International studio — 42.1910

Page: XXIV
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The Important Autumn Art Books

From " The Lure of the Antique"
Copyright, 1910, by The Century Company



Joseph Crouch, in "Puritanism and Art" (Cas-
sell & Co.), combats the notion that there is an essen-
tial quarrel between the appreciation of beauty and
the religious principle denoted in the title. The
grave difficulty which the author faces, and which it
can hardly be said he surmounts, resides in the
variety of meanings which group themselves around


the word "Puritanism." Upholding with much
spirit and attractive conviction the thesis that a
great part of the attitude toward art which is popu-
larly ascribed to the Puritan split in the Anglican
church is wrongly ascribed thereto, and should
really be limited to the tenets of the later Evangeli-
cal movement in England, he is in danger of confus-
ing the unwary reader by using the word "Puritan-
ism" in two different senses throughout his book.
At one time he has in mind the Puritans of England
immediately before and after the Commonwealth.
In another sense he refers to a worldwide religious
impulse noted in the ancient Hebrews, in the Mo-
hammedans, in the medieval Christian Church and
on down to the present day. The result is that he
will seem to many readers to minimize the ascetic
and the emphatic manifestations of ascetism as
being by no means essentially proper to English
"Puritanism," while, on the other hand, he will
seem hastily to extol in the Puritan type the repre-
sentative of all that is best in the creative life of the
spirit. The reader should not be called upon to
correct his latitude and longitude so frequently, but
if he is ready to do so he will, after laying aside the
book, hardly fail to take a juster view of a question
which is too often carelessly dismissed in the set
phrases of prejudice.

There is a goodly supply of temperament in Mr.
Birge Harrison's lively book, "Landscape Paint-
ing" (Charles Scribner's Sons). There is a chapter
on temperament, too, and from it we are led to hope
that the author follows his own advice and goes
down on his knees and thanks his lucky stars that
nature soaked him in this indispensable quality.
Only the man unhappy enough to be born wholly
without temperament can be guilty of never doubt-
ing himself. This we may learn from the chapter
on temperament, while in a chapter on fearlessness
we shall find that the man who doubts himself, the
man who goes so far at times as to say "I think," is
always passed by for the man who courageously but
not necessarily in complete candor declares "I
know." Preeminently in the case of a teacher it is
well that he should "know" rather than that he
should "think," that he should stir thought, even
contentious thought, rather than that he should
hesitate. In the book before us everything the
teacher says is so. In these talks (founded on some
of the spoken word of the Art Students' League sum-
mer school at Woodstock) Caesar exhorts his sol-
diers, rouses them by discreet doses of information
and anecdote to the pitch of enthusiasm. Nothing
is left hazy or open to question, except the future of
art, and this is of a haze apt to stir the students'
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