Wisdom on Wednesdays—No hope for mankind

Portrait of Santo Caserta - CSF11405 - CROPPED

Portrait of Santo Caserta, oil on canvas, c. 1932, 36 x 24 in.
Caserta (1910-2013), a friend of the Schmitts in Silvermine, studied the violin at Julliard School in New York, but had to abandon the instrument on account of a skin condition. He then taught himself to play the cello, and at the age of 46, auditioned for a position in the Philadelphia Orchestra under the legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy. When asked by Ormandy who his cello teacher was, Caserta had to admit that he had taught himself the instrument. Ormandy was so impressed that he gave him the job. which he held for the next twenty years.
Schmitt also painted a portrait of his friend playing the cello.

“There is no hope for mankind.
But there is every hope for an individual man.” (1930)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—The desire of the wildest imagination

CSF12302 - from slide

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)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—As near despair and madness as possible

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—The Love, the Faith, the Hope

CSF41027 - Easter Greetings

Easter card by Robert Schmitt, 1921.

“Christianity in the first 500 years of its existence was known as ‘The Love’ in much the same way as it is known in our day as ‘The Faith.’  It died as love and resurrected as faith as it is dying today as faith and is resurrected as a hope.”  (1941)