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Studio: international art — 20.1900

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THE ART OF 1900. BY A. L. their real unfitness to battle against the storms of
BALDRY. outside opinion. Left alone, they might be quite

willing to amuse themselves with little things and
There is a well-worn proverb to the to enjoy in all sincerity their own untutored tastes,
effect that one swallow does not make a summer, One swallow, or perhaps two or three that chanced
which is often used to check the exuberance of to come together, would delight them quite as much
those sanguine people who are in the
habit of building a massive enthusiasm
on a very small basis. The saying serves
as a kind of warning against assumptions
that are not justified by circumstances
and not directed by common-sense, but
it does not go far enough in the direc-
tion of instruction. To learn how many
swallows ought to be put in evidence to
prove that summer has really arrived
would save many minds from the strain
of vague speculation. It would be con-
soling to feel that they knew where they
were, and that there was no risk of com-
mitting themselves by arguing on an
insufficient premise. They would stand
on safe ground at all events, comfortably
relieved from the necessity of studying
rules of proportion and subtleties of
cause and effect.

It is just this sort of knowledge that
is anxiously desired by the great array of
people who cannot, without assistance,
read the signs which mark the coming
of a full harvest of artistic effort. They
have been told so often that one fine
picture does not make a great school,
and have been on so many occasions
snubbed for being enthusiastic without
sufficient cause, that they have acquired
a timid view. What natural instincts
they may have they are afraid to express
for fear they should be taken to task
and ridiculed for their simple self-satis-
faction. Some other help must be given
them, some explanation of the course
they ought to follow to arrive at a proper
attitude on aesthetic questions, and to
reach that safe harbour of comfortable
conviction where they will be able to hide <<THE RIRTH OF . JX


XX. No. 87.—June, 1900.
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