New Bearings in Esthetics and Art Criticism

A Study in Semantics and Evaluation

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THE SEMANTIC BACKGROUND                               17
rate meanings for the two terms and he introduces his differentiation with the following sensible statement: "In making such a distinction I do not claim to be establishing definitions that will be valid for other students, nor am I concerned with maintaining the distinction against objections. The intention is merely to make a perfectly arbitrary differentiation of naturalism and realism for the sake of present exigencies." 26 That his ensuing definitions are not excessively arbitrary, however, appears from his next sentence: "I have not reached my conclusion, however, without a careful analysis of the ideas conveyed to my own mind by the words and, so far as possible, of the connotations attached to them, consciously or unconsciously, by the majority of discriminating writers." The distinction between naturalism and realism then follows and the paragraph concludes with these words: "In thus seeking to limit realism for the purposes of this book, no effort has been made to take into account such esoteric and, if you will, possible definitions as an application of the term to works of art that render the essence, though not necessarily, the outward semblance of the thing." 27 This last remark is exceptionally interesting for our present linguistic problem when we consider it in conjunction with the following very different pronouncements upon realism of Professor Morey: (i) "The realist is one who grips the concrete, but at the same time by intuition grasps the universal significance that it implies";28 (ii) a French Gothic statue in the Princeton Museum is "realistic in the best and ultimate sense because it reveals through its lovely homeliness the fundamentals of human character and emotion" 2d (my italics). These quotations indicate that Morey does not always recognize the need of volitional defini-
26.  C. R. Post, A History of Spanish Painting (Cambridge, Mass., 1930),
27.  Ibid., p. 18.
28.  C. R. Morey, Christian Art (New York, 1935), p. 46.
29.  Ibid., p. 61.