ART VERSUS NATURE
T TISTORIES of art abound with declarations that -*- ■*■ art revivals were coincident with a "return to nature." Students of drawing and painting are urged to "go to nature." Our academic courses are arranged not without some confusion as to this precept, the usual series of studies comprising drawing from plaster casts, possibly from still life, finally from the human figure. Thoroughness of draughtsmanship and acceptable paint ing of the nude are the aim. Most academic instruc tion does not seriously go beyond these exercises in rendering form.
There is a remarkable similarity in the situations of the art student and the photographer in that neither advances far enough to understand where art really begins. It is generally acknowledged that in no previous time in our history has there been so much art study and so little art as in our day. And this may be attributed, at least in part, to lack of insight concern ing the relation of nature to art. The skilfully drawn
human figure and the photographically well rendered