Pierre Grassou - Honore de Balzac - Страница 1 из 31

By Honore De Balzac
Translated by Katharine Prescott Wormeley
To The Lieutenant-Colonel of Artillery, Periollas, As a Testimony of the
Affectionate Esteem of the Author,
De Balzac
Whenever you have gone to take a serious look at the exhibition of works
of sculpture and painting, such as it has been since the revolution
of 1830, have you not been seized by a sense of uneasiness, weariness,
sadness, at the sight of those long and over-crowded galleries? Since
1830, the true Salon no longer exists. The Louvre has again been taken
by assault,--this time by a populace of artists who have maintained
themselves in it.
In other days, when the Salon presented only the choicest works of art,
it conferred the highest honor on the creations there exhibited. Among
the two hundred selected paintings, the public could still choose: a
crown was awarded to the masterpiece by hands unseen. Eager, impassioned
discussions arose about some picture. The abuse showered on Delacroix,
on Ingres, contributed no less to their fame than the praises and
fanaticism of their adherents. To-day, neither the crowd nor the
criticism grows impassioned about the products of that bazaar. Forced to
make the selection for itself, which in former days the examining
jury made for it, the attention of the public is soon wearied and the
exhibition closes. Before the year 1817 the pictures admitted never went
beyond the first two columns of the long gallery of the old masters; but

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