Wisdom on Wednesdays—The aim of a Christian, the aim of the artist

CSF12305

St. Paul the Hermit, oil on canvas, c. 1922, 30 x 25 in. (Private collection)
Schmitt’s depiction of St. Paul of Thebes (d. c. 341) being fed miraculously by a raven was probably inspired by a painting of the saint by the great seventeenth-century Spanish artist Velázquez. The enigmatic figure on the foreground is Schmitt’s own contribution.
A version of this painting in brighter colors is part of the Carl Schmitt Foundation’s collection.

“To come as near despair as possible without losing hope—that is the aim of a Christian.
“To come as near madness as possible without losing sanity—(that is, to be as fanatical as possible without losing idiocy) is the aim of an artist.”  (1932)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—Take care of the concrete

Peace - no frame (Shannon Auction Sept 2020)

Peace, 1924, oil on canvas, 35 x 42 in.
On seeing this painting at the 23rd Carnegie International Exhibition, Penelope Redd, a critic for the Pittsburgh Post wrote: “Carl Schmitt is a young painter, not yet 35 years old, who forsook the safe ways of style to pursue the idea that haunted him. He has a capacity for development that few painters possess. He is talented and serious in his determination to put onto canvas the ideas that possess him.”

“Take care of the concrete, the abstract will take care of itself.  Wealth, health, and peace are not attained by direct pursuit any more than any such abstractions can be attained directly.”  (1964)