Page:Picturesque Nepal.djvu/263

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163
RELIGION IN ART

necessary that the academic test as ordinarily applied to occidental art should be discarded and his sculpture viewed from another standpoint. This point of view is not always readily taken up, but when obtained, the beauty and emotional character of the productions of the Nepalese school of art will be appreciated at their true value. The earnest beliefs of the Newar artist-priest were materialized in his painting and sculpture; he moulded his best thoughts into concrete forms, and they became the deities of his temples; in stone and metal he realized his ideals, and the influence of his religion was communicated to all who respected and reverenced his art.

In the lower flights of his artistic fancy the Newar metal-worker has also recorded some very fascinating ideas, and his guardian lions or aggressive dragons placed in front of his buildings are often very spirited in feeling. Some of these for size alone are fine pieces of workmanship, and show the Newar to be a thoroughly honest craftsman, proud of his skill. His purely ornamental effects are, moreover, freely designed, and display a love