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ciating that which is full of soul and of detecting false pathos, may of itself furnish a sort of course in practical psychology. By the side of this subjective form stands the objective interpretation, and, as the highest form of this, the historicoreligious and theological, in cases where myth or revelation has furnished the subject for the work of art. An example of the former I take from Lycia, where a bright light is thrown on the state of nations hitherto obscure, by the Harpy monument of Xanthos. On the tower-like groundwork rests the monument proper, with the chamber of the dead, which is surrounded with a pictorial frieze. This contains, above the grave door, which at the same time indicates the entrance to Hades, a suckling cow, as a symbol of life-giving force and nourishing care; on the left is the goddess of death, enthroned alone; on the other side, the goddess of life, receiving homage from three women, one of whom holds an egg, another, pomegranate blossoms and fruit. On the adjoining sides four harpies are represented, the upper part of their bodies resembling women, the lower part shaped like an egg, with the wings, tail, and legs of a bird, each of them holding an infant. They have seized the infant, it is true, with the claws, a sign of inevitable fate ; but in other respects their expression is mild, and they embrace the child with maternal arms, and it turns trustfully toward them, - an image of the soul and of its fate in death. Herein is expressed the sentiment that death is a passage into life. Thus we have here a witness to the belief in immortality in the lower stages of Grecian art and poetry. In the Homeric narrative also, the harpies figure as the genii of death, but with a fainter significance; the suckling cow is found on the coins of Grecian cities ; and the egg, which in the monument of Xanthos is brought to the goddess of life by one of the worshipping women (to say nothing of the bodily form of the harpies), has also a place in the monumental symbolics of Greece and Rome. A monument, however, so unique
1 I follow the explanation of Curtius in the Archäologische Zeitschrift, 1855, No. 73.
in its kind and of such fundamental significance, involving so deep a meaning, and yet containing the key to its own interpretation, should, one might think, not be kept from the youth in schools of learning, and seems pre-eminently suited, as its secret is elicited from it, to awaken a sense for the language of art.
Nevertheless, the didactic use of these works of art extends further than merely to train the faculties and develop the intuitive powers. One cannot take up such images, especially in his younger years, without being captivated by the thing itself, so that the mind is enriched, the feelings refined, and convictions gained and strengthened.
And so we find the connection between this and the second object of schools.
2. For though the formal object, the harmonious cultivation of the mental faculties, was first emphasized, yet we cannot stop with this. The gymnasium has clearly not only to give a gymnastic training to the mind, but to fill the mind and form the character. And to this end there is no other way than to bring men beyond themselves to archetypal forms, or to the beautiful itself, of which Plato says that he leads no bad life who aspires after it and sees it and holds intercourse with it. But these archetypes become visible in the works of art. The argument for so early an introduction to the study of works of art will however fail, if, following modern speculation, we reckon the aesthetic sense as a middle thing, higher than belief, and lower than the perception of truth, as though these were stages, the lower of which must give way to the higher. On the contrary, all these three elements seek each other and unite together; for in the seeing of divine things, as the completion of faith, is involved the notion both of truth and of beauty. Art, therefore, when it presents to the eye the beautiful and the
1 As has since been shown by Bachofen, Uber die Gräbersymbolik der Alten, 1859. Cf. Gerhard, Das Ei auf Kunstdenkmälern, in the Archäol. Anzeiger, 1859, p. 58. 2 Pluto, Symposion, p. 211. VOL. XXIV. No. 94.
sublime, thus proclaims truth in its aboriginal form. A glance at one of the wonders of Christian architecture, and a poet's utterance, may serve to confirm this. In view of the Strasburg Cathedral, Goethe invites us not only to draw near and recognize in the soul of the artist the deepest sense of truth and of beauty in the proportions; he recognizes also in the structure a monument of eternal life in the master, and confesses that before this work, as before every great thought of creation, is stirred in the soul whatever there is in it of creative force. Thus then is expressed the mystery of art, that it is the divine made real to sense. And we should have to deny the work of art as well as the artist, if we would not recognize in both the testimony, nay, the presence, of Him to whose honor it was erected. It is objected that divinity cannot merge itself in the individual phenomena with which art has to do; or, as David Strauss says, that it is not the way of the Idea to pour out all its wealth into one copy (speaking of the person of Christ). But just the opposite is true, as may be proved even from history and in the times before Christ: in creative epochs a new beginning is marked by a fulness of endowment in one person. This is forcibly expressed by the Greeks, respecting the beginning of their poetry, in the epigram: “ Nature mused long, and created; and when she had created, she rested, and said : One Homer to the world.” And it is now no longer heresy to return to a belief in the essential unity of the Homeric poems. We need not then engage in the controversy respecting the validity of the same law in the history of revelation. But another summit of Christian art may serve as testimony - a work like Raphael's Sistine Madonna, which in its kind stands alone, marked by the loftiness of the mien of the virgin and mother, by the unfathomable depth in the eyes of the child. This the artist never could have painted, if it had not stood before his soul; he could not have had it in his soul, if it did not exist in truth.
4 Goethe, Von deutscher Baukunst (1771). Werke, Bd. xxv. of ed. 1850, p. 7. Dritte Wallfahrt nach Erwins Grabe (1775), ibid, p. 15.
It would seem wise, therefore, to bring such witnesses before the youth; to conduct them to the Strasburg Cathedral, or to some other one, to the Sistine Madonna, or another one, in order to implant in their hearts the seeds of superterrestrial beauty.
3. A third claim can be made upon the schools, growing out of their duty to the nation to educate the youth up to the degree and the quality of culture attained by the nation. The proposition will not be contested, that the state of a people's general culture depends, on the average, on the stage of culture attained at the close of the last year in the gymnasia or in the equally advanced polytechnic schools. All men of culture take this course; many go from these schools directly to their particular vocation; and at the university the most devote themselves at once to their special department, so that the advance here made is chiefly in particular lines of study rather than in general culture. Hence results the converse claim on the schools that they make their course of study harmonize with this culture. Thus of late the natural sciences, and subsequently modern languages, have obtained an important place among the studies pursued at the gymnasia. Now, however, interest in monuments of art has become more and more a factor of general culture both in Germany and in other enlightened countries. This is shown by the ambition to erect statues in memory of the great men of the present and the past. It is manifested, furthermore, in the collection of antiquities and the erection of art museums, especially those designed to exhibit objects of national interest, and to be enjoyed by all, even by the working classes. For the latter object, the Kensington Museum at London was founded, and in Berlin the Royal Museum is opened even on Sundays. For the former object, there was not long ago established in the Louvre the Musée des Souverains, in Munich a Bavarian National Museum, and in Hanover the Welfen-Museum.
The schools, therefore, cannot exempt themselves from the duty of awakening and cultivating an appreciation of the
monuments of art, so long as it is expected of every cultivated man not to be a barbarian in this sphere. Following a like standard, we should certainly be surprised if scholars could leave any gymnasium without having heard during the whole course of instruction about America and its discovery. But what shall be said when schools send qut young men who have never heard of another world, which stands before everybody's eyes and contains the noblest works of genius of thousands of years ; or who, though the names of Phidias, Erwin, and Raphael may have been handed down to them, yet have not traced out the footprints of their genius?
Here, however, we are met by the objection : “ Art, likewise Christian art, is a subject which cannot, like grammar, be imposed upon all men, but must be more or less left to the devoted action of those whose vocation it is.” This is certainly true, if the question relates to a virtuosoship in the understanding and explanation of works of art. But for the measure to be attained in the schools, the difference of natural endowment is of secondary consequence, just as in the case of mathematics it does not prevent the course of study from extending even into the higher sphere. And yet the language of art, which, far from involving mathematical abstractions, everywhere lets the mind appear in a sensible form, is incomparably more comprehensible. Nay, it is comprehensible by every man, as both history and daily experience testify. For the noblest works of art have always been publicly exhibited, for the very reason that they can be understood, at least felt, by all. The Jupiter of Phidias was for everybody, else the Greek who had not once in his life come to Olympia to see it, would not have been pronounced unfortunate. On the other hand, it is seen that the works of art present food for study to men in every period of life, since, according to the subjects and the mode of treating them, they may be studied even in early youth, and yet constantly present new themes for study to one in mature years. Accordingly they are suited to serve as a