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must add, the artist always has the means of preventing this contradiction from taking place. In what way? By taking, as the material of his intuition and aesthetic externalization, precisely the destination of the object, which serves a practical end. He will not need to add anything to the object, in order to make it the instrument of æsthetic intuitions: it will be so, if perfectly adapted to its practical purpose. Rustic dwellings and palaces, churches and barracks, swords and ploughs, are beautiful, not in so far as they are embellished and adorned, but in so far as they express the purpose for which they were made. A garment is only beautiful because it is quite suitable to a given person in given conditions. The sword bound to the side of the warrior Rinaldo by the amorous Armida was not beautiful : "so adorned that it seemed a useless ornament, not the warlike instrument of a warrior." It was beautiful, if you will, in the eyes and imagination of the sorceress, who loved her lover in this effeminate way. The æsthetic fact can always accompany the practical fact, because expression is truth.

It cannot, however, be denied that æsthetic contemplation sometimes hinders practical use. For instance, it is a quite common experience to find

The stimulants of production.

certain new things so well adapted to their purpose, and yet so beautiful, that people occasionally feel scruples in maltreating them by using after contemplating them, which amounts to consuming them. It was for this reason that King Frederick William of Prussia evinced repugnance to ordering his magnificent grenadiers, so well suited for war, to endure the strain of battle; but his less æsthetic son, Frederick the Great, obtained from them excellent services.

It might be objected to the explanation of the physically beautiful as a simple adjunct for the reproduction of the internally beautiful, that is to say, of expressions, that the artist creates his expressions by painting or by sculpturing, by writing or by composing, and that therefore the physically beautiful, instead of following, sometimes precedes the æsthetically beautiful. This would be a somewhat superficial mode of understanding the procedure of the artist, who never makes a stroke with his brush without having previously seen it with his imagination; and if he has not yet seen it, he will make the stroke, not in order to externalize his expression (which does not yet exist), but as though to have a rallying point for ulterior meditation and for internal concentration. The physical point on which he

leans is not the physically beautiful, instrument of reproduction, but what may be called a pedagogic means, similar to retiring into solitude, or to the many other expedients, frequently very strange, adopted by artists and philosophers, who vary in these according to their various idiosyncrasies. The old æsthetician Baumgarten advised poets to ride on horseback, as a means of inspiration, to drink wine in moderation, and (provided they were chaste) to look at beautiful women.


Critique of æsthetic



It is necessary to mention a series of scientific mistakes which have arisen from the failure to understand the purely external relation between the æsthetic fact or artistic vision, and the physical fact or instrument, which serves as an aid to reproduce it. We must here indicate the proper criticism, which derives from what has already been said.

That form of associationism which identifies associationism the aesthetic fact with the association of two images finds a place among these errors. By what path has it been possible to arrive at such a mistake, against which our æsthetic consciousness, which is a consciousness of perfect unity, never of duality, rebels? Just because the physical and the aesthetic facts have been considered separately, as two distinct images, which enter the spirit, the one drawn forth from

the other, the one first and the other afterwards. A picture is divided into the image of the picture and the image of the meaning of the picture; a poem, into the image of the words and the image of the meaning of the words. But this dualism of images is non-existent: the physical fact does not enter the spirit as an image, but causes the reproduction of the image (the only image, which is the æsthetic fact), in so far as it blindly stimulates the psychic organism and produces an impression answering to the æsthetic expression already produced.

The efforts of the associationists (the usurpers of to-day in the field of Esthetic) to emerge from the difficulty, and to reaffirm in some way the unity which has been destroyed by their principle of associationism, are highly instructive. Some maintain that the image called back again is unconscious; others, leaving unconsciousness alone, hold that, on the contrary, it is vague, vaporous, confused, thus reducing the force of the aesthetic fact to the weakness of bad memory. But the dilemma is inexorable: either keep association and give up unity, or keep unity and give up association. No third way out of the difficulty exists.

From the failure to analyze so-called natural

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