Quote of the Day

From Painting in the Far East (1908) by Laurence Binyon.

Flowers, Moon, Snow; these three beauties of earth and air have a peculiar glory and consecration in the art of the Far East. A Japanese friend of mine told me that when he was in Paris he woke one morning to find that snow had fallen in the night. As a matter of course, he took his way to the Bois de Boulogne to admire the beauty of the snow upon the trees. What was his astonishment when, with his friend, another Japanese, he arrived in the Bois, to find it totally solitary and deserted! The two companions paid their vows to beauty in the whiteness and the stillness, and at last beheld in the distance two other figures approaching. They were comforted. “We are not quite alone,” they said to themselves. There were at least two other “just men” in that city of the indifferent and the blind. The figures drew nearer. They also were Japanese! We in Europe are not blind to the beauty of the snow “And the radiant shapes of frost,” but certainly we are far from having that kind of religious feeling which prompts the Japanese to go out and contemplate its freshly fallen splendour. We do not regard it as visible manifestation of beauty, the apparition of a power from the unseen, at whose coming it behoves them to be present. I am not sure that we are not more conscious of the inconveniences of a snowfall than of its loveliness.