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form is perfection, or harmony in variety.” He too repudiates Hutcheson's deus ex machina, the sense of beauty. Sensible beauty, perfection such as can be apprehended by the senses, is independent of the fact that the object represented is beautiful or ugly, good or bad by nature; it suffices that it leaves us not indifferent: whence Mendelssohn agrees with Baumgarten's definition, “a poem is a discourse sensibly perfect.”” Elias Schlegel (1742) conceived art as imitation, not so servile as to seem a copy, but having similarity rather than identity with nature : he considered the duty of poetry was first to please and only afterwards to instruct.” Treatises on AEsthetic, university lectures or slender volumes for use of the public, Theories of the Fine Arts and Letters, Manuals, Sketches, Texts, Principles, Introductions, Lectures, Essays, and Considerations on Taste poured down thick and fast on Germany during the second half of the eighteenth century. There are at least thirty full or complete treatises and many dozens of minor tracts or fragments. After the Protestant universities, the Catholic took up the new science, which was taught by Riedel at Vienna, Herwigh at Würzburg, Ladrone at Mainz, Jacobi at Freiburg, and by others at Ingolstadt after the expulsion of the Jesuits.” A pretty little volume on the First Principles of the Fine Arts" was written (1790) for Catholic schools by the notorious Franciscan friar Eulogius Schneider, who, after being unfrocked, terrorised Strasburg in the days of the Convention, and met his end under the guillotine. The frenzied output of these German Æsthetics resembles that of Poetics in Italy in the sixteenth century, after the rise to popularity of Aristotle's treatise. Between 1771 and 1774 the Swiss Sulzer brought out his great aesthetic encyclopaedia, The General Theory of the Fine Arts, in alphabetical order, with historical notes upon each article, which were greatly enlarged in the second edition of 1792, edited by a retired Prussian captain, von Blankenburg.” In 1799, one J. Koller published a first Sketch of the History of Æsthetic,” in which he observes not unjustly, “Patriotic youth will be pleased to recognize that Germany has produced more literature on this subject than any other country.” " Confining ourselves to bare mention of the works of Riedel (1767), Faber (1767), Schütz (1776–1778), Schubart (1777–1781), Westenrieder (1777), Szerdahel (1779), König (1784), Gāng (1785), Meiners (1787), Schott (1789), Moritz (1788)," we will select from the crowd the Theory of Fine Arts and Letters (1783) of Johann August Eberhard, successor to Meier in the Chair at Halle," and the Sketch of a Theory and Literature of Letters (1783) by Johann Joachim Eschenburg, one of the most popular books of the day for students.” Both these authors are followers of Baumgarten, with inclinations towards sensationalism ; amongst other things Eberhard considered the beautiful as “that which pleases the most distinct senses,” that is to say, of sight and hearing. A word must be accorded to Sulzer, in whom we find the most curious alternation of new and old, the romantic influence of the new Swiss School and the utilitarianism and intellectualism of his day. He asserts that beauty exists wherever unity, variety and order are found : the work of an artist is strictly in the form, in lively expression (lebhaste Darstellung): the material is irrelevant to art, but the duty of every reasonable and sensible man is to make judicious selection. The beauty which is used to clothe the good as well as the bad is not the ineffable, celestial Beauty, offspring of the alliance between the beautiful, the good and the perfect, which awakens more than mere pleasure, a veritable joy which ravishes and beatifies our soul. Such is the human face when, by filling the eye of the beholder with the pleasure of form arising from the variety, proportion and order of the features, it proceeds to arouse the imagination and intellect by its suggestion of interior perfection ; of the same nature is the statue of a great man carved by Phidias, or a patriotic oration by Cicero. If truth lie outside art and belong to philosophy, the most noble use to which art may be put is to make us feel the important truths which lend her strength and energy, not to mention that truth itself enters into art in the shape of truthful imitation or representation. Sulzer also repeats (and he is not the last) that orators, historians and poets are intermediaries between speculative philosophy and the people.” Karl Heinrich Heydenreich K. H. returns to a sounder tradition when he defines art (1790) * as “a representation of a determinate state of sensibility,” - and observes that man, as a cognitive being, is impelled to enlarge the sphere of his cognitions and impart his discoveries to his fellows, while as a sensitive being he is impelled to represent and communicate his sensations; whence arise science and art. But Heydenreich does not clearly grasp the cognitive character of art ; for in his opinion sensations become objects of artistic representation either because they are pleasing or, when not pleasing, because they are useful to further the moral aims of man as a social being ; the objects of sensibility which enter into art must be possessed of intrinsic excellence and value and bear reference not to a single individual but to the individual as a rational being : hence the objectivity and necessity of taste. Like Baumgarten
* Briefe über die Empfindungen, 1755 (in Opere filosofiche, Ital. trans., Parma, 18oo, vol. ii.), Letters 2, 5, II.
* Betrachtungen üb. d. Quellen d. sch. Wiss. u. K., 1757, later entitled Uber die Hauptgrundsätze, etc., 1761, in Opere, ed. cit. ii. pp. Io, I2-15, 2I-2O.
; J. E. Schlegel, Von der Nachahmung, 1742; cf. Braitmaier, Gesch. d. poet. Th. i. p. 249 sqq.
* Koller, Entwurf, p. 103.
* Die ersten Grundsätze der schönen Kunst ilberhaupt, und der schönen Schreibart insbesondere, Bonn, 1790 ; cf. Sulzer, i. p. 55, and Koller,
J. G. Sulzer.
* See Bibliographical Appendix.
* Entwurf zur Geschichte u. Literatur d. Asthetik, etc., Regensburg, 1799; see Bibl. App.
* Koller, op. cit. p. 7.
* Notices and extracts in Sulzer and Koller, opp. citt.
* Joh. Aug. Eberhard, Theorie der schönen Künste u. Wissenschaften, Halle, 1783; reprinted 1789, 1790.
* Joh. Joach. Eschenburg, Entwurf einer Theorie u. Literatur d. s. W., Berlin, 1783; reprinted 1789.
and Meier, he divides AEsthetic into three parts: a doctrine of inventio, another of methodica, a third of the ars significandi.” Another disciple of Baumgarten is J. G. Herder, who had an unbounded admiration for the old Berlin master, whom he calls “the Aristotle of his day,” and defends him warmly against those who think fit to describe him as a “stupid and obtuse syllogizer” (1769). On the other hand he had slight esteem for subsequent AEsthetic, for example Meier's work, which he stigmatized accurately enough as “in part a re-mastication of Logic, in part a patchwork of metaphorical terms, comparisons and examples.” “O AEsthetic l’’ he cries with emphasis, “O AEsthetic the most fertile, the most beautiful and by far the most novel of all abstract sciences, in what cavern of the Muses is sleeping the youth of my philosophic nation destined to bring thee to perfection ?”* He denied Baumgarten's claim to have established an Ars pulchre cogitandi instead of limiting himself to a simple Scientia de pulchro et pulchris philosophice cogitans, and ridiculed the scruple which held AEsthetic to be unworthy of the dignity of Philosophy.” To compensate for this, however, he accepted the fundamental definition of poetry as oratio sensitiva perfecta : gem of definitions (says he), the best that has ever been invented, that penetrates to the heart of the matter, touches the true poetic principles and opens the most extended view over the entire philosophy of the beautiful, “coupling poetry with her sisters, the fine arts.” 4 Like Cesarotti the Italian, but with much less vivacity and brilliance, Herder the German had studied primitive poetry, Ossian and the songs of ancient peoples, Shakespeare (1773), popular love-songs (1778), the spirit of Hebrew poetry (1782), and oriental poetry; these studies powerfully impressed upon his mind the sensitive nature of poetry. His friend Hamann (1762) had written these memorable words, which read like an extract from one of Vico's aphorisms: “Poetry is the mother-tongue of mankind : in the same way that the garden is older than the ploughed field, painting than writing, song than declamation, barter than trade. The repose of our most ancient progenitors was a slumber deeper than ours; their motion a tumultuous dance. They spent seven days in the silence of thought or of stupor; and opened their mouths to pronounce winged words. Their speech was sensation and passion, and they understood nothing but images. Of images is composed all the treasure of human knowledge and felicity.” ". Although Herder, who knew and admired Vico,” does not mention him by name when treating of language and poetry, one might suppose him to be influenced by the great Neapolitan at least in the final consolidation of his theories; but, on the contrary, the authors whom he chiefly quotes in this connexion are Du Bos, Goguet and Condillac, and observes “the first beginnings of human speech in tone, gesture, expression of sensations and thoughts by means of images and signs, can only have been a kind of crude poetry, and so it is among every savage nation in the world.” Not a speech with punctuation and a sense of syllable, like ours, learning as we do to read and write, but an unsyllabled melody which gave birth to the primitive epic. “Natural man depicts what he sees and as he sees it, alive, powerful, monstrous; in order or disorder, as he sees and hears, so he reproduces. Not alone did barbarous tongues thus arrange their images, but Greek and Latin do the same. As the senses offered material, so the poets utilized it; especially in Homer we see how closely nature is followed in images which glow and fade perpetually and inimitably. He describes things
J. G. Herder.
* Karl Heinrich Heydenreich, System der Asthetik, vol. i., Leipzig, I790, esp. pp. I49-154, 367-385, 385-392. * Kritische Wälder oder Betrachtungen über die Wissenschaft und Kunst des Schönen, Fourth Forest, 1769, in Sämmtliche Werke, ed. B. Suphan, Berlin, 1878, vol. iv. pp. 19, 21, 27. * Kritische Wälder, loc. cit. pp. 22-27. * Fragment, Von Baumgarten Denkart; and cf. op. cit. pp. 132-133.