BY the system of apprenticeship that obtained during the Renaissance and in those now regretted days when the decorative arts flourished in Europe, the knowledge of our craft was handed on from master to pupil. Those valuable traditions are to-day but a faded memory ; but such is the spirit of the age, that even did the unbroken chain of tradition reach back to the fifteenth century, when oil-painting first came into general use, its sanction would probably be questioned and its teaching neglected.<< Previous page
I shall have cause to refer throughout these pages to some of the many forces that are at work and have inspired this breaking away from all workman-like traditions.
Chief among these disintegrating influences are the modern cult of realism, the multiplicity of art exhibitions, the not unmixed blessing of the advance in chemical science, and the superstition that because of the opacity of pigments corrections can be ventured upon without due preparation. The thoughtful among us have for some time past felt anxious about the methods, or rather want of method, by which so much modem work is produced.
Teachers have been too superior, perhaps too uncertain themselves about their craft, to do aught but teach and criticise aesthetically, and have left the student to shift for himself and learn his trade as best he might.
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