Painting 3

Let us now inquire into the effect resulting from our oft-recurring exhibitions of painting, and see how they influence the painter. So many of the qualities considered essential by our masters are sacrificed for effect. An obtrusive coarseness is now preferred to the velvety surface of the Dutch masters. Scene painting, effective enough on the stage, and perhaps telling on the great walls of our exhibitions, is taking the place of precious workmanship ; and, worst of all, these exhibitions engender a never-ending restlessness and love of change for the sake of change. Anything with which to astonish the native! Fashions in painting come and disappear like Paris hats, so that last year's methods are as out of date as the headgear that went with them. Many bids for fame are made by men who, having nothing to say, invent a new language to say it in, and hope that their jargon may be mistaken for originality, as it not infrequently is by the immature critic and the modish amateur.
There is no end to the possibilities of what is known as imagination—that is, the power to make fresh combinations of existing facts and ideas. But there comes a time when the language, either literary or graphic, in which ideas are clothed may be considered fully developed, and the purity of it must suffer by the introduction of unsanctioned changes or a breaking away from its accepted law.
There is, however, ample scope for the manifestation of distinctive personality within its fairly defined boundaries.
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