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down with a greater confidence than of old. The toy-box system may be useful for an artist who wishes to strip his design down to its simplest terms in the process of work : it is certainly not a method by which the artist can say anything individual : pictures painted on this system are as like one another as the work of the
Ripolin' painters, to use the image that a witty friend has suggested. The best painting in the exhibition was a portrait of Mr. McTaggart, the Cambridge philosopher, who once wrote on "The Further Determination of the Absolute,' an explanation of what really constitutes the Thing-in-Itself. Here, Mr. Fry must have thought, is a subject for the new art; but if the colour is negative and the background a needless reminiscence of Van Gogh's patterns, the head is drawn with no more of caricature than the character of the sitter reasonably suggested.
Here I might stop, if account were taken only of the merits of the pictures that have been put forward and of the theories that have been spun about them. But it has been noticeable that the attraction of these pictures for many people was not what they positively were, but rather what they negatively excluded. They were welcomed in the degree in which they renounced with violence the world as it is seen. They were accepted as a promise, queer and doubtful, of a painting that should render the world beneath appearances, the world unseen. There cropped up again and again in discussion the word 'symbol.' These distortions of reality were thought, in some unexplained way, to give us ‘symbols' of a deeper reality than the painter ordinarily represents. Mr. Fry, indeed, started in chase of the will-of-the-wisp of a painting that should use symbols free from particularity like words, a's Mallarmé sought for verse that should use words and their associations freely, almost like music. The difficulty is that painted symbols can supply no argument 'like words : that they represent the nouns of speech, but not the verbs, nor any conjunctions except and ’; while Mr. Fry and his school are taking away most of the adjectives. It is a muddle-headed condition of mind that sees 'symbols' in the still-lifes we have been dealing with. A colourless sphere or a circle may be used as the symbol of an orange; an orange can hardly be called the symbol of a circle.
But the hankering thus incongruously revealed for symbols in painting, for this paradoxical use of an art whose natural field is the superficial beauty of visible reality in all its infinite variety, this need is after all a need of the religious spirit, calling 'for help from the imagination to picture what is strictly unimaginable and therefore cannot be painted. The sterner religions, Hebrew and Mohammedan, have forbidden such a use of art, a traducing of the unseen by idols; but the weakness of humanity has demanded some equivalent, in terms of the despised visible
beauty, for the life of the soul and the superhuman beings of its adoration. It was this bankering, so entirely unsatisfied, so actively repelled by the disgusting pictures ordinarily called religious, that was anew excited by the rumour of a return in painting to symbolic art.
When I drew the distinction referred to above between Classic' and 'Romantic' drawing, and defined the attitudes behind these, by names from the Greek myth of Olympians and Titans, I set over against these two, as the third dominating attitude of the imagination, the Mystic–I did not develop the consequences of the last for drawing so far as the other twopartly because of the obscurity of the inquiry, partly because illustration of the attitude in modern art is so scanty. But the question at least calls for definite posing even at the end of a short article like this : as there is a Classic and a Romantic drawing, is there also a Mystic drawing? Can we trace the laws that govern the artist who attempts to render the superhuman in some sort of visible terms? Symbolic, evidently, the drawing must be; that is to say the image given will be there not fully to represent anything, but to mediate with the Unseen, as Incarnation with God, to stand for something beyond itself. In what ways will the drawing suggest this?
The modern romantic temper tends to confound with mystic vision two words whose sound favours the confusion, ‘mystery' and ‘mist.' The first of these was originally the mystic's drama, the rite of initiation, but it has been worn down till it means little more than something misty; and mistiness is the romantic evasion for mystic vision. But this is the reverse of the character we find in the images of really religious times. Definiteness of outline, massive form, are their characteristics, as of forces imperishable and unchanging. And we may put this more generally by saying that as much as possible every element of contingency must be excluded, all those features that made Plato distrust the art of painting because they render the idea a shifting thing. For this reason perspective will be minimised, for this reason changing light and shadow, the mirage of atmosphere, the decomposition of reflected lights; in composition the studied confusion of the picturesque, in expression all transitory emotion will be banished for severe symmetry and solemn calm. The illusion of the passing world will be reduced to its lowest term of abstraction, and for this reason sculpture, in what is obviously not flesh, will be preferred to painting. Detail and accessory will be as rigorously dealt with; such incident and detail as is admitted will be admitted reluctantly only because it is forced upon the artist to enhance significance. And symbolic realities thus admitted will wear some mark of strangeness, as by
the faint tradition of religion people still dress for church.' It shows how far this idea bas been perverted that the modern does not put on a dress, like a surplice, that would sink bis individuality; Mrs. Brown does not wear a veil, but affirms herself not Mrs. Jones by her competitive hat. That is not surprising, since for so many
. centuries religious art has been lost, has been ebbing with the receding wave that withdrew religion itself to the East from which it came. Just as in Greek art the 'classic' period is too realistic and human to be religious, so in Gothic figures like Le beau Christ of Amiens are already outside, and in painting we must go back to 'primitives' behind Titian for examples of what we are in search of. In early Greek and Gothic blocks, in mosaic on non-illusive golden grounds, in Egyptian granite, in oriental bronze, something of the divine and eternal was communicated. And the drawing of such images differs from the choice realism of classic art, the curiosity and personal emphasis of romantic; it sweeps over the minor points of representation that in portrait, in the drama, in genre and still-life are properly sought out and enforced. In the native lands of religion this synthetic drawing has extended itself beyond the religious subject, has checked the portrait-painter when he deals with the individual, and even the landscape painter, tied to symbols when he seeks the freedom of clouds or sea.
That only a religious revival could restore the conditions in which even the other great kinds of painting might grow again to their highest stature is, I think, an inevitable conclusion from history; and monumental art of any kind calls for 'sacrifices' of small imitation. But the sacrifices 'of the ‘Post-Impressionists seem to me to be sacrifices in the wrong place, and not to be laid on the altar even of an absent god.
D. S. MacCOLL.
'THE CHURCH AND CELIBACY'
THERE is a great deal in Mrs. Huth Jackson's article with which I, personally, find myself in agreement. The hasty and improvident marriages of a large number of the clergy certainly do not tend to increase their efficiency'in the work for which they were ordained. The pressure of poverty, the constant anxiety as to how to 'make two ends meet' are not by themselves favourable to the pursuit of high spiritual and intellectual ideals; and their result is too often seen in lessened power and weakened influence. Any one who is concerned (as I am) in helping to administer clerical' charities' cannot but feel--even when he is most moved by the stories of clerical poverty--that a little more prudence and selfrestraint might fairly be expected in those who are ordained to the holy function of the priesthood. And the existence of these charities of one sort and another may, one must own, serve in too many cases as a direct incitement to a foolish marriage. There are, one fears, a certain number of men in England and Wales (and especially, as far as my experience serves, in Wales) who are more or less vividly conscious of the fact that, if things come to the worst, there is a clerical' charity' in the background which may prove a present help in trouble.
Of course it is not true to say that clergymen are the only people who marry in haste and beg at leisure. There are charities' associated with the professions of the law and of medicine which do not disdain help coming from outside these professions; and the only reason why clerical charities are more prominent than others is, I suppose, because the clergy, on the whole, are worse paid than lawyers and doctors. But even when one has conceded the folly of these improvident marriages, there is still another side to the matter which cannot be overlooked. It has to be remembered that our national and imperial greatness is partly, at any rate, the consequence of the large families which existed in the past. The place where Englishmen dwelt was too strait for them; they were compelled to go forth and to found new societies beyond the seas. Had we always been as prudent as we are now, there would be no Empire. And in this work of Empire-building the vicarage has played no inconsiderable part. Sydney Smith spoke of the children of the clergy as brought up on 'Catechism and bread and butter.' It is this combination of a simple life, together with a virile, if imperfect, religious training, which has produced
men singularly fitted for the work that had to be done. It is well known, for instance, that of those commemorated in the Dictionary of National Biography the sons of the clergy far exceed those of any other calling or profession.
But Mrs. Jackson will say that she is not concerned with national greatness or imperial expansion. These are temporal and secular things; she is thinking of men and women as immortal spirits, with spiritual needs and desires. They want, she tells us, not clergymen but priests. She does not tell us what is the difference between a 'priest' and a 'clergyman,' but apparently she thinks of the former as wielding a spiritual authority denied to the latter. Accepting the distinction (if this be what Mrs. Jackson means), we may yet contend that it really matters very little whether a priest be married or no. His authority will depend on his own view of his office and his mode of exercising it. Had G. H. Wilkinson no spiritual authority? was he not a 'real shepherd'? Yet he was married. Were Pusey and Keble not real shepherds? Yet they, too, were married. Are not the parochial clergy of the Eastern Church regarded as priests? Yet they are not merely permitted to marry; they are compelled to
Even if we adopt the test of 'confession, it is not easy to see that the celibacy of the clergy is a necessity. Of course Mrs. Jackson, in saying that the Anglican Church preaches the necessity for Confession' and treats Confession as a 'Sacrament,' uses language which appears to show either ignorance or contempt of the authorised practices of the English Church. Has such a 'good churchwoman' already forgotten her Catechism? If not, she must be aware that the name of 'sacrament’is reserved for Baptism and the 'Supper of the Lord.' Has she forgotten also the words of the exhortation in the Communion service? Then let me remind her of them, “And because it is requisite that no man should come to the Holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore, if there be any of you who by this means cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned Minister of God's Word and open his grief ; that by the ministry of God's Holy Word, he may receive the benefit of absolution, etc.' Even in the Order for the Visitation of the Sick,' the sick man is only to 'be moved to make a special confession of his sins if he feels his conscience troubled with any weighty matter.'
These quotations make it quite clear that in the English Church confession to a priest, far from being a matter of 'necessity,' is contemplated as being something exceptional—' medicine, and not food.' The English Church, in fact, stands for liberty, which no doubt is a very dangerous thing, but at the same time absolutely