Its touch on classical mythology is original, rarely imitative or pedantic. The art of the Renaissance was an apocalypse of the beauty of the world and man in unaffected spontaneity, without side thoughts for piety or erudition, inspired by pure delight in loveliness and harmony for their own sakes.
It roused a desire to reappropriate the whole abandoned provinces of mundane energy, and a hope to emulate antiquity in works of living loveliness and vigour.
The crisis of his mental conflict had just been passed in Tirol, and he was now beginning to let his creed grow again from the one fixed point which nothing had availed to shift: "The one great certainty to which, in the midst of the darkest doubt, I never ceased to cling - the entire symmetry and loveliness and the unequalled nobleness of the humanity of the Son of Man."
And the first feeling of most travellers who visit modern Sparta is one of disappointment with the ancient remains: it is rather the loveliness and grandeur of the situation and the fascination of Mistra, with its grass-grown streets, its decaying houses, its ruined fortress and its beautiful Byzantine churches, that remain as a lasting and cherished memory.