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Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 7, No. 40, February, 1861

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Author: Various Authors
Published: 1861
Language: English
Wordcount: 87,759 / 254 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 53
LoC Category: AP
Downloads: 723
Added to site: 2004.06.30
mnybks.net#: 8148
Genre: Periodical
Excerpt

onfine our interest and study to the portraiture which he has executed, we might, in view of its remarkable character, designate it as historical.

Than a really great portrait, no work of art can be more truly historical. We feel the subjectiveness of compositions intended to transmit facts to posterity,--and unless we know the artist, we are at a loss as to the degree of trust which we may place in his impressions. A true portrait is objective. The individuality of the one whom it represents was the ruling force in the hour of its production; and to the spirit of a household, a community, a kingdom, or an age, that individuality is the key. There is, too, in a genuine portrait an internal evidence of its authenticity. No artist ever was great enough to invent the combination of lines, curves, and planes which composes the face of a man. There is the accumulated significance of a lifetime,--subtile traces of failures or of victories wrought years ago. How these will manifest themselves, no experience can p

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