correctly or concisely. We may accept, without hesitation, as a comparatively new expression of art—but further than that we cannot go—all that is best in it ; and it must not be imagined for a moment that there is no good in it at all: the very reverse is the case.
Notwithstanding all this, the name has been coined, has found favour—or, in vulgar parlance, "caught on"—it is in general use ; and, that being so, I suppose I also must fall into line, and, if ambiguity is to be avoided, make use of it for want of a better if I am to make my meaning clear. I shall, however, feel more comfortable in doing so after having placed my humble protest on record.
Were I to discuss fully, and in a critical vein, the merits of the "New Art" under all its aspects, it would be essential for me to deal exhaustively with the old and vexed question of Naturalism versus Conventionalism. To do so here is neither possible nor necessary ; for, on the one hand to set out and debate the case in full, with all its many pros and cons, to say nothing of side issues, would occupy far too much space ; and, on the other, the matter has been so completely threshed out in the past by abler pens than mine that it may, I think, be regarded as settled for all time.
When going to Nature for inspiration the great aim of the decorative or applied artist—and the designer of furniture must unquestionably be included under one of those denominations—should not be to copy slavishly her multitudinous forms, except, of course, in the preparation of "studies" in order that they may be impressed on the mind, and the lessons they have to teach be more thoroughly learned. He should search for, and, when found, analyse and endeavour to grasp thoroughly the spirit underlying them all; to become so permeated with this spirit, that it may be reapplied under fresh conditions without any conscious mental effort, and with such aptitude that the outcome shall
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