English translation: cultivate the artistic sensitivity
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Explanation: I think this is what it actually says:
the work with its illustrations was conceived as training/teaching material to help form students' tastes
- there were many periods in art education in which the absoprtion/emulation of 'perfect examples' was considered an important part of an artist's training; our present emphasis on originality/creativity is fairly recent (in the grand scheme of things)
Teresa Reinhardt United States Local time: 17:18 Native speaker of: German, English PRO pts in category: 20
Notes to answerer
Asker: Dear Teresa, This is an excellent suggestion, but I think that Johanna's is more concise. I am very grateful because you helped me see the whole sentence in a different way. All the best,