chapter  V
4 Pages

The Significance Of The Fragment

The peril to painting is almost equally great. As in painting, certain instability comes into evidence; a subject like Auguste Rodin's Tumbler is not only unthinkable in the Baroque but unthinkable in any phase of European art since the ancient Cretan. The torso appears for the first time as an independent artistic theme in the work of Rodin. Since Rodin the torso has become a favourite theme. It is a favourite one among the newer artists for whom subjects no longer possess their own objective and individual significance. Even so the torso only attains its significance as an independent work of art as a result of the impulse, so evident in this age in other departments of artistic endeavour, the impulse to pass beyond the limits of the merely human pattern. Cathedral is a fragment that is not really a fragment, a form which is merely outwardly suggested by the object which is its ostensible theme.