The docent explained the pictures to the crowd of museum-goers,
superciliously but not without insight, and showed them what Potemkin
had attempted and what they must see in his portraits.
The uncritical citizens listened to the lecture with bewildered interest.
The earnest style had entirely satisfied their naive aesthetic sensibilities.
The vague idealism, the suspicion of a philosophical idea which
underlay the titles Potemkin gave his pictures, accorded very well
with the educative function of art under the New Dogma.
Here was a stern moral appeal; and the contemplation of
these works could help the proletariat lead a higher life.
Paraphrases from the novel Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham.