"All men (and women, I will add) are in some degree impressed by the face of the world; some men even to delight. This love of beauty is Taste. Others have the same love in excess, that, not content with admiring, they seek to embody it in forms. The creation of beauty is Art."
Obviously, a graduate of any Post-Modern education would have a difficult time with this. Even worse for the graduate would be what follows.
"The production of a work of art throws a light upon the mystery of humanity. A work of art is an abstract or epitome of the world. It is the result or expression of nature, in miniature. For although the works o f nature are innumerable and all is different, the result or the expression of them all is similar an single. Nature is a sea of forms radically alike and even unique. A leaf, a sunbeam, a landscape, the ocean, make an analogous impression on the mind. What is common to them all, -- that perfectness and harmony, is beauty. The standard of beauty is the entire circuit of natural forms, --the totality of nature; which the Italians expressed by define beauty 'il più nell uno'.
Nothing is quite beautiful alone; nothing but is beautiful in the whole. A single object is only so far beautiful as it suggests this universal grace. The poet, the painter, the sculptor, the musician, the architect, seek each to concentrate this radiance of the world on one point, and each in his several work to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates him to produce. Thus is Art a nature passed through the alembic of man. Thus art does Nature work through the will of a man filled with the beauty of her first works."