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Sacred Art
Profane Art


Sacred Art: Creation and Symbolism (continued)

In meditation, Saint Ignacio de Loyola seeks the development of His own imagination. Through this exercise, he requires contemplation, the giving of oneself, and seeking one's inner self for one single purpose: Meeting with God. Saint Teresa de Avila asked for the same personal quest, something she called: the soul's castle. A stained glass window, with all due respect, in its quest for creation, must follow this spiritual approach. It hence helps, by its sobriety and by the light it gives forth, the faithful in his prayers. Therefore, the task consists of revealing meanings and not be taken away by the opinion or the mental disposition of the moment. In other words, I want to say that one must go beyond the anecdotal aspect of the figurative to reach the peaks of the soul… or to accede to the depths of God's Mystery.

What our old masters succeeded in doing with the "representational", from Giotto to Gauguin, passing by Cezanne or Turner, what we admire in them, what titillates our sensitivity, is not the "fine touch"; it is the feeling of life, it is THE Life which "filters through" the characters. Since Man first took a pencil, a piece of charcoal, a brush, a mere stone with which to engrave the walls of a grotto, there were thousands, millions of drawers; but how very little of those lived on through the ages! A few only! The best technicians? Definitely not! But those who, through a character, through a scene could express a human feeling. We must grasp very well that it is not the characters or the décor which are of importance in this instance, but it is the psychological, dramatic, joyful or mystical ambiance which is the real, true topic. It was this that our ancestors eagerly sought through their art; all what remains was nothing more than a mere support to their message.

Nowadays, the contemporary evolution (in its luck and glory) seeks only to express this atmosphere and this ambiance by eliminating all of the visible and real figurative aspect, only to paint this metaphysical vision of Man. This is contemporary art! And this is what makes it difficult and grandiose at the same time, this sometimes-hermetic dimension. For have we ever been able to have the photograph of the soul or the mind taken? It is in this perspective that Matisse said that "no one knows how to draw." He did not think of it from the technical viewpoint (it is the task of an apprentice school or that of a workshop), but from the spiritual viewpoint (which is the work of genius). Notwithstanding, if nowadays artists are able to express themselves, with talent, on this arduous path, these are privileged and will leave their cornerstone in the building of Art.

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