Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Art for the sake of beauty

In Greek, synteresis (or later Greek, synderesis) is the conscience
in classical Arabic (later than the Greek), al-damîr. That is the divine spark in the nadir, the seat of the soul of man. This is what separates men from animals. Each has a soul, but only man has the divine spark so that his soul is eternal, and not temporary like the animals. It is this divine spark that gives rise to the Moral Aesthetic impulse in man. That is, the appreciation of beauty of true moral appeal. What in simple terms we call beautiful and moving or touching– as opposed to ugly and disgusting.

The Good Shepherd - Mausoleum of Galla Placidia 5th Century
Perfect example of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, who moves men's souls to want to follow His teaching of the sermon on the mount.

Persian tile - Style circa 11th Century
The beauty of creation is there, but the Moral Aesthetic appeal is lacking. That gives rise to luxuriousness and only selfishness.

The next five are from the Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry 15th Century collection

The Duke of Berry on a Journey (detail)

Saint George and the Dragon

Holy Family, the flight into Egypt

The Death of Christ

Saint Anthony Receives Directions from a Centaur
In the five above, the movement of Holy Inspiration and of the life of rectitude.

St. Anne consoled by a woman Gaudenzio Ferrari 16th Century
A holy sisterhood - most moving.

Transfiguration of Christ - Titian 16th Century
Lk 9:29 And whilst he prayed, the shape of his countenance was altered, and his raiment became white and glittering. 30 And behold two men were talking with him. And they were Moses and Elias,

Divine thunder calling to Godly obedience - the response of a good conscience.
Lk 9:35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son; hear him.

The Rest during the Flight into Egypt - Caravaggio, Italian Baroque 16th - 17th Century
Most tender and moving.

Marketplace in North Africa - Frederick Arthur Bridgman 19th-20th Century
Happy simple joy of the souq, the market place, a good gift of the creation of God.

Impressionist pantheistic overlay obscuring the God of Creation speaking to the souls of men.

And Wise Men Came Bearing Gifts - Tom Dubois 21st Century
Chromatic realism. A little flashy and tending toward shallow therefore, but reverent.

Sermon on the Mount - James Tissot 19th Century
Realism awash in Divine inspiration calling with hope!

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