From Harold Speed on Art and Beauty

An artist friend posted on facebook this insightful quote from “The Practise and Science of Drawing” by Harold Speed, which was the text we studied at The Atelier LeSueur and likely used at most Ateliers….an excellent book to help learn the art of drawing:

The search for this inner truth is the search for beauty. People whose vision does not penetrate beyond the narrow limits of the commonplace, and to whom a cabbage is but a vulgar vegetable, are surprised if they see a beautiful picture painted of one, and say that the artist has idealised it, meaning that he has consciously altered its appearance on some idealistic formula; whereas he has probably only honestly given expression to a truer, deeper vision than they had been aware of. The commonplace is not the true, but only the shallow, view of things. Our moments of peace are, I think, always associated with some form of beauty, of this spark of harmony within corresponding with some infinite source without. In moments of beauty (for beauty is, strictly speaking, a state of mind rather than an attribute of certain objects) we seem to get a glimpse of this deeper truth behind the things of sense. And who can say but that this sense, dull enough in most of us, is not an echo of a greater harmony existing somewhere the other side of things, that we dimly feel through them, evasive though it is.

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