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)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—The desire of the wildest imagination

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Annunciation, 1921, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in.

“Today we forget that Christ came not only because man needed hope for eternal beatitude but that he was also the historic concrete answer to the desire of the wildest imagination: the appearance on earth of a God-man.  History united to myth.”  (1960)

Christmas in Silvermine

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A woodblock print by Carl Schmitt for a Christmas card commissioned in the 1920s.

Carl Schmitt’s late son David has left us a wonderful series of reminiscences about his growing up in Silvermine.  As David remembers it, Christmas can bring out the best (and worst) in children of a large family.

One Christmas when I was about seven dad and mother bought me a present much better than I anticipated. Dad called my name and I stepped forward and he handed me a large box attractively wrapped. “To David from Mother and Dad.” I tore it open and inside was a large pair of brown hunting boots with a jackknife in a leather pocket on the left side of the left boot. I was overwhelmed. I put the boots on and paraded around the house upstairs and down all the rest of Christmas day. I could see nothing but those two boots.

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Michael, pastel on paper, 1935

Unfortunately, my brother Mike had gotten a model airplane kit—the kind one puts together from balsa wood and covers with Japanese tissue paper, then paints to match the real airplane. It actually flew and took a lot of work to build. Late in the afternoon, just before supper, I was coming down the stairs, and of course Michael was assembling his plane right at the foot of the stairs. You guessed it, the inevitable happened; my big boot went “crunch” right in the middle of his plane and completely demolished it. It was a case of the inevitable force meeting the immovable object.

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Carl Schmitt sons ((left to right) Peter, Jacob, Michael, John, David, and Austin, c. 1932.

Mike wanted to take it out on my hide but he didn’t, remarkably, because I pointed out that after all that wasn’t the best place to put his plane together. Naturally, he didn’t relish hearing my defense. It was a case of arrogance vs. pride which most kids excel in. I still don’t remember how the situation was resolved short of parental arbitration and both of us eating a little crow.

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Christmas card (c. 1925) for John Kenneth Byard, a friend and patron of Schmitt in the 1920s who later became a well-known antiques dealer.

More gifts for Christmas from the CSF

In addition to the gifts we mentioned yesterday, the CSF is offering its stunning coffee-table book Carl Schmitt: Vision of Beauty at 25% off the regular price.  Shipping and handling are free for this special offer.  See a preview of selected pages here.

Order your copies now in time for Christmas!  Each book that you purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

Click Here to Purchase The Vision of Beauty

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Carl Schmitt_ The Vision of Beauty - jpg capture

Carl Schmitt_ The Vision of Beauty - jpg capture with Two Oranges

The CSF is also pleased to offer museum-quality reproductions of works by Carl Schmitt in partnership with RequestAPrint, a leading producer of art prints to museums across the country.

RequestAPrint uses state-of-the-art ultra-giclee printers on semi-gloss heavyweight paper or medium weight fine art canvas. The prints are available in any size and in variety of frame styles. Here is just a sample of the paintings offered:

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Click here to go to the RequestAPrint gallery and order your prints.

Finally, don’t forget your own Christmas cards if you haven’t ordered them yet! (They make great thank-you cards, too.)

2014 Christmas card images

Christmas woodcuts - cards 2

Christmas woodcuts - cards 1

As always, your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt FoundationThank you!