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Ramsay's art is the democratic intellect in practice. That surely has some bearing on the issues at stake in the Referendum. Ramsay was also a great draughtsmen and a small Nike Roshe One Flyknit

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A truly memorable exhibition, it overturned the universal model of progress in the history of art: that it is analogous to the progress from child art to adult and moves inexorably in a process of constant renewal from the primitive to the sophisticated. On the contrary, the exhibition demonstrated that art was fully sophisticated from the start and was born of need, not novelty. Nike Roshe Womens Grey And Black

Think of Titian, Rembrandt, Ramsay, Hogarth, Raeburn, Goya and the values that they externalise. One of the strik.

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Our ancestors may have been living in caves, but they used precise, fluent and beautifully observed drawing to help them understand the world around them and the creatures in it. Indirectly, this revelation also prompted the reflection that the modern world evolved as a result of the rediscovery in the Renaissance of that same skill of drawing based on close observation. The wonderful exhibition of Leonardo's anatomical drawings at the Queen's Gallery showed the extraordinary power this has. Indeed Leonardo's drawings clearly suggested that as an instrument of observation, analysis, record and invention, skill in drawing was one of the single most important factors in the rise of the West. All our skills in science, technology, medicine, engineering and much else Nike Roshe Black Flyknit have depended on it, but so too have those human values that allow us to call it a civilisation. Nike Roshe Mens Shoes Cheap

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tion of modern Scottish identity. Maybe that puts Colvin off limits. It seemed to me that 2014 was the occasion to mount at last the major Scottish show for which we have been waiting since 1939, when the last one happened. The idea fell on stony ground however. Perhaps it was potentially too political, although if that was the case it does also say something about the power of art. Be that as it may, the longer view that such a show would have given does matter. Take Allan Ramsay, for instance. His tercentenary was celebrated by an exhibition at the Hunterian which showed how his portraits were at the heart of the Enlightenment; how they reflect the irreducible importance of the individual, man or woman. It is an idea that was central to the whole development of the West as a distinctive civilisation, however imperfect. The whole notion of democracy hinges on it. The philosopher George Davie coined the phrase "the democratic intellect" to describe Scotland's unique contribution to it.

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exhibition of his drawings at the NGS demonstrates his marvellous skill. Not that he was ever showy. Far from it. Drawing was for him an instrument of disciplined enquiry. Gifted with a wonderful talent, John Bellany was a superb draughtsman too. Perhaps any notion of a tradition that might tie the two together gets pretty tenuous after 300 years. Nevertheless the skill they shared does point to something fundamental about art, what it's for and how it works. And that takes us back to Ice Age Art at the British Museum.

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