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Beauty Is the Purpose of Art

Updated on March 2, 2019
James A Watkins profile image

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

TITIAN

Assumption of the Virgin 1518
Assumption of the Virgin 1518

The Paintings in My Home

I want share some of the paintings in my home and here are a few examples. They are all copies, of course. Above is a photo of one of my favorite paintings, which is a replica of an altarpiece created by Titian in Venice, Italy. The painting in my home is the original size—13 feet tall.

I am not fond of much art that has been produced in the 20th Century. I believe art has lost its way. I am not a trained art critic but I have always known art I loved the minute I first saw it.

Most of my life I never questioned why this was. Now, late in life, I have begun an investigation to try to discern why I love the art I love—and why most of the art of last 100 years or so just doesn't do it for me.

Giovanni Bellini

Madonna with Child Blessing 1464
Madonna with Child Blessing 1464

Beauty was the purpose of Art

Beauty was the purpose of art before the 20th Century. In the past 100 years or so, art has change completely and its new goal is to create the unbeautiful—to disturb, shock, subvert and transgress in increasingly original ways.

In fact, the beautiful art that has been created, such as by Thomas Kinkaid and Norman Rockwell, has been laughed at by art critics—who are animated by an entirely different spiritual force—as pure kitsch.

Scenes of beauty give way to scenes of destruction and sacrilege. I believe there remains a great hunger in the human soul for beauty in art. Just compare "Piss Christ" with the painting above, which hangs in my living room.

Giovanni Bellini

St. Francis in Ecstasy 1480
St. Francis in Ecstasy 1480

The Desecration

The postmodern theme of critically praised art is to desecrate and despoil what it means to be a living loving human being alive in the world. All of the sacred things we held dear in the world are to be destroyed through the spirit of modern art, in particular anything held to be Holy—set apart for God.

We can see this spirit in film (only in the last 50 years) with its focus on rampant sex, violence, gore, the objectification of women—as objects instead of as women created in the Image of God—and the ridicule of people who believe in God as superstitious rubes.

Leonardo Da Vinci

THE LAST SUPPER 1498
THE LAST SUPPER 1498

The Purpose of Art

The purpose of art is beauty, truth, goodness, and transcendence; to create joy in the recipient.

The Creator of the Universe granted Humankind the gift to mimic His omnipotent creativity (as well as recreate His gift of producing life itself! by reproducing ourselves—another gift we honored as sacred for thousands of years that we now flush down the toilet—the most incredible, amazing, astounding gift humans possess. Think carefully about it before you laugh, you who are not yet convinced, and you scoffers: YOU can produce another YOU.

MICHELANGELO

God touches Adam 1511
God touches Adam 1511

Recreation is our greatest gift

Below is my favorite sculpture ever created. Out a block of marble this image came forth. Michelangelo said that this image was already present—the word means gift—in the block of marble and all he had to do was reveal it to us.

MICHELANGELO

PIETA 1499
PIETA 1499
working

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