Greece And Tangible Mass

the rather naive drawing of the back of Euphronios's backward-glancing man, a back half-obscured by the decorative lines of the mantle ; the plane of the buttocks is clearly felt ; then the upward-running profile of the back, instead of continuing from the far buttock profile as a latter-day student (and probably, certainly, more capable draughtsmen still than he) would carry it on, starts from the base of the sacral triangle, thereby very adroitly, if not very accurately, suggesting the insertion of the upper conical volume (of which I have already spoken so often) into the pelvic mass, suggesting at the same time the difference and the relation between the two masses. The Greek mind was used to thinking in real and tangible masses ; not in intangible changing effect. Thinking ' all round 3 his mass, all round and through it, being used to consider the co-órdinating of volumes among themselves, he was an incomparable architect, as the modern architect, racially used to the observance of effect, is not, cannot be. I myself experience the great struggle, in which one is so rarely successful, against heredity and environment, when I try to conceive in a purely plastic way for the invention of architecture or of sculpture. The task before us is far more difficult than that which confronted the ancient Greek. The problem is perhaps insoluble. Some time ago I made a sketch in colour, in light and shade, of certain pine-trunks, with a bright break of sunlight lying on a distant plain. The possibility of such a thing was unknown to the Greek. He dealt, artistically, In an arabesque of form aided by conventional fields of colour. He did not study the possible losing of the pine-trunk among surrounding and equal values, or on account of natural equality of tint. To him a pine-trunk was a solid, cylindrical fact, whose existence must not—could not be disguised. What pre-eminent mentality for dealing with the inexorable facts of architecture ! Yet I am asked one day to see and appreciate these possibilities

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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