The fundamental purpose of every work of art is to manifest some essential or salient characteristic, "Quelque caractere essen tiel", hence some important idea, more clearly and more completely than is achieved by real objects. The dominating characteristic in question may be either, as in botany or zoology, the most significant, that is to say the most stable and elementary, that from which all the others may be derived, or, on the other hand, the most beneficent, that which contributes most highly to the development of the individual and to the group to which he belongs. 1 This definition applies as well to architecture and music as to the so-called imitative arts, and provides a dual criterion, intellectual and moral, of artistic excellence ; it clearly excludes all slavish imitation of persons or things.