G. K. Chesterton [1913]

I should therefore urge the re-publication of old and good pictures as a real part of that grossly neglected thing–public education. Our historians lie much more than our journalists; our fashionable conceptions of the past change with every fashion; and like most fashions, are fantastic and hideous. But the old colours and the old canvases do not lie; they were really achieved in the ages which we parody or pervert; and the squareness of their drawing, the brightness of their colours, the substantial sincerity of their subject, will still tell us something of the fathers we have forgotten. I do not go so far as to say we have relapsed into barbarism. But I do say that we can just now learn best from picture writing.–Famous Paintings selected from the world’s great galleries and reproduced in colour.

Source: https://archive.org/details/famouspaintings01chesuoft

Volume 2: https://archive.org/details/famouspaintings02chesuoft

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