Volltext: The life, studies and works of Benjamin West, Esq. president of The Royal Academy of London

climates than man himself. In making the obi 
Se;-vation, he was not, however, disposed to agree 
with the continental philosophers, that this dif- 
ference, arising from climate, at all narrowed the 
powers of the mind, though it influenced the 
choice of objects of taste. For whatever tends 
to make the mind more familiar with one class of 
agreeable sensations than another, Will, undoubt- 
edly, contribute to form the cause of that prefer- 
ence for particular qualities in objects by which 
the characteristics of the taste of different nations 
is discriminated. Although, of all the general 
circumstances which modify the opinions of man- 
kind, climate is,'perhaps, the most permanent, 
it does not, therefore, follow that, because the cli- 
mate of France or Italy induces the inhabitants to 
prefer, in works of art, certain qualities of the 
excellence of which the people of England are 
not so sensible, the climate of Great Britain 
does not, in like manner, lead the inhabitants 
to discover other qualities equally valuable as 
sources of enjoyment. Thus, in sculpture for 
example, it would seem that in naked figures the 
inhabitants of a cold climate can inever hope to 
attain that degree of eminence which we see ex:


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