles also afford an interesting example of
historical-geographical movement in art. Tile making
undoubtedly goes back to Sumeria and early Egypt. It
AET AND MAN". 215
was a very early industry in China, to which it may or
may not have come from western Asia. It remained over
in Assyria and Persia. It was inherited by the Arabs, and
brought by them from Egypt and Arabia in their con-
quest of North Africa and Spain. And from the Moors
of southern Spain the Spaniards learnt how to make
tiles. Now the Dutch have long been and still are
amongst the best makers of colored tiles. It is claimed
by some persons that the Dutch got their taste for tiles
from the Chinese, with whom they were trading already
in the seventeenth century A. D. It seems quite as
hkely, however, that the Dutch learnt this art from the
Spaniards in the times when Charles the Fifth was their
ruhng sovereign. At any rate, before the American Revo-
lution, Hollanders and Germans brought the methods of
manufacturing colored tiles to Pennsylvania, where this
art has now been revived. That is to say, tile making,
starting from its fountain heads in Babylonia, Egypt
and China, has traveled and spread thence over a great
part of the civiUzed world.
Sometimes two or more arts have succeeded each
other in one spot. Thus Egyptian art entirely died out
and first Greco-Roman then Arab art wholly superseded
it. Australasian art and Amerind art are both, unfort-
unately, on their last legs, and are vanishing before
European art. That is to say, the art of one race in
any locahty may in time completely disappear before
the art of another race in the same locahty. In the case
of the Australasian and Amerind arts they have not so
much died out, as been killed.
For an instance of the geographical spread of art,
take Arab art. This arose probably first in Arabia and
Egypt. Then as the Arabs went west and east, thru
216 ART AND :\rAN.
North Africa into Spain, and thru Persia into Hindu-
stan, they took their art with them together with their
rehgion among the conquered peoples. With the driving
back of the Arabs to their own lands, the limits of Arab
art, after having once half encircled the globe, grew less
and today its only vitaUty is in lands where Muham-
meddanism still holds sway. It has left no descendants
to spring anew from its roots, altho on account of certain
beauties, faint imitations sometimes appear in other lands.
To some extent, physical geography has had an effect
on art in helping or hindering it in moving from place
to place. Oceans, mountains, deserts, have in some cases
acted as barriers to art expansion. In all such cases,
however, natural obstructions have acted on art because
they have acted as obstructions to men. Where races
have gone and taken their commerce with them they
have also taken their art. Apparently the only absolute
obstacle to art before the time of the Vikings was the
Atlantic Ocean, and it seems entirely correct to call the
Atlantic Ocean the boundary line of art. Art started at
the Atlantic Ocean in Pleistokene times: art stopped at
the Atlantic Ocean in historic Amerind times. Art
crossed the Northern Pacific Ocean on its eastward
journej'^: art never crossed the Atlantic Ocean before the
Vikings. Twelve years ago I felt doubtful of this, but
much examination of many specimens has gradually led
me to feel that the evidences are overwhelming that the
Atlantic was an impassable barrier to art until the White
race began to explore and to colonize.
An exceedingly interesting point in comparative art,
and one which, I believe, has not been seen as yet by
either ethnologist or art critic, is that the rebirths of
art chronologically, except possibly in one instance, in
ART AND MAX. 217
space are eastward. The oldest art known is the
Pleistokene art from the Acheuleen strata of. France
and England. This may easily be more than 100,000
years old. The later Pleistokene art of Western Europe
may be perhaps somewheres between 50,000 to 15,000
years old. The next oldest art centers known, are
Crete, Egypt, and the Euphrates valley, where art has
been traced back some 7,000 years. To the eastward
again, we come to the great art center of China, where
Chinese historic or legendary evidences points to art
dating back some 5,000 years. Further east we come
to Australasia and to America, where there is no
evidence showing that there is an}^ art more than
5,000 years old, except the one drawing found at Vero,
Florida,* which may be Pleistokene, and which there-
fore may be many thousand years old. But the status
of this drawing is still too imcertain for scientific deduction
to be made safely from it. We are not speaking here of
what may have taken place, for some arts may be older
than we now have any idea of. We are only estimating
roughly the dates, from such specimens and historical
data as are now accessible; and these estimates may need
revision at any minute, in the light of fresh discoveries.
It must not be understood, however, that all art has
invariably spread from west to east. Sometimes, as
with Arab art, the move has been westward as well as
eastward, or, as with Egean art, the move has been
westward. And it may be noted here that the bull
fight has followed much the same line as Egean art.
It appears first in Crete, in legend as the Minotaur,
then it revived in Italy, France, Portugal and Spain,
from which it crossed the Atlantic to Peru and Mexico.
* Fig. 24.
218 ART AND MAN.
The trend of art eastward in time means that as far
as we know art appears first in central western Europe;
then in Egypt, Crete and the Euphrates valley; then in
eastern Asia, southern Asia and America; and last in
Africa and Australasia. It may be that art is older
than we know in some of these places, but our knowl-
edge is still too limited to formulate more than pre-
And in this move of art from west to east, from
Great Britain and France to Labrador, there is a fact of the
greatest importance, which so far as I know, except for a
few lines in Comparative Art has never been discussed
seriously as yet. This is gradation. Art gradates every-
where, in space and in time. There are no sharp demark-
ations, no hard and fast boundaries. Thruout the
whole world there is a distinct gradation in art. The
arts of neighboring places, at about the same time,
even if they belong to different races, often show
resemblances; they seem to slide into each other more or
less as the result of propinquity. For instance Egyptian
and Babylonian arts show resemblances; Hindu and
Chinese arts gradate into each other in Nepal, Tibet
and Burma; Australasian art characteristics appear to
some extent in eastern Asia, Japan, and Alaska; West
North Amerind art is in close touch with Mexican art,
etc. In brief, all arts gradate into those near by, that
is there is a sideways geographical movement in art.
There is also a gradation in many arts, from those
before or into those after them, consecutively in time;
that is there is often a historical gradation in art. For
an instance, we may cite Egean, Greek, Roman, Byzan-
tine, Gothic, and Modern European art.
In any one locality at any one period of its his-
ART AND MAN. 219
tory a certain type of art predominates. This may
change as the centuries roll by and even several times,
but it is not cataclysmically. An art is not wiped out
in any spot by an art-quake, unless its makers are
wiped out, as apparently happened in Crete-Atlantis.
Art sometimes dies out and is gradually superseded by
another art. But as long as its own makers survive
it dies hard. The racial art instinct keeps it alive.
Equally at any one time, you do not find any one art
absolutely dwelling in only one locaUty. It radiates all
around. There is a transitional belt. At one and the
same time there may be and usually there are great
differences between the arts of two distant locahties,
but between these two, arts may be said to gradate
the one into the other: that is starting from either end,
art keeps decreasing in resemblance from the art at
that end, until it does not look in the least like it.
This is again one of those facts which can only be
stated in general terms.
If there is any one set of facts which shows beyond all
others that there are several arts, it is that the peoples
of Europe made naturalistic art; the peoples of Asia,
naturaUstic and decorative art; the peoples of Africa,
Australasia and America, decorative art. If there is
any one set of facts which shows that art is one, it is
gradation. And if we look on Europe as the geographi-
cal hub, we find consecutive gradation along big Unes
to the tire in Africa, Australasia and America. And
this gradation of art, geographically sideways and his-
torically downwards, is important, because, altho there
are many local arts which show individuaUty and
separateness, yet the gradation of art points to the
oneness of art as a whole.
220 ART AND MAN.
According to the evidences of the fine arts also, as
far as now known, in prehistoric and historic time,
art started in Europe and moved or was recreated to
the eastward and to the southward. And it is a point
of great ethnological significance unnoticed apparently
so far. For some anthropologists have held and doubt-
less still hold that man came from a sunken continent,
the so called Lemuria, near Java and beyond, and that
he spread from Lemuria to Asia, Europe, Africa and
America, by a fan shaped migration. But art contra-
dicts almost directly this anthropological theory that
man came and spread from Lemuria, for art develops
in a contrary direction. Again other anthropologists
claim that man spread from Central Asia into Europe,
Africa, Australasia and America. But while art does not
contradict this theory as directly as it does the Lemur-
ian theory, it distinctly contradicts it in regard to the
spread of man from Asia into Europe. In art the hub
is in Europe; and art moved along the spokes into Asia,
Africa, Australasia and America.
AKT AND MAN.
Fig. 27. Wooden figure. Karaja tribe, Brazil.
222 ART AND MAN.
ART AND RELIGION.
The various beliefs in and worships of higher powers,
of the supernatural, the superphysical, the occult, the
unknown, the unseen, the mysterious, by different races,
are dignified by then- beUevers and their worshipers
under the name of reUgion, and are sneered at by their
unbehevers under the name of superstition. In this
book the term "reUgion" is used to designate and must be
understood to include all beUefs, faiths and worships.
Heathen and Pagan, Christian, Buddhist, Muhammedan,
Zoroastrian, Shinto and others, of all peoples past and
present, in all parts of the world.
The relations of art and reUgion need especial con-
sideration in comparative art, because many ethnolo-
gists and art critics at present appear to put the cart
before the horse in regard to the effect of reUgion on
art. Some of them at any rate seem to be of the
opinion that reUgious beUefs are fundamental in the
making of an artist; that great art flourishes only when
reUgious beUef is also swajdng a race; and that the
sculptures of primitive peoples are invariably idols.
These views seem to me to be wrong, and often to lead
to misconceptions about the art of many races of men.
The relations of the various beUefs, faiths and wor-
ships to art are identical in kind if not in degree. That
they have had ^dde reaching effects on the fine arts is
unquestionable. But they have not affected them in the
least in the way ethnologists, art critics and the laity
ART AND MAN. 223
think they have. Religion has affected art in one point
and one point only and that is subject. And it has
affected subject thru patronage. ReUgion says "I want
an art work of a certain subject, and I will pay you
hard cash for it" and the artist answers "I am poor
and must make the pot boil; and I will paint you a
picture of any old subject if you will hand me enough
filthy lucre!" This crude statement lacks Uterary ele-
gance, but it covers perfectly the business relations of
art and religion.
ReUgious beUefs or faiths are certainly not funda-
mental in the make up of an artist. This is proved
thru the simple fact that artistic children scribble off
pictures long before they have any reUgious ideas what-
ever. The artists who turn to reUgious subjects do so
when they have left the childish age, when they are at
least somewhat grown up. They may be still young
when they begin to produce pictures of reUgious con-
cepts, when they first attempt to make beUefs in con-
crete form visible to others, but they are no longer
children. Children draw houses, or horses, or other
things they have seen: they do not draw saints.
Religious pictures are subject pictures: they are not
motive pictures: they do not spring from something the
artist himself has seen. It is not the external world
which moves the artist, it is not nature which appeals
to his esthetic side to paint reUgious pictures: that is
it is not the fundamental mainspring of art which is
acting on him. Artists paint or sculpt because they
have the glyptic art sense and the desire to make
pretty things: the two forces which are ahead of aU
others in impelUng the artist. ReUgious beUefs are
ideas: they are not visible to the eye: they do not
224 ART AND :^rAN.
spring from vision. Ideas are most suitably expressed
in the spoken or written word. And therefore it is that
all great religious teachers and reformers, and also all
the lesser Ughts of all sects and denominations, turned
to oratory or to writing, not to sculpture or to paint-
ing, to carry out their mission. And if the religious
beliefs of artists were more overpowering than thcii'
esthetic sense, they would do likewise.
Religious i)ictui'('s aic icall>' illiistiatioiis: they arc
illustrations of a subject which tlie arti.st never has
seen. Usually the artist receives his subject as an
order: that is it is a business transaction. (Ten per-
cent off for cash. Artists, like other human beings,
must eat.) He thinks out the most picturesque
arrangement he can, in other words he tries to see a
picture in the subject ordered, but he also has to
follow the recognized conventions of that particular
subject. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he does
not, but in all cases the picture is a composition follow-
ing to some extent a formula. This is tantamount to
saying that it is patronage which prompts artists to
execute works of religious art. And among the various
forms of patronage there is none of greater importance
to art than rehgious patronage. For if there is a ruling
church, and if this wants works of art, artists naturally
paint or sculpt them for the sake of their liveUhood.
That religion is a patronage force in art can be
exempUfied by comparing the development of one art,
say modern European art, in different countries. In
Spain, for instance, in the last three centuries, altho
we find some fine naturaUsm with Velasquez, Goya
and Fortuny as the great masters, the chief output
of art was the religious painting done for churches and
ART AND MAN. 225
convents. Among its leaders were Murillo, Ribera and
Zurbaran. And the simple reason these artists made
their living by painting and sculpting crucifixions and
madonnas and saints was because the ruUng church in
Spain not only admitted paintings and sculptures to its
buildings, but paid to have them. The reUgious
pictures and sculptures of Spain, in studio English,
are simply potboilers.
The same thing may be said of ItaUan art, with
the exception perhaps of some Venetian art. From the
Pisanos and Cimabue, down to Tiepolo at least, the
artists sculpted and painted principally religious subjects,
for the same reason as in Spain, namely that the
church paid for their work.
A not quite similar example is furnished by the art
of Greece. The Greeks built beautiful temples and
adorned them with beautiful sculptures. And their
nude and draped figures they called Zeus and Hermes
and Aphrodite and Psyche. But these can be called
by any other name and remain perfect results of art
expression in sculptural form. For the human form
was a motive, not a subject to the Greeks. There is
nothing rehgious or irreligious in the figure of a nude
human, but there are the strongest sculptural and
pictorial possibilities. And the Greeks, with as refined
a sense of form as was ever possessed by humans,
seized on these sculptural possibilities and made their
In Holland, on the contrary, in the seventeenth
century A. D., there was a very different status for the
fine arts. Not only did the ruling church in Holland not
pay for pictures or sculptures, but it did not tolerate
them in its buildings, and the zeal of its adherents
226 ART AND MAN.
went so far that, if I am not mistaken, in some cases
these iconoclasts smashed the works of art that had
come down to them from earUer times. The artists
therefore naturally turned in other directions for
patronage thru which to boil the pot, to portraiture,
to genre, to animal pictures, to landscape, and their
output, both in quahty and quantity, was of such a
character that the seventeenth century in Holland must
be looked on as one of the great art epochs of all times.
And this great Dutch art, the art of Rembrandt, Hals,
Van der Heist, de Hooge, Potter, Cuyp, Metzu,
Vermeer, Hobbema, Ruysdael, was not inspired by
religion at all. It was inspired by the love of some
men for drawing and painting, and it was influenced
from the potboiling standpoint l)y the bourgeois element
of its patrons into painting the draped people and the
home life they saw around them.
Perhaps the most pertinent example of all which
can be cited to show that art is not the child of
religion is the European-American art of the nineteenth
and twentieth centuries. Can anyone contend that this
is based on reUgion? Look at its leaders in sculpture,
in painting, and in architecture. Constable, Turner,
Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Manet, Bargue, Rude, Car-
peaux, Rodin, Meryon, Bocklin, Fortuny, Gilbert Stuart,
Winslow Homer, Eakins: there are hundreds of dead
and living artists who are great in sculpture or paint-
ing, but not of religious subjects. Architects no longer
expend their efforts on cathedrals: it is skyscrapers and
railroad stations on which they strive: naturally
enough, since it is no longer the church which spreads
the butter on their bread.
That religion in art is a patronage force, can be
ART AND MAN. 227
seen in some cases in the work of individual artists.
Take Rubens, for instance. Among his best pictures
are his portraits of himself, of his master and wife,*
of draped Isabel Brandt, and nude Helene Fourment.
To order, that is as potboilers, he painted the series
of the wedding of Henry IV and Marie de Medicis
in the Louvre. To order also, he painted numerous
pictures of religious subjects, of which the splendid
"Descent from the Cross" at Antwerp is perhaps the
most famous. Can anyone maintain that it was
religion which inspired Rubens? If so, let them com-
pare his works, and they will find his portraits, or his
nude ladies, or his suffering saints, all painted and
handled in the same way. When he had a chance of
raking in an honest penny he simply did so.
The fact that many of the best artists, figure,
animal and landscape men, have never shown the
slightest sign of religious expression in their works is
one of the most patent proofs that religion is not the
original underlying force in art. Nevertheless a number
of artists have been sufficiently at one with their
reUgious beliefs to devote their fives to illustrating
them. And it is those men who have produced perhaps
the sweetest and most charming works of religious art.
Among such real believers Giotto and Fra Angelico
stand out as most perfect examples. And the one at
Assisi and the other at Florence, have left us those
naive and exquisite evidences of things not seen which
are unsurpassed in art.
Among primitive races the relations between art and
religion are almost identical with those among advanced
* Boston Mus. F. A. 1911.
228 ART AND MAN.
races. That it is the elementary art instinct, not a
mystical train of thought, which is primarily responsible
for the conception in the concrete of sculptural, pictor-
ial and decorative art objects among primitive races,
can be inferred to some extent from the art of artistic
European children. Anyone can find in his own circle
some young children who hke to draw pictures, and can
find further that they always work from their immature
unconscious observation of nature, unbiased and unham-
pered by any philosophical or religious ideas whatever.
Now primitive peoples are in many ways Hke children,
sufficiently so at any rate as to make it certain that their
art comes from the same source as children's art, namely
the nascent esthetic sense, undisturbed by extraneous ideals.
It is frequently accepted, however, as a rule without
any real examination of the matter, that the art of
primitive races is based on religion. This is shown by the
fact that almost all writers, whether in scientific works,
or books of travel, or novels, speak of any sculpted
humans by primitive peoples as idols. Whether they
mention Negro or Maori carvings, or Inca potteries,
or even Hindu Buddhas, the word "idol" pops in imme-
diately. This idea that the sculptures of humans by
Yellow or Bro^^'n or Black races are inevitably idols is
doubtless due to thoughtlessness, but at any rate it is
universal among the European nations, and their feehng
is well expressed in the lines of Bishop Heber "the
heathen in his blindness, bows down to wood and stone."
It is probable that, misled by this notion, missionaries,
who naturally delve into the reUgious ideas of primitive
peoples while as a rule neglecting their arts, foist on to
primitive art all sorts of meanings of which the poor
primitive artists were quite innocent.
ART AND MAN". 229
But since much and usually the best art has no
mj^stical significance, it is all wrong for the Europeans
to blindh^ label and frequently libel all figures made by
non European races as idols. If writers would drop the
reckless use of the term "idol" and substitute therefore the
term "doll," often they would approximate more nearly to
the truth. The best commentary on this subject I know
of is the inscription attached to an early Greek grotesque
terra cotta statuette in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Years ago someone lal)elled this particular figurine "doll
or idol," and the label has remained as an unconscious
recognition of the fact that many so called idols are
nothing of the kind, but are really dolls, that is figures
made to amuse small or grown up chidren, and also of
the fact that the mystical significance attributed to the
dolls is often a pure assumption, based on nothing but
Some primitive sculptures, indeed a good many of
them, however, are objects of veneration or worship,
and these may be called idols. But one should be sure
of this before damning them thus mth contemptuous
intolerance. And there is one way by which to tell,
with some probability of accuracy, whether a primitive
human figure should be looked on as a doll or an idol.
If a figurine is somewhat unique, if it is somewhat unhke
other figurines, if it has some sculptural and realistic
traits, if it is not one of many with identical traits, there
is likelihood that it is an attempt at art pure and simple,
based on nature as taken in thru the sense of vision,
and if badly done, it may be termed a doll. But if a
figurine is one of a class, if there are many figurines
similar in pose, in the parts indicated or laid on as orna-
ments, and especially if this class of figurine is found
230 ART AND MAN.
over a large extent of country, then there is some prob-
ability that this figurine is symbolic, that it was intended
to represent some mythical personage, that it may have
been connected with some form of worship, and there-
fore there is some justification in speaking of it as an idol.
The White race is sometimes astute and sometimes
it is purblind in art criticism. Greek sculptures, for
instance, are seldom spoken of as idols, and this shows
discernment. Nor is the term applied to sculptures or
paintings in the edifices of any White race religious
bodies, except with the intent of casting a slur on
these. But this slur is handed out to primitive
figurines with singular unanimity. Undoubtedly many
primitive figurines are idols. But so are many figurines
of advanced races. The anthropomorphic conception of
deities is widespread, and art has been called on in
many places to embody it in visible form.
Religion has done both harm and good to art.
Some religions have handcuffed artists and curtailed art
by frowning down on or by forbidding the use of
certain motives. In Arab art, for instance, the human
face and figure, the motives which appeal especially to
most artists, were entirely excluded by Muhammed.
Here therefore is a religion which restricts art tremend-
ously, by simply not allowing the use of the most vital
of all art motives.
ReUgions, because they are moneyed patrons of the
fine arts, dictate subjects, and in their choice of subjects
often they do not recognize the need of beauty in art,
and to carry out the subject, too frequently alas the
idea of beauty must be abandoned. Most of the
horrors in art are religious horrors. In European art,
blood, burnings, tortures of saints, crucifixions, are
ART AND MAN. 231
favorite subjects. Personally I fail to see anything
specially beautiful, or elevating, or moral, in a man
being cooked on a gridiron, or in another man being
stuck full of arrows. Among Tibetan and South
Asiatic pictures, many are unpleasant representations of
hell and devils. In India, there are all sorts of beastly
statues, some with snakes around them. In Guatemala
and Honduras, the priestly creeds in some way led to
artists sculpting mainly snakes and skulls.
Rehgion casts also a most benumbing influence on
art in that it is the great foster mother of convention-
ality. This can be seen in the rehgious artg of Europe,
of Egypt, of western Asia, of southern Asia, of Central
America, etc. Forms and subjects become stereotyped.
The churches demand certain conventional subjects
carried out in certain conventional ways, and art and
artists invariably suffer in freshness and originahty from
a monotonous repetition of certain subjects. Liberty
is just as important in art as in any other phase of
existence, that is if there is to be the sUghtest individ-
uaUty, advance, change, progress or improvement.
But in many ways religion has done good to art.
It has done good principally thru its patronage, thru
its demand bringing forth the artistic supply. The
influence of rehgion on art has been largely commercial.
Many an artist has earned his living and shaped his
output because there were funds freely spent to carry
out rehgious subjects. The Van Eycks, Memhng,
Murillo, and many other European painters; the
builders of the Gothic cathedrals and those of the
Egyptian temples; numerous Asiatic painters of Bud-
dhist subjects; and many other artists of various races
were helped and fostered by their church and their
232 ART AND MAX.
religion. And many beautiful works of art have they
left us which would certainly never have been produced
had it not been for the needs and the determination
of the various churches to make visible their creeds and
their historic incidents. And as one thinks of all the
wonderful art works which religious patronage has
fostered, it certainly seems as if the good far surpassed
the harm which religion has done to art.
ART AND MAN. 233
THE RANK OF ARTS.
In a consideration of the arts of the world there
are certain points which thrust themselves to the fore.
How many arts are there, what are their qualities,
what resemblances and differences are there between
them, are among the questions which demand priority
of response. Certain other points hang back, and
among the Ungerers are how much better or worse is
one art than another and what are the relative merits
of all the arts? And while a student of comparative
art would certainly Uke to know which are the best
arts and which are the poorest arts and whether a
definite rank can be assigned to the various arts
thruout the world, it must be remembered that in any
discussion about art "de gustibus non est disputandum"
is always an important precept to bear in mind and in
none is it more important than in an attempt to
determine the relative rank of all the arts. For when
all is said and done, art is a matter of taste.
How persons may feel about art may perhaps be
hinted at by chance verdicts given on two occasions
by educated Americans. One of these men, a director
of one of our art museums, once said that if you saw
something particularly hideous, a Japanese would be
sure to admire it. The other man, a highly successful
physician, on seeing a very pretty Japanese color print
by Utamaro, pretended to feel quite ill and said the
woman seemed to be smelling onions. Now these men,
of course, would rank East Asiatic art as nowhere and
234 ART AND IMAN.
non existent. And while one might criticize them by
saying that a cat can look at a king and a jackass
can look at a picture but that he should not bray
about it, yet their remarks tend to show that any
attempt at assigning any relative rank to any art is at
best only an individual opinion and one which could
not be verified and which would certainly not be
Whatever lack of appreciation was shown in these
criticisms of the poor yellow artists by superior ( !) white
critics, at any rate they had the merit of being genuine.
And genuine criticism is rare. The majority of the
pubUc certainly does not criticize by an independent
exercise of their faculties so much as by remembering
what they have read or what they have been taught
about art. In fact the Chinese proverb "pictures are
mostly judged thru the ear" conveys an immense deal
of truth about the average criticism.
According to a widely spread popular notion, art,
to be good, must come up to a so called standard.
About this supposed standard people, including artists,
are most hazy: corner them and they cannot answer.
And the reason is really very simple: there is no
standard: the popular notion is a fallacy. And that
there cannot be any fixed standard about art may be
shown by an illustration. Good work and bad work
have been produced in two dimensional arts and also
in three dimensional arts. But how could any one
gauge two dimensional art by three dimensional art
canons. It cannot be done because they are different
The so called standards of art have certainly done
much harm to European art for the past two hundred
ART AND MAN. 235
years, by retarding its evolution, by conventionalizing it
and by frequently keeping in poverty artists of merit.
Exhibitions have been handed over to a so called jury
composed of a dozen or so of artists who arbitrarily
decided what should or should not be shown to the
pubhc. The matter was left to their preferences and
their prejudices. The art works and even their makers
must suit the jury: anything or anybody which did
not please the jury was anathema. And hundreds of
young and talented artists have suffered from this
iniquitous foolishness. In the last century Delacroix,
Millet, Corot, Rousseau, Manet, Monet, for instance,
for years saw their works either rejected or skied by
hostile older men.
There was an exhibition a few years ago in New
York, which, for the first time in America, was based
on the correct idea of exhibiting what artists are
actually doing, good, bad and indifferent. This was
the exhibition where the works of Cubists and Futurists
appeared for the first time, and which may be remem-
bered by a canvas entitled "Nude descending a stair-
case." In this exhibition the paintings were not
required to come up to an artificial standard. And it
was the first American exhibition, therefore, which was
really fair. For when men are working to produce art
works for their bread and butter, it is most unfair to
prevent them from bringing out their works because
certain other men do not approve of them. And
moreover, anyone interested in art wants to know what
actually is being done and not merely what comes up
to the conventionalizing standard of academic uni-
formity. The breadth of feeling of artists about such
a genuine innovation, however, was well expressed by a
236 AKT AXD MAN.
well-known miniature painter, who said with savage
emphasis of the Cubists and Futurists in that first
exhibition "I should like to kill them all."
The taste of various races is so different, the taste
of various individuals is so different, that perforce there
are thousands upon thousands of opinions about art.
It is rare for any two persons to agree thoroly about
the merits of numerous works of art of one kind; it
would be rarer still for two persons to agree thoroly
about the relative merits of works of art of different
kinds. In nothing more than in art is it true that
"one man's meat is another man's poison." And
when one thinks of the many races who have made
art, Pleistokenes, Greeks, Eg>'ptians, Hindus, Chinese,
Australasians and others, and how varied those arts
are. and how they evidently answer to the taste and
suit tlie needs of their makers, it seems as if any
fixing of the rank of arts is an impossible task.
To hazard some opinions, nevertheless. Of the
Europeans and the East Asiatics, we can say that their
mental attitude towards art, their way of looking at
things and their technic are entirely different; and that
these facts tend to prove that, as far as can be judged,
European art and East Asiatic art are independent and
autochthonous. But this does not help in the least
towards ranking either of these great arts as a whole
ahead of the other.
The Europeans and East Asiatics apparently should
rank side by side as the greatest painters. Both these
arts seek form. European art tends to light and shade;
East Asiatic to color. The best works of each have some
of the special qualities of the other. When European
art is most imitative and i-oalistio, it is rarely at its best.
ART AND MAN. 237
When East Asiatic art is too unnaturalistic it sometimes
becomes vapid. When either of these arts includes ideal-
ized form and color, as with Europeans the works of Rem-
brandt and Turner, and among East Asiatics the works
of some of the Sung and Ming and of some Japanese
painters, then we can only say that in both cases
painting seems to have reached its topmost pinnacle.
The Greeks are, perhaps, the greatest sulptors.
Their genius ran mainly to form and their art is based
principally on the nude human figure idealized. Never-
theless when one thinks of the life and action of some
East Asiatic sculptures, of the reahsm of the West
Asiatic Goudeas in the Louvre, of the repose and
dignity of some Egyptian statues, and of the sterling
quality of some Modern European figures such as
the "King Arthur" of Peter Visscher at Innsbruck,
one hesitates about giving any dogmatic opinion based,
after all, on individual taste.
The more one studies many arts also, the more does
one's taste change and with it one's opinion of their
relative merits. The more one studies the arts of
primitive races, the more does one like at least some
of their work. Some of the work of some of the
primitive races is certainly better than some of the
work of more advanced races. Some Pleistokene
paintings surely have merits which, to our eyes, are
lacking in some Egyptian paintings. Some African and
Australasian decorations have color qualities not usually
found in ordinary European decorations. In fact when
it comes to assigning any relative rank to the arts of
the world, it seems as if the most accurate statement
is to say that it is impossible to do so.
Art might be compared to a great banquet replete
238 ART AND MAN.
with rare viands and nectars to tickle the palate,
each of which has its separate flavor. Oysters, mush-
room soup, shad, broiled chicken, asparagus, terrapin,
camembert, ice cream, coffee. Chateau Yquem, Roederer,
White Rock, for instance, might be mentioned as dishes
and drinks pleasing to some palates. One man might
prefer rock fish and madeira: another turkey and
claret: tastes about food differ! But how could any-
one decide which individual preference was right?
Some like one thing, some another! You cannot assign
any definite rank to the various courses: you cannot
say which is better and which is best. In the same
way it seems as if art presented all the elements of a
feast for the eye and the emotions. The personal
taste, the environment, the training and other factors
would affect the judgment of those looking at art,
and if they judged honestly according to their prefer-
ences and expressed honestly their judgments, these
would be endless in their number and variety. The
rational opinion in regard to the rank of arts is that it
is mainly optional.
ART AND MAN, 239
ART AND RACE.
Man is the only animal who has sculpted or
painted, and this is one of the traits diflferejitiating
him from other animals and putting him in a separate
class. The sculptures and paintings made by man
shed a great deal of light on his evolution, his ancestors,
his history, his relationships, and his divisions into
races. The earliest remaining sculptures and pictures
especially reveal a great deal about time in the evolution
of man. No one can say how long it took to evolve
man, because geology, paleontology and prehistoric
ethnology, at best, can give us only relative times:
they cannot tell the definite number of years. Com-
parative art equally can not give definite dates, but
it can and does tell that long, long ago men endowed
with great art faculties lived in south central Europe.
The direct evidence proves that by the middle Pleis-
tokene at least some men already had developed intel-
ligence, and it may therefrom safely be asserted that
the time during which man became perfected was an
extremely long one.
There is nothing in art, however, to show that
man was ever less a man than he is now. For we
know that the earliest sculptures and paintings which
have come down to us were made when man was
already full fledged, because there are stone imple-
ments and fossil human bones long antedating any
art works. Sculptures and paintings therefore do not
tell the whole story of man. They do not tell whether
all men evolved or descended from one common ances-
240 ART AND MAN.
tor in some definite locality, or whether men evolved
and descended from different ancestors in different
localities. Indeed already it may be said with some-
thing like finality that art comes too late in the history
of man to reveal a great deal about the origin of man.
But it does reveal a tremendous amount about the
development of man.
Art tells us many things about the psychic traits of
men in various parts of the world and it can assuredly
tell us many more about racial affiliations. Yet altho
we are still much in the dark about these, so far the evi-
dences of art have been consulted scarcely at all to see
what light they can shed on race. Some of the points
to be considered are as follows: Is art racial? Do the
great arts correspond with the great races? Does art
point to one or to several original races? Does simi-
larity or difference in art imply similarity or difference
in race? Or to put the matter in a still more general
form, what does art tell us of the evolution, ancestry and
relationships of mankind?
In the first place what do we mean by race? It is
accepted now, from the evidences of geology and of
paleontology, that the earliest types of life on the planet
were of a low order and that with successive geological
epochs higher types appeared. It is probably also
accepted now, from the evidence of comparative anat-
omy, that the structure and organs of man and of the
apes are identical and that the various races of today
are related to altho not descended from the apes.
Beyond this point authorities vary and there is much
difference of opinion and many theories about race. It
does not seem in the least agreed upon whether the races
of today all come from one stock or whether they
ART AND MAX. 241
descend from several stocks. In fact, not only is the
origin of races unknown, but the number of races is
uncertain, and moreover nobody can aught but guess
where the various races came from.
Several ways of grouping and dividing mankind have
been devised by scientists. Some have divided men
according to nationahty. Others have divided men
according to language. And undoubtedly there are
nations and hnguistic families among men. But if one
uses one's eyes, it is a patent fact that there are dif-
ferent kinds of men in the world. An Enghshman is
different from a Chinaman, and both are different from
a Hottentot. Even to the naked eye, there are dis-
tinctions in form and color. One can see that some
groups of men are tall, some short; that some men in
the color of their skin approximate to white, others to
yellow, others to brown, others to black; that some men
have straight black hair, others wavy hair of various
shades, others woolly hair, etc. To the mind also, there
are distinctions apparent in the mental traits and
impulses of the different kinds of men.
These anatomical, biological and psychical charac-
teristics are now increasingly accepted as the basic
attributes of race. It is understood that the political
divisions of mankind or nations and the linguistic
families do not necessarily correspond with race. A
race may be one nation or it may be divided poUtically
into several nations: a race may speak one language
or it may hold intercourse in numerous tongues. And
so it is coming about that the groups of men with
similar anatomical, biological and psychical character-
istics are becoming recognized as the ones deserving the
appellation of race.
242 ART AND MAN.
Now art is a product of humanity just as is nation-
ality or language. There are many arts, exactly as
there are many nations and many languages. And just
as the various nations and languages have been formed
by various bodies of men, so have the various arts been
fashioned by various bodies of men. Nations and lan-
guages unfortunately so seldom correspond with race that
they cannot be used with any certainty as criterions of
race. And it is therefore of importance to science to find
out how much the arts correspond to race because the
arts unquestionably offer many clues to race problems.
It is axiomatic that an artist is the product of his
own time and of his own environment. It should
be equally almost as axiomatic that an artist is
the product of his own race. For the evidences of the
fine arts unquestionably show that mental racial
characteristics play a large part both in the start and
in the growth of an artist and of his art. No artist,
without some sudden new external influence, starts out
and does something very different from his immediate
artistic forefathers and relatives. No Melanesian sud-
denly begins to paint kakemonos: no Amerind suddenly
abandons rectangles to draw circles. A Melanesian
or an Amerind continues to produce Melanesian or
Amerind art, unless some other art force, Chinese or
European or what not, intervenes, and compels some
new departure. That is to say, the art of any tribe,
of any set of persons in one locality, belongs to the
art of their race. White race artists instinctively pro-
duce a White race art. Yellow race artists a Yellow race
art, and so forth. A comparative study of art cer-
tainly warrants the assertion that original art is almost
invariably, perhaps invariably, racial.
ART AND MAN. 243
In two ways art may tell of the characteristics and the
relationships of mankind. One is in regard to the men-
tality, the other to the biology of man. Art tells fairly
clearly about the mental impulses and the psychical
traits of a race, that is it lets us know with some
accuracy the kind and degree of development of a race.
Art also places before us more or less fully and uncon-
sciously according to the racial ability for portraiture
the physical characteristics of a race, that is it opens
our eyes to some extent to the bodily appearance of
the units of a race.
When we find resemblances or differences among
arts, we must therefore look at these from two stand-
points: resemblances or differences in mentaUty and in
portraiture. Resemblances or differences in the kinds
and degrees of art tell fairly accui'ately whether races
are or are not mentally similar and in the same stage
of development: resemblances or differences in the por-
traiture of arts, that is in the sculptures or drawings
of humans, tell with some accuracy whether the physical
characteristics of the makers of various arts are similar
Similarity in kind and degree of art, that is in
mentality, does not necessarily imply similarity in
racial physique, that is in portraiture. If the arts
of two peoples are similar in kind it may be that the
races are related, but it may be also that they are
not related. But if any arts have even crude por-
traiture, this offers an almost infallible test as to
whether the makers are related by blood. In some
primitive arts, however, portraiture is so exceedingly
incipient that very little can be gleaned from it.
In many obvious cases, where we find similarit}'^ in
244 ART AXD MAX.
art, we find similarity in race; and where we find
difference in art, we find difference in race. For
instance, we know that the art of modern France is to
some extent similar to the art of old Rome; and we
know also that the French belong partly to the same
race as the Romans: this then is a case of a partial
similarity in art and a partial similarity in race.
Again we know that the art of modern France is
different from the art of old Mexico; and we know also
that the races of France and of old Mexico are different:
here then is a case of difference in art and difference
When we find similarity in the fine arts of two
geographically distant peoples, it clearly implies kinship
in their mental traits. When we find similarity in the
physical appearance of two geographically distant
peoples, it clearly impUes kinship by blood. When we
find similarity both in fine arts and in appearance, the
evidence seems overwhelming that these two geograph-
ically distant peoples are sprung from the same stock
and that one of them has become transplanted. In
support of these statements, I will cite some observa-
tions of my own. I had the pleasure on one occasion
of a long talk with Mene Wallace, an Eskimo from
Etah, North Greenland, who speaks English very well.
A rather short, strong, stocky man, his physique was
not in the least that of an Amerind. Moreover, his
face diverged wholly from the Amerind type face. It
resembled the Japanese face and what would, I sup-
pose, be called the Mongol face. Now there is no
doubt that most Eskimo art is unhke Amerind art
and, on the contrary, resembles closely some naturalistic
East Asiatic art. And the inference, it seems to me, is
ART AND -MAN. 245
obvious. The Eskimo are not related to the Amerinds,
but they are related to the Japanese, and perhaps to
some of the Chinese. And while we cannot say
definitely as yet that the Eskimo came to America from
Asia, still the balance of probabiUties is in favor of
this, because of the numbers of the Asiatic racial
relations of the Eskimo.
On the other hand, two or more races may be
physically different, while their mental development and
artistic instincts may be very similar. And compari-
sons show that in such cases races produce art which
is very similar altho not identical. As an instance,
consider the African, Australasian, and Amerind arts.
They might not improperly be termed one great
artistic family. These arts are principally decorative
pattern art, evincing a weak sense of form and a
great love of colors. These arts vary in many respects
from one another: they are never identical: their por-
traiture is wholly different: and moreover each one of
these arts itself varies locally everywhere. But these
arts each display an art instinct and art impulse
implying behind them much the same mental power
and mental traits: in other words, there is great
similarity, tho no identity between them. Now we
know positively that the races of Africa and America,
and that at least some of the races of Australasia and
America are physically different. Hence we must
logically conclude that similar arts do not necessarily
mean physical racial relationship; and also that races
may be entirely different physically and yet be suffi-
ciently similar mentally to produce arts similar in
kind and degree.
Influences extraneous to a race, however, occasion-
246 ART AND MAN.
ally bring about changes in an artist's work or even
in the art of a race. It is especially external forces
such as the conquest of one race by another that
sometimes causes art to depart from its original racial
basis. The effect of extraneous influences on art may
be exemplified in South and East Asiatic arts. In
Hindustan, China, Korea and Japan, we have four
countries, whose inhabitants are all Asiatics but who
belong to several separate races. Among the ancestors
of these several races there seems to have grown up
at some remote time a pattern decorative art, not
unUke Australasian art and which might be called
Early Asiatic art. About this Early Asiatic art we
are still much in the dark but, judging wholly from
our own observations, apparently such an art existed
in Asia east of Baluchistan in prehistoric times.
On this Early Asiatic art foundation, there grew up
in China, Korea and Japan the great East Asiatic
naturahstic art. According to legendary history, this
art started in China and spread to Korea and Japan.
In the last two countries it put forth branches varying
from the parent stem. Altho the makers apparently
belong to different races, yet we must remember that
they are all Asiatics and moreover East Asiatics. And
the ready acceptance and successful fruition of Chinese
naturalistic art especially in Japan, implies that Chinese
and Japanese artistic traits are nearly identical. It is
a case fairly parallel to that of the Dutch and the
Italians who both belong to the White races, the one
to the northern the other to the southern family, and
whose arts generically belong to the same artistic
On this Early Asiatic art base also, there arose
ART AND MAN. 247
in Hindustan some art, principally sculpture, dealing
mainly with Buddhistic themes. These Buddhistic sub-
jects crossed the Himalaya with the religion and became
grafted on the East Asiatic autochthonous naturahstic
art. It is evident therefore that occasionally extraneous
causes, as in this instance religious beliefs acting under the
force of patronage, may introduce foreign subjects into
the art of a race. But these Buddhistic subjects did not
affect East Asiatic pictorial technic, which was invented
in Eastern Asia and which was and remains racial.
One of the greatest puzzles connected with race is
that of the Pleistokenes. Who were they? Of the
Pleistokene race we know but Uttle. Pleistokene art,
however, has great similarities to Bushman art and to
Arctic art. These arts might well be called one great
artistic family, just as one might call the African, Aus-
tralasian, and Amerind arts one great artistic family.
But we know that the makers of the African and
Amerind arts are entirely, and the makers of the
Australasian and Amerind arts are almost entirely
physically different races. Therefore also unquestion-
ably, the makers of the Pleistokene, Bushman, and
Eskimo arts may be physically different races. More-
over their habitats are situated at forbidding distances
from one another. In the Ught of these facts there-
fore, it seems improbable that the similarities of the
Pleistokene, Bushman and Arctic arts are due to a
physical race relationship dating from way back. On
the contrary, it seems probable that we have three
distinct physical races with very similar mental art
impulses and whose struggle for existence was solved
much in the same way by following the chase.
Art, however, points to a solution of the Pleisto-
248 AHT AND MAN.
kene puzzle. Free hand drawing or sketching of an
advanced type is found especially in two areas of the
earth: China-Japan, and southern and central Europe.
The East Asiatics sketch to perfection: so do the
rather small dark-white peoples dwelling in the southern
part of Europe: the brancli of the White race now
usually spoken of as the Mediterranean race. In both
cases this ability seems to be largely racial. Of the
Mediterranean race in Minoan Crete there were artists
who decorated pottery with free hand sketches of plants
and sea forms; in Italy and Spain dozens of artists
have shown w^hat free hand drawing can be: no nation-
ality has ever surpassed the French in free hand
sketching. And the Pleistokene drawings are typically
French: some of them might have been done by a
Barye or a Troyon. Moreover, Pleistokene art flourished
in precisely the same habitat where the Mediterranean
race now^ holds sway.
But especiall}^ important is the fact that there is a
little Pleistokene portraiture left. And this portraiture
reveals neither Negroid nor Mongoloid types. When
Mr. Champion, curator of the Musee de Saint Germain,
showed me the little Pleistokene ivory heads there, I
exclaimed "Mais c'est Egyptien!" and he replied "Ah,
Monsieur, d'autres I'ont dit aussi.'" While it is princi-
pally the arrangement of the hair that gives the
Egyptian look, there can be no doubt, it seems to me,
that the faces suggest a south European type. Artistic-
ally, geographically and physically therefore, the most
rational explanation of the Pleistokene race, indeed the
conclusion which seems to be forced on us, is that the
Pleistokenes were the ancestors of the Mediterranean
branch of the White race.
ART AND MAN. 249
While many things point out that European Pleisto-
kene art was the first wave of White race art, many
other things point out that it was not the father of
any of the later arts of other races thruout the world.
Art, it is true, proceeds everywhere from the same
instinct and the same impulse, and from the creative
side therefore art is always more or less the same
thing. But there are a number of arts which are suffi-
ciently distinct to show that they are mainly autoch-
thonous and not descended from one another. The
African, Australasian and Amerind arts, for instance, are
evidently not the children of European Pleistokene art.
It is safe therefore to say that the fine arts point to a
multiplicity of races; and also that the fine arts offer
no evidence that man sprang from one stock in one
locahty any more than they offer any evidence about
the origin of races. If there was one original race, of
which the others are offshoots, that race antedated any
art: at least any art of which we have any fragments
It seems also fairlj- certain that European Pleistokene
art originated probably more than 100,000 years ago.
For Boucher de Perthes in the valley of the Somme* and
Mr. W. M. Newton in the valley of the Thames found
rudimentary figure-stones in the Acheuleen.f But so
far apparently no Pleistokene art has been discovered
in Asia nor in Africa. Not only therefore is Pleistokene
art coincident with the habitat of the most artistic
European nationalities of today, but also— unless the
spade of some archaeologist of the future shows us to
the contrary — art must be accepted as having begun in
* Antiquites Celtiques et AntedUuviennes.
t Arthur Keith: The Antiquity of Man, 1915, ]). l(i(i.
250 ART AND MAN.
Europe long before there was any art in Asia or Africa.
At present all the evidences of art point out that
Pleistokene art was autochthonous in Europe; that the
Pleistokene art makers, from Acheul6en times on, were
autochthonous European races; and that man first
matured into an intelligent man in Europe. In addi-
tion to this, if we consider that in the European
Chell^en and even earher, man showed a sense of form
in the manufacture of stone implements; that the Heid-
elberg remains were dug out of the earliest Pleistokene;
and that the Piltdown skull may date back to the later
Pleiocene: surely there is food for thought.
It is perhaps premature and speculative to suggest
that it seems most in accord with these evidences to
think that man descended from several ancestors in
different parts of the world and that these descendants
stayed to some extent on their native soil, rather than
that man descended from one ancestor in one spot and
that his descendants thence spread over the earth. But
it is timely and correct to say that the evidences of
the fine arts, of the mechanical arts, and of man's
own remains directly contradict the commonly accepted
theory that man wandered from Asia into Europe.
While there is nothing in art to suggest that man
wandered from Europe into Asia, all of the artistic
and much of the scientific evidence is totally at vari-
ance with the usual belief that Europe was peopled
from Asia: indeed it points out squarely as a fact, that
the European races were autochthones, born and bred
on the continent of Europe.
This brief study of the relations of art to race
brings out, it seems to me, certain facts which appar-
ently are new. But even these few remarks — unampli-
ART AND MAN. 251
fied in order to keep them, in accordance with artistic
law, in harmony with the rest of the book — show that
much may be learnt about race from art, much more
than from nationality or language, because while these
may or may not correspond with race, art almost
invariably does. And because art is so nearly coinci-
dent with race, students of man should study art and
study it along comparative Unes. For by so doing it
is certain that a great deal which is now unknown will
be discovered about the ancestors and relationships of
ART AND MAN.
A R C 1
MELA N E^sTa N
THE FINE ARTS
Fig. 28. Sketch map of the geographical (li.stributioii
ART AND MAN.
A Q WJ ^ARCTIC
EAST NORTH '*! Zls
-4 M £ R r N D /-^
A L/^S I AN ^
R/1 T I V E t,"^
of the Fine Arts thriiout the World.
AKT AND MAN. 255
TABLE OF CONTENTS AND INDEX.
How this work started 7
First publications on subject 7
Change of view among art critics and ethnologists 8
Book an enlargement of Coiuparnlivr Art. General aim of book 8
Art and Comparative Art.
Term "art." What it covers and limited use thereof 11
Definition of art 11
Art a production of man, not of nature 12
Primitive art part of fine arts 12
Art as one whole still unstudied 13
Necessity of comparing arts 14
Batta and Easter Island heads 16
Easter Island art did not cross to America 16
Similarity does not mean identity 17
Every art is locally individual and not identical with any other art 17
Comparative art a link between science and art 18
Definition of comparative art 18
Comparative art not comparative archaeology 19
Many scienc,es used in study of man 19
Written records 20
Art specimens 21
Art in a borderland 21
Art specimens divided 21
Art experts not ethnologists 22
Ethnologists not art experts 23
Art as one whole a still open field 23
The Geographical Distribution of Art.
Art is universal 24
All races have art, sometimes good 24
Is art one or several? 26
Art varies in different places 26
Classification must be geograpliical and historical 26
256 ART AND MAN.
Various classifications possible 27
Main arts of the world 27
Europe. Pleistokene 28
" Neolithic. Bronze Age 30
" Egean 30
" Greek 30
" Etruscan 30
" Roman 31
" Byzantine 31
" Modem European 31
Africa. Libyan 32
" Negro 32
" Zimbabwe 32
Asia. West Asiatic 33
" Arab 33
" Early Asiatic 33
" South Asiatic 34
" East Asiatic 34
Australasia. Melanesian 34
Asia and America. Arctic 36
America. Pleistokene? 37
" West North Amerind and East North Amerind 38
Mexican and Central Amerind 38
" West and East South Amerind 38
The Evolution OF THE Artist. Instinct and Impulse. P.\tron.\ge.
Art everjT\'here : hence art instinct in all races 10
Definition of art instinct and art impulse 40
Art instinct same as esthetic sense 41
Art instinct, like language, a primal instinct in man 41
Does art instinct grow up or is it transmitted? 41
Art comes primarily from art instinct based on vision and is bom many
times anew 41
Pleistokene art instinct 42
Decorative art from art instinct 42
Esthetic sense is underlying motive power. Proof from development of chil-
dren into artists 43
Primitives act like children about art impulse 43
Art comes secondarily from visualizing mental conceptions 43
Artist's instinct like mouser cat's, spider's, or duckling's instinct 44
Art instinct may swamp reason 44
Best artists reason 46
Esthetic sense first: then patronage 47
Patronage implies demand and supply; stomach versus brains 48
Patronage hostile, but also friendly to art 48
ART AND MAX. 257
The Personal Equation of an Artist. Sincerity. Personality.
Style. Observation. Imagination. Memory.
"Soyez naif." Henry Marcette. Naivete or sincerity means that artist
allows his art instinct to express itself freely 49
Three stages in artist's work: in childhood, sincerity: in training, copying:
in maturity, either copying or return to sincerity 49
Early Italian and Flemish art sincere 50
Pre-Raphaelites insincere 50
Chinese art most artistic, yet Chinese not a ttaif race 51
Primitive art depends largely on sincerity. Often better than advanced art. . 51
Sincerity without art impulse, useless. Example, some Negro art 51
Personality implies sincerity and produces style 52
Style refers to technic and applies to artists and to schools of art 52
Personality appears only in some arts 52
Personality in art has nothing to do with moral character of artist 53
Observation at bottom of all art 53
Observation of hunting disguises led to fabulous animals 53
All art based on something seen, and thus a record of ethnology, zoology, etc. 54
Imagination and memory necessary. Not all art is done from nature.
Imagination and memory obtain life and motion 54
Imagination and memory in all good art: Europeans, Bushmen, Australasians,
etc., have them 56
Training and Environment.
Training shapes art and artists for good or bad 57
Training saves time, but may destroy individualitj'. Best artists leave their
training behind 57
Pioneers in art go one step further than their training and their predecessors 58
Importance of training shown by art academies of today, by Italian and
Flemish art, etc 58
Training has played part in forming some great arts 59
By analogy therefore training must have acted the same in Crete, Western
Asia, etc 59
Training more doubtful in Africa, Australasia and America, but must have
done something 59
Environment a chief factor in art 59
What environment is : local, physical, etc 60
Influence of materials 60
A hunting stage does not cause similarity in art 61
Great art sometimes means prosperity 61
Civilization sometimes blunts art 62
Commercial prosperity does not necessarily imply good art 62
Good art implies mental ability 62
258 ART AXD ]\rAN.
^ Criticism. „oe
Term "critic" unfortunate: implies condemnation 64
Substitute terms for "art critic" 64
Three stages of untrained-in-art-technic persons 66
Untrained persons usually incorrect 66
"I know what I like" 67
Connoisseurs as critics 67
Artists as critics 68
Art and criticism different things 68
Critic must be both artist and connoisseur 69
Best writers about art. Men with art instinct and reasoning powers sometimes
become art critics 69
Art writer must be broad minded: needs art instinct but not art impulse:
must act like a law judge 70
It is difficult to WTite about art because its qualities are intangible 71
Art writer's work should radiate from center like a fan 71
Change in view point of the author 72
Everj' art writer's view point must enlarge 73
Art and Nature. Naturalism. Imitation. Realism. Idealism
Art is a world of its own : art is not nature 76
In pure nature there is always beauty 76
Man usually spoils nature 77
Man's alterations of nature sometimes beautiful 77
Misconception of "truth to nature" 77
Truth foundation of science: goodness of ethics: beauty of art 78
Truth the bed rock of science 78
By "truth to nature" people mean mirror like imitation 78
Terms naturalistic, realistic, idealistic 78
Realistic imitative art is reflection in mirror 79
Realistic interpretative art interprets nature 79
Idealistic art a mental vision 79
" Poeta nascilur, non fit" 80
Decorative art based on nature or on patterns 80
Whether imitative or imaginative, art may be good, bad or indifferent 80
Imaginative art higher type than imitative art 81
Architecture not based on nature 81
Sculpture closely allied to nature: Greek sculpture idealistic 81
Chairs, teapots, etc., semi sculptural art which is not "true to nature" 82
Painting may or may not be imitative 82
Perspective and hght and shade necessary for imitation 83
Anecdote of Degas 83
Most decorative art not "true to nature" 83
Fortuny. Manet. Barj-e 84
Holbein. Veronese. Rubens 84
Edward WhjTnper 86
Solomon Islands and Zuni figures 86
No art wholly imitative or wholly imaginative 87
ART AND MAN. 259
Sculptural, Pictorial and Decorative Arts. Two Dimensional
AND Three Dimensional Art.
Relations between sculptural art, pictorial art and decorative art intricate ... 88
In pictorial and sculptural art, art work is primary; in decorative art, it is
Some art naturalistic, some non naturalistic 89
Sculptures and pictures sometimes decorations for architecture. Puvis de
Confusion in terminology ^0
Painting is spots of pigment: has only two dimensions 90
Third dimension, depth, a suggestion and illusion 91
Difference between a painting and a picture on a house wall 91
What decorative art is. Should be simple 92
Painted decorative art is pattern art 92
Decorative art not inferior to imitative: something different 93
Classification of arts of world 93
Pleistokene, Bushman and Arctic arts pictorial and sculptural 93
Neolithic art decorative 9-1
European art sculptural and pictorial 94
European decorative art sense weak: shown by decorations on pottery 94
Egyptian and West Asiatic arts sculptural and decorative 96
Arab art decorative 96
South Asiatic art sculptural, decorative and pictorial 96
East Asiatic art sculptural, pictorial and decorative 97
Negro, Australasian and Amerind arts sculptural and decorative 97
Good and bad points of Negro, Amerind and Australasian arts 98
Gradation from pictorial art of Europe to decorative art of Africa, Australasia
and America 98
All statements about these matters can be only general hints 99
Subject and Motive. Taste. Selection. Beauty. Ethics.
Subject and motive 100
Definition of subject 100
Definition of motive 100
How to look at works of art. Ostensible subject. Real motive 101
Questions put show literateur or artist 101
Literateurs and ethnologists look for subject 102
Artists look for motive 102
Anecdote of an American painter 103
Pleasant and unpleasant subjects 103
Comparative art should turn mainly to motive 103
Examples, human figure, mother and child 104
Subjects nevertheless important, but ethnologists should not be misled by
Choice of subjects by various races 109
260 ART A^rn >rAX.
The subject in some art works is symbolical, that is, is something else than
Symbolism sometimes shown in repeating parts of figure 107
Taste is racial 107
Taste rules art. Taste causes selection 108
Taste of Africans, Australasians and Amerinds 108
European fashion plates 10!)
Titian and Sesshiu, Greek sculptures, Rembrandt's etchings: governed by
taste and selection 110
Beauty not an absolute canon of art 1 10
Beauty and taste undefinable entities: vary thruout world HI
In decorative art, beauty cannot be divorced from use Ill
Character a phase of beauty HI
Beauty in art varies witli taste of spectator: Amerind war dress, banyan root. 112
Meaning of words good and bad in art 113
What are the ethics of art? 113
Human ethics and religion a rule of conduct 114
Art due to sharpened raion: not to morality 114
Ethics of art different from ethics of human life 114
If battle pictures are motives they may be good. V'ernet and de Neuville. 116
But if battle pictures are moralitie.?, they are apt to be weak 116
8oME Art Attributes. Composition. Synthesis and Ax-^lysis.
Harmony and Finish. Quality. Conventionality. Mystery.
Composition is the planning of a work of art: a mental act of artist 117
Composition differentiates art from nature: artist must use his brain 117
Composition cannot be taught: only a few rules can be given 117
Artist must compose mainly thru his art instinct 118
Giorgione's Madonna a fine composition 118
Composition found to some extent in all arts 119
SjTithesis and analysis in all art: what they are: importance of both 119
Synthesis and analysis vary in different arts: in which arts most prominent. . 120
Harmony essential in art 120
Feeling for harmony universal: part of art instinct 120
Decorative patterns repeated symmetrically for the sake of harmony 121
Harmony cliief factor in finish: a work of art in harmony is finished as far
as it goes 121
Quality means that technical processes are well done: in which arts it is present. 122
Conventionality is when art becomes crystalUzed into set forms 122
Conventional and unconventional arts 123
Some paintings so undefined one scarcely know.s what they mean Ii3
Mysteriousness a charm 124
Mysterj' in some ways a high level mark of art 124
Mysterj' essentially European 124
East Asiatic art suggestive rather than mysterious 124
"Grail song" more mysterious than seeing Grail 126
No mystery in other arts 126
ART AND MAN. 261
The Technic of Form. Materials. Drawing. Outline. Line.
Perspective. Action and Motion.
Definition of technic 127
Drawing. Outline 128
Immature mind insists on outline 128
Drawings of immature inartistic minds 128
Outline among various races 129
Line. Difference from outline 129
Importance of line in composition 130
Lines suggesting third dimension show advanced art 130
Classical lines and picturesque lines 130
Perspective. What it is. Mechanical rather than artistic 131
Among what races perspective is found 132
Action and motion. Every object has its action. Mption only when a move-
ment is depicted 132
Among what arts found 132
Curvilinear Art and Rectilinear Art.
Curved and straight lines in all arts. But more of one kind or the other in every
art ". 133
Races who observe nature develop curved lines. Races who follow grass pat-
terns develop straight lines 133
European art curvilinear 133
African arts curvilinear and rectilinear 134
Asiatic arts mainly curvilinear 134
Australasian arts mainly rectilinear 136
Amerind arts strongly rectilinear 136
Mitla art 136
Some curves in Amerind art 137
The Technic of Color. Painting. Masses. Colors and Color.
Values. Atmosphere. Light and Shade. Effect. Cast
Shadows. Light. Sunshine.
Masses. Drawing on a middle line. Eakins. Delacroix 138
Difference between colors, color and pigments 138
Colors used early on person and in art 139
Color late discovery; cannot be described in words 139
Imitation of local shades dangerous: relations of color must be sought 140
Hard to compare colors and color among races 140
Color sense often better among primitives than among civilized: often lacking
in cities 140
262 ART AND ]\rAN.
Asia pre-eminently land of colors and color 141
Good sense of colors among Arabs, Amerinds, Australasians and Africans... 141
In Europe preference for tone 141
Values. Atmospheric perspective 142
Values never realized. May be suggested 142
Values a late development of art. Among what arts found 143
Effect. Appearance of scene or object at one time 143
Effect is European and South Asiatic. Cast shadows omitted in East Asiatic
Everything is subordinate to light in nature 144
Light cannot be real in art 144
Bare white surface nearest approach to light 144
Light can be centered by surrounding darkness 144
This is European and South A.siatic 146
Light suggested by brilliant colors. Explanation of spectrum 146
How to paint a luminist picture 147
Any pattern will do for this 147
Brilliant colors in rather general use 148
European pictures in spectral colors. Plein air movement 148
The Human Figure. Proportions. Nude. Portraiture in
Art and Photography. Eye. Ear. Lip. Waist.
Abdomen. Hand. Foot.
Sense of form called by French idee plastique 149
Proportions vary in diiTerent arts. Europeans make tall figures with small
East Asiatics usually make realistic proportions. 150
Pleistokene, Bushmen, Arctics make realistic proportions 150
African, Australasian, Amerind arts tend to big heads, small bodies, short legs 151
The wherefore of squat figures is hard to explain 151
No race seems to record or care for obese humans 152
Some Negro tribes fatten females 152
Nudes in all arts. Primitives make them because they do not wear clothes .... 153
East Asiatics care little for nudes 153
Europeans especially inspired by nude humans in art 154
For a good portrait, likeness and character imperative 154
Sculpted portraiture in more arts than painted portraiture. Egypt, Western
Asia, Greece, Eastern Asia 154
Sculpted heads of Amerinds, Africans, and Australasians 156
Painted portraits lacking among many races 156
Drawing and form essential in pictorial portrait 157
East Asiatic portraiture mainly drawing in line 157
Old Chinese portraits 158
European portraiture has drawing, light and shade, and color 159
Portraits largely a compromise between family and artist 159
South Asiatic heads show European art characteristics 160
Best photographs retouched by hand : that is are art 161
Best photographs are portraits 161
Eye ball has no expression 161
ART AND MAN. 263
Single eye, in some arts, a decoration 162
Full face eye in profil face in Egypt 162
In some Assyrian slabs three quarter eyes in profil faces 162
Eyes inserted in some arts 162
Ear lobe extended in some arts. Portrait of Amerind by Saint Menin 163
Lips extended in some arts 163
These distortions not due to religion, due to observation 163
Waist constricted in various arts: due to observation 163
Abnormal abdomens: Pleistokenes, Africans, Amerinds 164
Causes of protruding abdomens not clear 164
Utilitarian Venus of Milo 166
Starvation abdomens from Easter Island 166
Hand in all arts. In most arts best hands in sculpture. Best painted hands
in Europe and Eastern Asia 166
Single hands in Pleistokene, Australasian, Amerind, Arab arts 167
Pleistokene hands probably tracings 167
Hand of Fatma 167
Causes of single hands not clear 167
Hand at Towanda, Pennsylvania 168
Foot usually normal 168
Occasionally legs finish in points 168
In some Egyptian and Assyrian full face reliefs, feet in profil 168
Distorted feet in European art 168
Distorted feet in Chinese art 169
Primitive arts never show distorted feet. Bare foot in action 169
Hunting Disguises. Monsters. Masks. Monoliths. Carved
Hunting disguises used since oldest times 170
Hunting disguises are represented in some arts 170
Drawings of hunting disguises from Pleistokenes and Bushmen 170
Monsters are found in several arts, as Egj-ptian, Babylonian, Assyrian and
Monsters looked on as deities: but they spring from hunting disguises 171
Chinese dragon probably a degenerate crocodile 171
Many limbed humans spring from other causes 171
Masks widely distributed: among what peoples found 172
Masks used in ceremonies: but originate in hunting disguises 172
Monoliths and carved posts widespread 173
Megaliths mainly Neolithic: common in Brittany 173
Undecorated megahths in Abyssinia, Zimbabwe, India 173
Decorated megahtha in Egypt and Central America 173
Hindu bursos 174
Carved posts found in many places 174
Finest carved posts in Alaska: totems, heraldry 174
Guide posts from Korea 174
Carved posts from Australasia 174
Carved posts from Africa 175
All makers of monoliths or carved posts not related 175
Big stones and tree trunks handy materials for sculptors 175
264 ART AND MAN.
Pottery and Frames.
Pottery invented after fine art.'! 176
Not known where pottery was invented 176
Pottery almost universal. Not found among Pleistokenes or Bushmen.. 176
Usefulness primary test of jiottery : beauty secondary 177
Pottery of primitives, Egyptians and most Asiatics, useful 177
European pottery less useful 177
Pottery decoration should be decorative 178
Among primitives pottery decoration is decorative 178
Among Asiatics and Europeans some pottery decoration is imitative 179
Persian, Arab, Spanish pottery 179
('hinese porcelain: its movements: comparison with Greek pottery 179
Evolution of European pottery decoration 180
Frames an art convention. Europeans, Asiatics, and perhaps Egyptians have
frames: other races have not 182
Frames best solved by East Asiatics 182
The Evolution of Technic. Form. Color. Sculpture. Stone
Implements. Bas Relief. Painting.
Field covered by term evolution 184
Evolution a series of steps 184
Simplest forms first 185
Stone implements start of art technic 185
Stone implements universal 185
Four classes of stone implements 186
Stone implements forgotten by modern man 187
Eoliths, paleoliths, neoliths not a good terminology 187
Stone implements date back to Pleiocene 188
Paleoliths appear towards beginning of Pleistokene 189
Stone implements evolve with time 189
Abbott's discovery of American paleoliths. Ernest Volk 190
Paleoliths first sign of sense of form 192
Chipping stones led naturally to sculpture 192
Chipping stones the start of art technic in Europe 192
Chipping stones may be start of art in other places 193
Table showing relations of art to stone implements in Europe 194
Is form or color first? 194
Daubs of color protected persons against cold: led to tattooing 195
Evolution of Renaissance art: sculpture, bas relief, painting 196
The Evolution of Subject and Motive. Sculptural and Pic-
torial Art: Animals, Humans, Landscape. Decorative Art:
Basketry, Pictorial, Degenerate, Accidental.
.\rt evolves first animals and humans, then landscape: form, then color 197
Animals better than humans among Pleistokenes, Bushmen, and Arctics. . . . 197
Also among Assyrians 197
ART AND MAN. 265
Scissor action in animals
Africans, Australasians, Amerinds prefer humans to animals
Humans among Europeans and Asiatics play central role
Human figure when well done implies advanced social condition
Landscape unknown among primitive races
At least two starting points in decorative art 200
Basketry a source of decorative patterns 200
Sculptural and pictorial art a source of patterns 201
Degenerate decorative patterns : difficulty in tracing some of them 201
South American patterns. Mitla art 202
Accidental patterns 203
Property marks 203
Local and Intrusive Arts. Autochthonous Arts. Movements
OF ART. GR.4.DATI0N IN ART.
Is art one or several. Did it rise in one spot or many 204
Art moved slowly before advent of railroads 204
Birth, life, movements and death of arts 204
Necessity caused invention of objects like jars in many places 205
Decoration comes from feeling, not necessity 205
Individuality of every art very noticeable 206
Difficult to tell sometimes whether art is native or intrusive 206
Some arts close together of separate growth 207
Some pottery statuettes from different localities resemble each other 207
Every art more or less local 208
Propinquity causes resemblance: distance causes difference 208
Multiple centers of creation 209
As a rule, art is local rather than intrusive 209
Historical and geographical movements found among the greater arts 210
One should not carry this fact into an absurdity 210
Art appears in some place, then dies out. Egean art 212
Cycles in art of Egypt 212
Japanese prints 213
European art historically and geographically 214
Colored tiles historically and geographically 214
Sometimes two arts succeed each other 215
The geographical spread of Arab art 215
Geographical barriers. Atlantic Ocean 216
Rebirths of art to the eastward 216
Move of art eastward does not apply to branches of art, but to the main
centers of probable creation 217
Gradation of art geographically 218
Gradation of art historically 218
One type of art predominates in one locality at one time and radiates all
Gradation of art points to oneness of art 219
Move eastward of art opposes theory that man dispersed from Lemuria or
theory that man dispersed from Central Asia 220
266 ART AXD ]\fAK.
Art and Religion.
The word religion 222
\'iewpoint of ethnologists and art critics incorrect 222
Religion affects mainly the subject in art 222
Religious belief not fundamental in art: how religious painters grow up. . . . 223
Religious pictures are subject pictures 223
Religious pictures illustrations; due to patronage of church 224
Spanish art depended on church 224
Italian art depended on church 225
Greek art had human figure for impelling motive 225
Dutch art flourished without religion 225
Nineteenth century art not due to religion 226
Giotto and Fra AngeHco 227
Religion in same relations to primitive as to advanced art. Primitive art
from same source as child art 227
Primitive sculptures of humans miscalled "idols" 228
"Doll" should be substituted for "idol" 229
Some primitive sculptures are idols. How to distinguish them from dolls . . 229
White race also makes idols 230
Arabs forbidden humans 230
Religion dictates subjects: often neglects beauty; produces tortures and snakes 230
Rehgion fosters conventionaUty 231
Good effects of religion on art; probably superior to ill effects 231
The Rank of Arts.
Can definite rank be assigned to arts. " De guslibus" 233
Remarks by two educated Americans 233
" Pictures are mostly judged thru the ear" 234
No fixed standards 234
Harm of art juries 234
The new exhibition 235
No two persons agree: different races have different tastes 236
Europeans and Asiatics different 236
Europeans and East Asiatics best painters 236
Greeks perhaps best sculptors 237
The arts of primitive races improve on acquaintance. Impossible to rank arts . 237
Comparison of a banquet and art 237
Art and Race.
Art tells of time in evolution of man. Pleistokenes intelligent: hence man's
development a long one 239
Nothing in art to show origin of man 239
Questions for solution thru art about race 240
ART AND MAN. 267
What does race mean? Facts geology, paleontology and anatomy tell 240
Divisions of man into families: nationalistic, linguistic, physical 241
Bodily characterLstics superseding nationalistic and linguistic as tests of race. 241
Nations and languages may or may not correspond with race. Is this the case
with the arts? 242
Artist product of his own time, environment and race. Melanesian produces
Melanesian art, etc 242
Art tells of mental qualities of a race and if there is portraiture of its physical
Resemblances and differences in art must be sought in mentality and por-
Similarity of art in kind does not necessarily imply similarity in race 243
Similarity or difference in art often corresponds to the same in race. France,
Rome, Me.xico 243
Similarities in appearance and in arts of distant peoples imply similarity in
race. Mene Wallace, Eskimo, Japanese 244
Races maybe physically different, but have similar artistic instincts. Africans,
Australasians, Amerinds 245
Extraneous influences may affect art of a race. Hindus, Chinese, Koreans,
Chinese naturalistic art probably spread to Korea and Japan 246
Hindu Buddhist subjects traveled to China and Japan 246
Pleistokene, Bushman, Arctic arts very similar: races probably dissimilar 247
Pleistokenes probably ancestors of Mediterranean race 247
Pleistokene heads resemble Egyptian heads 248
Art points to multiplicity of races, but is dumb about origin of races 249
Pleistokene art points to autochthonous European races 249
Pleistokene art contradicts theory that early European races came from Asia. 250
Art surer criterion of race than nationality or language. Comparative art
should reveal much more about mankind 250
268 ART AND MAN.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Snake woman, Minoan Crete 15
Little Egyptian stone figure 25
Prehistoric pottery from Etruria: may be Neolithic divinity 25
Egyptian high relief figure modelled on one side 25
Egyptian bas relief figure twisted into impossible position 25
African man with pelele and with ax hafted in body. Small
wooden figure 35
Woman with dwarfed figure and with drum on head. Large
wooden statue, Gold Coast, Africa 45
Woman with dwarfed figure and protruding abdomen with glass
window inserted. West Coast, Africa 55
Wooden statuette of man with palm leaf headdress, Nias Island,
Large wooden figure from New Guinea or New Ireland 75
Paddle from Nissan Island, Solomon Islands 85
Figure in black and red on Solomon Island paddle 95
Wooden statue about six feet high, from a Morai or cemetery,
Hei tiki or neck ornament of greenstone, New Zealand 115
Wood carving, possibly a bear, Amoor River region 115
Iroquois mask 115
Koryak mask 115
Drawing of human on skin, Alaska 125
Drawing of grizzly bear on skin, Alaska 135
Bird's head on bow of canoe, Alaska 145
Painting in black of woman's body with pointed legs, head of white
wood. Bow of canoe, Alaska 155
Metate of puma. Central America 155
Stone statuette. Eastern United States 165
Pleistokene (?) marks and drawing, from Vero, Florida 181
Statue of Chacmool, Yucutan 191
Prehistoric pottery jar, Peru 211
Wooden figure. Karaja tribe, Brazil 221
Sketch map of the geographical distribution of the Fine Arts thru-
out the World 252, 253
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