Wisdom on Wednesdays—The triumph of comfort

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A Christening Party at Chartres, oil on canvas, 1928, 45 x 54 in.
Inspired by Schmitt’s stay in Chartres 1926-27, this painting was first exhibited at the twenty-seventh Carnegie International exhibition, October—December 1928.  A reviewer called it a “golden gaiety,” “one of those pictures which make you long to be in the place depicted.”

“The breakdown here in America is not due to a negative evil like sin, but to avoidance alike of all negative and positive things like the virtues and vices in the hope that, by postponing both heaven and hell long enough, a Utopia of science may be discovered.  It is thought that if the good can be held off long enough, comfort will triumph.”
—from the essay “Room (with Bath) at the Inn” (October 5, 1941)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—Science, art, and religion

Coronation of the Virgin, oil on canvas, c. 1924, 42 x 35 in.

“Science is only concerned with the truth of present expediently.
“Art extends that truth back in time into permanent beauty materially.
“Religion projects that truth forward in time into eternal goodness spiritually.”  (1961)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The scientific mind

Muses Marooned [1] [13104] A

Muses Marooned, 1934, oil on canvas 35 x 41¾ in

“Science alone is untrue because it aims exclusively at truth (divorced from the good and the beautiful).
“The scientific mind is far too simple.  There are too many facts in too mysterious a relationship for his simple mind (logical analytical as it is) to grasp.  In theory he is right; in practice he can never get all the facts as long as he specializes exclusively in the nature of discursive reason.  For knowledge (as distinct from wisdom and plastic form) of its very nature excludes all facts.” (1944)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The balanced human

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Michael, c. 1942, oil on canvas, 23 x 19 in.

“The human, the balanced human, believes that the mystery of birth, death, and life is master of science: that science is a means.  The Liberal believes that science is the master of all; the human knows that it is simply a matter of time till the substance of life absorbs the means.  Temporarily the means has gotten out of hand.”  (1958)