There, he said, the thing is done. And he sat
down to write a book about it. Of course, the
machine never gets anywhere. But them, why
Medium—Latin, medius: middle. The bridge
between conception and realization. Like all
bridges, those of art bear specifications as to
maximum weight, some being labeled "For
Vehicular Traffic Only," others "Commercial
Traffic Prohibited," "Foot Passengers," etc.
A few are specially constructed for express
trains. Contravention of the rules—art slang,
"disrespect of the medium"—is liable in each
case to end in disaster.
Megalomania—En ce qui concerne la critique, il
ny a que toi et moi. Et encore, toi? (With
acknowledgments to Mm. Courbet and Grain-
Mere—Adverb (or is it adjective? At any rate
expletive) expressing boundless contempt. Guar-
anteed to soil the purest virtue. Users are
warned to have an exact definition in readiness,
as a League of Defence against Mere Critics is
reported in process of formation.
Method—(Definiton supplied by Mr. Bert Allen
of Minneapolis.) Weakness born of habit;
--Scientific—Without any sense whatever.
Model—In the overheated Puritan imagination:
Une qui gagne de Fargent
Nude symbol of all that is Bohemian, ex-
treme and probably immoral. Actuality, less
romantic as usual than the moralists, discovers
the type eminently respectable and solidly
middle-class. In middle-age she either sets up
a picture factory for herself or turns critic. In
the latter event no one uses the jargon of art
with such devastating effect. Thus the Ameri-
can variety. In France the painter often mar-
ries her as an insurance against bad cooking
and all the consequent ills that assail the flesh.
--, To—Literally, to make shapes out of wax
or some equally malleable substance. Thence,
to imitate in paint the bumps and cavities
(technically, les reliefs) of the human or other
body. Has acquired a slightly bad odor, from
the fact that the academically trained painter
or sculptor has a way of starting with said
bumps and cavities and only envisages the
essential character of the whole, afterwards.
--ling—Aforesaid bumps and holes. See also
under Palpabilita, Tactile Values and the
Science of Phrenology.
Modern—In the mind of the public, all that con-
temporary work, whether good, bad or indiffer-
ent, bred of a Love of Distortion out of a hatred
of what the said public is pleased to call Nature
and Beauty. In the mind of the majority of
painters, all that contemporary work, whether
good, bad or indifferent, begat by a French
theorist of a French artist (Daumier to Marcel
Duchamp, inclusive). More philosophically, all
that in any age springs from the loins of that
age. Contrast with Academic, the puny off-
spring, incubated to a semblance of life, of some
distinguished preceding. N. B.—Gauguin, in
1890, was modern. This fact, however, does not
enable'Mr. Biddle, in 1925, to qualify.
■--Art—Synonym for Art, tout court. That's
all there is, there isn't any more.
Mood—Human sentiment, as gaiety, tenderness,
gloom, pervading the works of the more inti-
mate masters. Expressed through hypersensi-
tive modulations of tone and line. The sterner
moderns, observing with what ease it degen-
erates into sentimentality and observing also
that the greatest masters transcend it, eschew
it utterly. They doubtless choose the nobler
part. And yet—between the sentimental and
the banal. . . .
Morbid—Stigmatizing preoccupation with pain
and misery, things no honest American will
admit the existence of.
Morbidezza—Gracious survival from the days
when the language of art was the language of
poetry. To have heard the four musical sylla-
bles fall from the lips of an old gentleman as he
kneels in adoration before a Guido Reni is to
have glimpsed the Parnassian heights from
which we have fallen. "Che morbidezza!" he
murmurs, "quelle souplesse dans les chairs!"
To which the august B. B., coldly: "A com-
plete absence of tactile values."
Motif—French rehabilitation of the Wagnerian
hybrid, leitmotiv. Recurring image in composi-
tion. For correct Parisian use see, however,
Motion—Absence of calm in a composition, the
forms of which have a tendency to displace
themselves. Often mistaken for vitality.