The Conundrum Of The Workshops "It's Pretty, But Is It Art?"
by Rudyard Kipling

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"It's Pretty, But Is It Art?"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In "The Conundrum of the Workshops," Kipling asks the meaning of art and to what standard a work should be subjected to reach the lofty goal of being art. He extols the virtue of the ability to create without fearing the comments of critics. In more innocent times, the artist worked for the satisfaction that he derived from his work; now he has become self-conscious because of art criticism.

When the flicker of London sun falls faint on the
club-room's green and gold,
The sons of Adam sit them down and scratch with
their pens in the mould–
They scratch with their pens in the mould of their
graves, and the ink and the anguish start
For the Devil mutters behind the leaves: "It's
pretty, but is it Art?"