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By Jacques Maritain

Art and Scholasticism is Jacques Maritain’s vintage argument for an goal view of either paintings and the artist. Maritain offers a powerful dissenting point of view at the lazy, self-flattering creative assumptions of the prior centuries. For this re-creation, Brian Barbour’s creation supplies a desirable precis of Maritain’s philosophical historical past, his conversion to Catholicism and paintings in Thomistic notion, and the significance of Art and Scholasticism in realizing aesthetics—be it in poetry, portray, tune, or literature. Art and Scholasticism is a must-read for fanatics of paintings and knowledge alike. See our different books at!

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Man is the most imitative of the animals: he acquires his first knowledge through imitation, and everybody delights in imitations. We find a sign of this latter in works of art: for of the very things that we look at with uneasiness we rejoice to behold the most exact images, such as the forms of the vilest beasts and of corpses. The explanation is that to learn is the greatest of pleasures not only for philosophers but also for other men . "[117] -- when Aristotle wrote these words, he enunciated a specific condition imposed on the fine arts, a condition grasped from their earliest origin.

But can it be said that taken in itself this form of art has the original savor of the Christian climate? It is a form born in another land, and then transplanted. If in the midst of the unspeakable catastrophes which the modern world invites, a moment is to come, however brief, of pure Christian springtime -- a Palm Sunday for the Church, a brief Hosanna from poor earth to the Son of David -- one may expect for these years, together with a lively intellectual and spiritual vigor, the regermination of a truly Christian art, to the delight of men and the angels.

All our values depend on the nature of our God. Now God is Spirit. To progress -- which means for any nature, to tend toward its Principle[153] -- is therefore to pass from the sensible to the rational and from the rational to the spiritual and from the less spiritual to the more spiritual; to civilize is to spiritualize. Material progress may contribute, to the extent that it allows man leisure of soul. But if such progress is employed only to serve the will to power and to gratify a cupidity which opens infinite jaws -concupiscentia est infinita[154] -- it leads the world back to chaos at an accelerated speed; that is its way of tending toward the principle.

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