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the general will of a period. Perhaps that is most clearly shown in architecture…. The religious mystical world of the Christian Middle Ages, turning inwards upon itself, found forms of expression which were possible only for that world – for that world alone could they be of service. A Gothic stadium is as unthinkable as a Romanesque railway station or a Byzantine market hall. The way in which the artist of the Middle Ages, of the beginnings of the modern world, found the artistic solution for the buildings which he was commissioned to create is in the highest degree striking and admirable. That way, however, is no evidence that the conception of the content of life held by the folk of his day was in itself either absolutely right or absolutely wrong; it is evidence only that works of art have rightly mirrored the inner mind of a past age. It is therefore quite comprehensible that insofar as the attempt is made to carry on the life of that past age, those who search for solutions of artistic problems can still seek and find there fruitful suggestions. Thus one can easily imagine that, for instance, in the sphere of religion men will always work backwards to the form-language of a period in which Christianity in its view of the world appeared to meet every need. On the other hand, at the present moment the expression of a new view of the world which is determined by the conception of race will return to those ages which in the past have already possessed a similar freedom of the spirit, of the will, and of the mind. Thus, naturally, the manifestation in art of a European conception of the State will not be possible through civilizations, as, for example, the civilization of the Far East, which – because foreign to us – have no message for our day, but will rather be influenced in a thousand ways through the evidences and memories of that mighty imperial Power of antiquity which, although in fact destroyed fifteen hundred years ago, still as an ideal force lives on and works on in the imaginations of men. The more nearly the modern State approaches to the imperial idea of the ancient World-Power, so more and more will the general character of that civilization be manifested in its influence upon the formation of the style of our own day.

1 Thought on THE proof of the endowment of a true artist is always to be found in the fact that his work of art expresses?
  1. Reply
    October 25, 2011 at 3:40 am

    “THE proof of the endowment of a true artist is always to be found in the fact that his work of art expresses a period?”

    Nope… that is the endowment of the mediocre copycats and dilettantes.

    The endowment of a true artist transcends that of his time and culture.

    That is why Beethoven is played in Modern Japan, while Europeans tour the Taj Mahal by the millions, and Jackie Chan claims his biggest influence to be the silent screen star Harold Llyod.

    The masters are able to speak across time and space.

    …Hitler was way too hung up on that Hegelian Zeitgeist crap.

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