New: Mesoamerica added!
'The only essential distinction between Decorative and other Art is the being fitted for a fixed place; and in that place, related, either in subordination or in command, to the effect of other pieces of art. And all the greatest art which the world has produced is thus fitted for a place, and subordinated to a purpose. There is no existing highest-order art but is decorative.
The best sculpture yet produced has been the decoration of a temple-front - the best painting, the decoration of a room. Raphael's best doing is merely the wall-colouring of a suite of apartments in the Vatican, and his cartoons were made for tapestries. Correggio's best doing is the decoration of two small church cupolas at Parma; Michael Angelo's, of a ceiling in the Pope's private chapel; Tintoret's of a ceiling and side wall belonging to a charitable society at Venice; while Titian and Veronese threw out their noblest thoughts, not even on the inside, but on the outside of the common brick and plaster walls of Venice.
Get rid then at once of any idea of Decorative art being a degraded or a separate kind of art. Its nature or essence is simply its being fitted for a definite place; and, in that place, forming part of a great and harmonious whole, in companionship with other art and so far from this being a degradation to it - so far from Decorative art being inferior to other art because it is fixed to a spot - on the whole it may be considered as rather a piece of degradation that it should be portable.' -- Ruskin, The Two Paths
Torosaurus latus with cycad, ginkgo, and fern ornament for The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and City of Pittsburgh Dinomite Days juried public art event.