LIGHT AND SHADE
we have become endeared through our exploitation of oil painting. In the use of each we wish to direct the gaze into the picture, whereas in decorative work the effort is more nearly to direct the gaze at the picture.
To prepare oil colors for use in pictorial (mural) decoration the oil is frequently mixed with wax to cause it to lose its depth; it then becomes flat or "dead," attaining surface quality.
These differences in the technique and conception of art are racial. There is no doubt that occidental decoration can be improved by infusion of Japanese principles, but our pictorial art is based upon so different a foundation that it amounts to misleading a nation when the pictorial is spoken of as being cast in the same mould with the decorative principle. For several cen turies there prevailed in occidental art a mistaken view as to the relation of the pictorial principle to decora tion. That branch known as mural painting, which being based upon architectural conditions is funda mentally decorative, has been overpowered by the pictorial principle. It remained for Puvis de Chavannes in his mural work to re-establish right relations.
A decoration is always identified with the object it embellishes, while a pictorial representation is as mobile as a leaf. Expected to be beautiful in itself, it can be hung wherever the good taste of its owner im pels him to place it. Though one branch of art pro-