Five Shapes and Six Colours

Five Shapes and Six Colours

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    By Harry Johnson on the Mosaic Test

    There are 300 of these pieces in each set. The subject is told “make anything you like with the pieces.” Ordinarily, no further comment is made. Frequently the subject will try to get more specific instructions out of the examiner. In such cases scrupulous care is taken not to give “informing” answers. For example, if the subject asks: “How many should I use?” the reply will be “As many or as few as you like.” “Shall I make a house?” “You may make anything you wish.” The pieces are painted in bright saturated enamel colours with a matt surface.

    “Every man has his own style, like his own nose,” said Lessing. “A mask tells us more than a face,” said Wilde. “Le style est d’homme méme,” said Buffon. “Tell me the things you love, and I’ll tell you what you are,” said Ruskin. “No man was ever writ down but by himself,” said Dr. Johnson, who knew that nothing extraneous to the man could affect the true and final estimate.

    “Style,” said Schopenhauer, “is the physiognomy of the mind, and a safer index to character than the face.” And this thing called “style” (which no man yet has been able clearly to define) is the way the artist paints the picture, the way we write a book, the way we speak, the way we dress, the way we walk, the way we work. When Crichton the butler became king of the island, he still on occasion “washed his hands with invisible soap in imperceptible water.”

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