By John C. van Dyke
John Charles van Dyke (1856-1932) was once an American artwork historian and critic. He was once born at New Brunswick, N. J., studied at Columbia, and for a few years in Europe. together with his booklet chronicling the historical past of portray from cave work to the fashionable period. absolutely illustrated.
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Extra info for A Text-Book of the History of Painting (Illustrated Edition)
Christian life at that time was passion-strung, but the faces in art do not show it, for the reason that the Roman frescos were the painter's model, not the people of the Christian community about him. There was nothing like a realistic presentation at this time. The type alone was given. In the drawing it was not so good as that shown in the Roman and Pompeian frescos. There was a mechanism about its production, a copying by unskilled hands, a negligence or an ignorance of form that showed everywhere.
It still held strong, and though with the Renaissance there came about a strange mingling of crime and corruption, æstheticism and immorality, yet the Church was never abandoned for an hour. When enlightenment came, people began to doubt the spiritual power of the Papacy. They did not cringe to it so servilely as before. Religion was not violently embraced as in the Middle Ages, but there was no revolt. The Church held the power and was still the patron of art. The painter's subjects extended over nature, the antique, the fable, allegory, history, portraiture; but the religious subject was not neglected.
When it ended, the artists were ordered to follow the traditions, not to make any new creations, and not to model any figure in the round. The nature element in art was quite dead at that time, and the order resulted only in diverting the course of painting toward the unrestricted miniatures and manuscripts. The native Italian art was crushed for a time by this new ecclesiastical burden. It did not entirely disappear, but it gave way to the stronger, though equally restricted art that had been encroaching upon it for a long time—the art of Byzantium.