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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/39

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Sect. II.
7
INTRODUCTION.

absolutely necessary. Its details are all as exquisite in form as the Temple itself, and it was at one time colored to an extent we can hardly now realize, but which must, when comj^lete, have made it one of the most perfect examples of Æsthetic art. The walls of the cella were almost certainly covered with Phonetic paintings similar to those in the Lesche at Delphi; and the pediment, the metopes, the friezes, were all sculptured to such an extent as to render the Phonetic expression of the building at least equal to either its Technic or its Æsthetic excellence. It is easy to conceive a building, such as a trophy or a mausoleum, in which painting and sculpture shall be relatively more important than they are in this instance, and in which consequently the index may be raised above twenty-four; but if this were so, it ought probably to be classed among works of sculpture or painting rather than as an object of architecture.

In music the Æsthetic element naturally prevails over the other two, but Technic cleverness of execution often affords to some as much pleasure as the harmony of the sounds produced; and, on the other hand, in its power of expressing joy or sorrow and of exciting varied emotions at will, it rivals frequently the more distinct and permanent power of words themselves, when unaccompanied by Æsthetic forms of art. It is of course, however, in the outpourings of his imagination or in the logical products of his reason that man rises highest, and stands most distinctly apart from the rest of created beings; and though all may not be capable of appreciating it, it is when both Technic and Æsthetic adjuncts are laid aside, and man listens only to the voice of reason, that he reaches what, as far as we can now see, is the highest form of his artistic development.

Of course there are many other forms in which this might be expressed, and many will be inclined to dispute the correctness of the figures assigned to each art. They are, in fact, only approximations, and as a first attempt can hardly be expected to meet all the conditions of the problem. The truth of the matter is, it would have been better to use algebraic symbols, and to allow every one to translate them into numbers according to his own fancy, but in the present state of matters such an attempt would have savored of affectation. The art of criticism is not sufficiently advanced for this, but if two or three would follow up what is here indicated, it might be placed on a basis from which to proceed higher. Meanwhile, perhaps the annexed diagram may serve to explain the relation of the three classes of art to one another, and the way in which they overlap and mix together so as to make up a perfect art. Like the preceding table, it will require several editions, the work of several minds, before it can be perfected, but it probably is not far from representing the truth as at present known.

There is still another relation of these arts to one another which