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doctrine of the means of internal expression, a thing that is altogether inconceivable. And we know well the reason of its inconceivability; expression, considered in itself, is a primary theoretic activity, and as such precedes practice and intellectual knowledge which illumines practice and is independent alike of both. It aids for its part to illumine practice, but is not illuminated by it. Expression does not possess means, because it has not an end ; it has intuitions of things, but it does not will and is therefore unanalysable into the abstract components of volition, means and end. Sometimes a certain writer is said to have invented a new technique of fiction or of drama, or a painter is said to have discovered a new technique of distributing light. The word is used here at hazard; because the so-called new technique is really that romance itself, or that new picture itself and nothing else. The distribution of light belongs to the vision of the picture itself; as the technique of a dramatist is his dramatic conception itself. On other occasions, the word “technique " is used to designate certain merits or defects in a work that is a failure; and it is euphemistically said that the conception is bad but the technique good, or that the conception is good but the technique bad. On the other hand, when we talk of the different ways of painting in oils, or of etching, or of sculpturing in alabaster, then the word “technique" is in its place; but in such a case the adjective “artistic" is used metaphorically. And if a dramatic technique in the aesthetic sense be impossible, a theatrical technique of processes of externalization of certain particular aesthetic works is not impossible. When, for instance, women were introduced on the stage in Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century, in place of men dressed as women, this was a true and real discovery in theatrical technique; such too was the perfecting in the following century of machines for the rapid changing of scenery by the impresarios of Venice. The collection of technical knowledge at the service of artists desirous of externalizing their expressions, can

be divided into groups, which may be entitled theories
of the arts. Thus arises a theory of Architecture, com-
prising mechanical laws, information relating to the
weight or resistance of the materials of construction or
of fortification, manuals relating to the method of mixing
lime or stucco ; a theory of Sculpture, containing advice
as to the instruments to be used for sculpturing the various
sorts of stone, for obtaining a successful mixture of
bronze, for working with the chisel, for the accurate casting
of the clay or plaster model, for keeping clay damp ; a
theory of Painting, on the various techniques of tempera,
of oil-painting, of water-colour, of pastel, on the pro-
portions of the human body, on the laws of perspective ;
a theory of Oratory, with precepts as to the method of
producing, of exercising and of strengthening the voice,
of attitude in impersonation and gesture; a theory of
Music, on the combinations and fusions of tones and
sounds; and so on. Such collections of precepts abound
in all literatures. And since it is impossible to say what
is useful and what useless to know, books of this sort
become very often a sort of encyclopaedias or catalogues of
desiderata. Vitruvius, in his treatise on Architecture,
claims for the architect a knowledge of letters, of drawing,
of geometry, of arithmetic, of optic, of history, of natural
and moral philosophy, of jurisprudence, of medicine,
of astrology, of music, and so on. Everything is worth
knowing: learn the art and have done with it.
It should be evident that such empirical collections
are not reducible to science. They are composed of
notions, taken from various sciences and disciplines, and
their philosophical and scientific principles are to be
found in the latter. To propose to construct a scientific
theory of the different arts would be to wish to reduce
to the single and homogeneous what is by nature multiple
and heterogeneous; to wish to destroy the existence as
a collection of what was put together precisely to form
a collection. Were we to try to give scientific form to
the manuals of the architect, the painter, or the musician,
it is clear that nothing would remain in our hands but

Technical theories of the different arts. Criticism of asthetic theories of particular arts.

Criticism of the classification of the arts.

the general principles of Mechanics, Optics, or Acoustics.
And if we were to extract and isolate what may be
scattered among them of properly artistic observations,
to make of them a scientific system, then the sphere
of the individual art would be abandoned and that
of AEsthetic entered, for AEsthetic is always general
AEsthetic, or rather it cannot be divided into general and
special. This last case (that is, the attempt to furnish
a technique which ends in composing an AEsthetic) arises
when men possessing strong Scientific instincts and a
natural tendency to philosophy set themselves to work
to produce such theories and technical manuals.
But the confusion between Physics and AEsthetic has
attained to its highest degree, when aesthetic theories of
particular arts are imagined, to answer such questions
as : What are the limits of each art 2 What can be
represented with colours, and what with sounds 2 What
with simple monochromatic lines and what with touches
of various colours ? What with tones, and what with
metres and rhythms ? What are the limits between the
figurative and the auditive arts, between painting and
sculpture, poetry and music 2
This, translated into scientific language, is tanta-
mount to asking : What is the connexion between
Acoustics and aesthetic expression ? What between the
latter and Optics 2—and the like. Now, if there is no
passage from the physical fact to the aesthetic, how could
there be from the aesthetic to particular groups of physical
facts, such as the phenomena of Optics or of Acoustics 2
The so-called arts have no aesthetic limits, because, in
order to have them, they would need to have also aesthetic
existence in their particularity; and we have demon-
strated the altogether empirical genesis of those partitions.
Consequently, any attempt at an aesthetic classification
of the arts is absurd. If they be without limits, they are
not exactly determinable, and consequently cannot be
philosophically classified. All the books dealing with
classifications and systems of the arts could be burned
without any loss whatever. (We say this with the
utmost respect to the writers who have expended their
labours upon them.)
The impossibility of such systematizations finds some-
thing like a proof in the strange attempts made to carry
it out. The first and most common partition is that
into arts of hearing, sight, and imagination ; as if eyes,
ears, and imagination were on the same level and could
be deduced from the same logical variable as funda-
mentum divisionis. Others have proposed the division
into arts of space and arts of time, arts of rest and move-
ment; as if the concepts of space, time, rest and motion
could determine special aesthetic forms and possess any-
thing in common with art as such. Finally, others have
amused themselves by dividing them into classic and
romantic, or into oriental, classic, and romantic, thereby
conferring the value of scientific concepts upon simple
historical denominations, or falling into those rhetorical
partitions of expressive forms, already criticized above;
or into arts that can only be seen from one side, like paint-
ing, and arts that can be seen from all sides, like sculpture
—and similar extravagances, which hold good neither in
heaven nor on earth.
The theory of the limits of the arts was perhaps at
the time when it was put forward a beneficial critical
reaction against those who believed in the possibility of
remodelling one expression into another, as the Iliad or
Paradise Lost into a series of paintings, and indeed held
a poem to be of greater or lesser value according as it
could or could not be translated into pictures by a painter.
But if the rebellion were reasonable and resulted in
victory, this does not mean that the arguments employed
and the systems constructed for the purpose were sound.
Another theory which is a corollary to that of the
arts and their limits, falls with them ; that of the union
of the arts. Given particular arts, distinct and limited,
it was asked : Which is the most powerful ? Do we not
obtain more powerful effects by uniting several 2 We
know nothing of this: we know only that in each parti-
cular case certain given artistic intuitions have need of

of the theory
of the union
of the arts.

Relation of
the activity of
to utility
and morality.

definite physical means for their reproduction and other
artistic intuitions of other means. We can obtain the
effect of certain plays by simply reading them ; others
need declamation and Scenic display: there are some
artistic intuitions which need for their full externalization
words, song, musical instruments, colours, statuary,
architecture, actors; while others are quite complete
in a slight outline made with the pen, or a few strokes
of the pencil. But it is false to suppose that declama-
tion and scenic effects and all the other things together
that we have mentioned are more powerful than a simple
reading or a simple outline of pen or pencil; because
each of those facts or groups of facts has, so to say, a
different purpose, and the power of the means cannot
be compared when the purposes are different.
Finally, it is only from the point of view of a clear
and rigorous distinction between the true and proper
aesthetic activity and the practical activity of externaliza-
tion that we can solve the complicated and confused
questions as to the relations between art and utility and
art and morality.
We have demonstrated above that art as art is in-
dependent both of utility and of morality, as also of
all practical value. Without this independence, it would
not be possible to speak of an intrinsic value of art, nor
indeed to conceive an aesthetic science, which demands
the autonomy of the aesthetic fact as its necessary
But it would be erroneous to maintain that this
independence of the vision or intuition or internal ex-
pression of the artist should be simply extended to the
practical activity of externalization and communication
which may or may not follow the aesthetic fact. If by
art be understood the externalization of art, then utility
and morality have a perfect right to enter into it; that
is to say, the right to be master in one's own house.
Indeed we do not externalize and fix all the many
expressions and intuitions which we form in our spirit ;
we do not declare our every thought in a loud voice, or

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