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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/37

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Sect. II.
5
INTRODUCTION.

infinite pleasure to the senses without their having any phonetic value; but when used as sculpture and painting are and have been in all ages, to tell a tale or to express emotion, they rank high among the Phonetic arts; and though able to express certain impressions even more vividly than can be done by words, they cannot rise to the high intellectual position that can be attained either by Poetry or Eloquence when expressed only in that verbal language which is the highest gift of God to man.


II.—Beauty in Art.

The term Beauty in Art is little else tlian a Synonym for Perfection, but perfection in these three classes of arts is far from being the same thing, or of anything like the same value, as an intellectual expression. The beauty of a machine, however complicated, arises mainly from its adaptability to use; while a mosaic of exquisite colors, or an elevated piece of instrumental music, raises emotions of a far higher class; and a painting or a poem may appeal to all that is great or noble in human nature.

If, for instance, we take a dozen arts at random, and divide them into twelve equal component parts, as they belong to each of the three divisions, Technic, Esthetic, or Phonetic. If we further assign one as the relative intellectual value of the Technic element, two as that due to the Esthetic, and three as the proportionate importance of the Phonetic, we obtain the index number in the fourth column of the table below, which is probably not far from expressing the true relative value of each. Of course there are adventitious circumstances which may raise the proportionate value of any art very considerably, and, on the other hand, neglect of cultivation may depress others below their true value; but the principles on which the table is formed are probably those by which a correct estimate may be most easily obtained.

Technic. Æsthetic. Phonetic.
Heating, Ventilation, etc. 11 1 = 13
Turnery, Joinery, etc. 9 3 = 15
Gastronomy 7 5 = 17
Jewelry 7 4 1 = 18
Clothing 5 6 1 = 20
Ceramique 5 5 2 = 21
Gardening 4 6 2 =22
Architecture 4 4 4 =24
Music 2 6 4 = 26
Painting and Sculpture 3 3 6 = 27
Drama 2 2 8 = 30
Epic 2 10 = 34
Eloquence 1 11 = 35

The first three arts enumerated in the above table are evidently