Wisdom on Wednesdays—The breakdown of civilization

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)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—The Christian crux I

North Porch Chartres Cathedral - CROPPED

North Porch, Chartres, September 7, 1926, pen and ink on tracing paper, detail approx. 6 x 4¾ in

“The crux of all [Christian] civilization is literally the cross of Christ, which is symbolized by the characteristic form of the Gothic—in the diagonals which go to make up the roofs and towers, the buttresses and the very folds of the garments of the carved and painted saints and kings.”  (1922)