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早上 翻讀: Ruskin Today. edited by Kenneth Clark,
On the Old Road Vol. 1 (of 2) ... »
By John Ruskin
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289. I had intended, in conclusion, gentlemen, to incur such blame of presumption as might be involved in offering some hints for present practical methods in architectural schools, but here again I am checked, as I have been throughout, by a sense of the uselessness of all minor means, and helps, without the establishment of a true and broad educational system. My wish would be to see the profession of the architect united, not with that of the engineer, but of the sculptor. I think there should be a separate school and university course for engineers, in which the principal branches of study connected with that of practical building should be the physical and exact sciences, and honors should be taken in mathematics; but I think there should be another school and university course for the sculptor and architect, in which literature and philosophy should be the associated branches of study, and honors should be taken in literis humanioribus; and I think a young architect’s examination for his degree (for mere pass), should be much stricter than that of youths intending to enter other professions. The quantity of scholarship necessary for the efficiency of a country clergyman is not great. So that he be modest and kindly, the main truths he has to teach may be learned better in his heart than in books, and taught in very simple English. The best physicians I have known spent very little time in their libraries; and though my lawyer sometimes chats with me over a Greek coin, I think he regards the time so spent in the light rather of concession to my idleness than as helpful to his professional labors.
But there is no task undertaken by a true architect of which the honorable fulfillment will not require a range of knowledge and habitual feeling only attainable by advanced scholarship.
290. Since, however, such expansion of system is, at present, beyond hope, the best we can do is to render the studies undertaken in our schools thoughtful, reverent, and refined, according to our power. Especially, it should be our aim to prevent the minds of the students from being distracted by models of an unworthy or mixed character. A museum is one thing–a school another; and I am persuaded that as the efficiency of a school of literature depends on the mastering a few good books, so the efficiency of a school of art will depend on the understanding a few good models. And so strongly do I feel this that I would, for my own part, at once consent to sacrifice my personal predilections in art, and to vote for the exclusion of all Gothic or Mediaeval models whatsoever, if by this sacrifice I could obtain also the exclusion of Byzantine, Indian, Renaissance—French, and other more or less attractive but barbarous work; and thus concentrate the mind of the student wholly upon the study of natural form, and upon its treatment by the sculptors and metal workers of Greece, Ionia, Sicily, and Magna Graecia, between 500 and 350 B.C. But I should hope that exclusiveness need not be carried quite so far. I think Donatello, Mino of Fiesole, the Robbias, Ghiberti, Verrocchio, and Michael Angelo, should be adequately represented in our schools–together with the Greeks–and that a few carefully chosen examples of the floral sculpture of the North in the thirteenth century should be added, with especial view to display the treatment of naturalistic ornament in subtle connection with constructive requirements; and in the course of study pursued with reference to these models, as of admitted perfection, I should endeavor first to make the student thoroughly acquainted with the natural forms and characters of the objects he had to treat, and then to exercise him in the abstraction of these forms, and the suggestion of these characters, under due sculptural limitation. He should first be taught to draw largely and simply; then he should make quick and firm sketches of flowers, animals, drapery, and figures, from nature, in the simplest terms of line, and light and shade; always being taught to look at the organic, actions and masses, not at the textures or accidental effects of shade; meantime his sentiment respecting all these things should be cultivated by close and constant inquiry into their mythological significance and associated traditions; then, knowing the things and creatures thoroughly, and regarding them through an atmosphere of enchanted memory, he should be shown how the facts he has taken so long to learn are summed by a great sculptor in a few touches; how those touches are invariably arranged in musical and decorative relations; how every detail unnecessary for his purpose is refused; how those necessary for his purpose are insisted upon, or even exaggerated, or represented by singular artifice, when literal representation is impossible; and how all this is done under the instinct and passion of an inner commanding spirit which it is indeed impossible to imitate, but possible, perhaps, to share.
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