Wisdom on Wednesdays—To deliberate before evil

Gertrude Slicing Bread, c. 1921, pastel on paper

“Penance, by deliberation after evil, gradually teaches one to deliberate before evil.”  (1939)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—Who can feast without fasting?

CSF13234 - COLOR

A Christening Party at Chartres, oil on canvas, 1928.
After being shown at the 27th Carnegie International to critical acclaim, this painting was bought by the Pittsburgh Athletic Club in January 1929 for $1,500.  A search by the Carl Schmitt Foundation at the PAC was unsuccessful and the painting’s location remains unknown.  The owner of a companion painting, Dance of Life, Chartres, recently contacted the Foundation and is interested in selling the painting.

“Who can feast without fasting, who can enjoy kingship without servitude, and leisure without sacrifice?”  (1928)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The very, only stuff of ourselves

Townhouse - Carl Schmitt

Townhouse, 1916, oil on canvas, 24 x 20 in.
Probably a view outside the back of Schmitt’s studio in New York, then in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (463 W. 21 Street).

“We have forgotten the ends. We are the middle, and media are rapidly becoming our sole concern through choice with some, through habit with many more, and as a result through necessity with most of us.
“This, I conceive as the tragedy of our present culture: that media are no longer in the middle but are the very, only, stuff of ourselves, and the ends can take care of themselves!”
from the essay “The Sense of Origins” (1930)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The world’s best obeyers

Portrait of Griswold Hurlbert, oil on board, 15 x 12 in.

“We Americans are the world’s best obeyers when it comes to obeying money and machinery.  We stand in line, jump to attention, get out of bed, go to work, sit at table or generally obey any mechanical contrivance which immediately dictates to us, and not a person.  But what power to place in the hand of the man who sets all this machinery in motion!”   —from the essay “Obedience” (1936)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The old Christian idea of sin

Second Night border

The Second Night, 1929, oil on canvas, 48 x 40 in.
From a contemporary black and white photograph; present location unknown.
For Carl Schmitt’s own “explanation” of this painting, see the article “The Artist Explains His Work,” from February 2015 issue of the CSF e-newsletter Vision.

“Today in America the old Christian idea of sin is fast disappearing.  There remains (and is encouraged) a vast sense of social guilt. The only sin is treason to society (the state).”  (1961)