Wisdom on Wednesdays—Ultimately contradictory values

Lady in Garden

Lady in a Garden, pastel on paper, c. 1922, 14¼ x 11¼ in.
A portrait of Schmitt’s wife Gertrude done outside his studio in Silvermine.

“Can our national virtues of Comfort, Wealth, and Success be reconciled with the Cardinal Virtues of Chastity, Poverty, and Humility?  I am afraid that the answer must be honestly faced.  And the answer is, No.  The breakdown of civilization has probably been caused by the attempt to reconcile the two sets of ultimately contradictory, exclusive values.”  (1943)

Advertisements

Wisdom on Wednesdays—Society will destroy us

CSF24403

Tagliocozzo, 1939, pastel on paper

“We are in the condition today of being reduced by the tyranny of society and require that check and balance which can only be provided by the agrarian outlook: the family as a unit on the land.  Unless the family (and person) once more assume importance, society will destroy us.”  (1941)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—“Take care of the concrete”

13240 - Peace

Peace, oil on canvas, 1924, 35 x 42 in.
On seeing this painting at the 23rd Carnegie International Exhibition, 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)