Briefly


Gabriele Beveridge, from the Wales collection


I've been reading and really enjoying Etienne Gilson's Arts of the Beautiful. Some passages that I found especially intriguing:

15: The perfect artist is not he who puts the highest art at the service of the highest truth, but he who puts the highest truth at the service of the most perfect art.

23: The pleasures of cognition are sometimes light and like a sort of continued state of well-being, as is the pleasure that ordinarily accompanies reading; but for their inebriating effect and violence, few pleasures can compare with those attending discovery of one of those key ideas which confer order on a multitude of other ideas and a new intelligibility on reality.

24: Those who have never put down a book of erudition, science or philosophy, to catch their breath, so to speak, and recover from the strong emotion they experience, certainly, ignore one of the most exquisite pleasures of intellectual life.

26: The initial confusion between the beautiful in knowledge, the beautiful in nature, and the beautiful in art is at the very root of the erroneous notion of art conceived as one of the varieties of imitation … Of itself, a work of art is neither true nor false.