The Glory That Was Greece

of nerves overwrought, is a feature of decadence, which we can observe in the late Greek vase-paintings. The spaces are covered with trivial ornament, the drawing is slack, the sole aim is prettiness. The vigour of the composition is frittered away upon trivial details. In short, the name of the disease from which Greek art was to perish is Vulgarity. Idealism without romanticism was the secret of Greek art at its best. When we find romance without ideals we have reached the nadir.

Late Greek Vase-painting: from a Pelike in the British Museum.

← Page-708 p.709 Page-710 →