For Love of Beauty (or Art or Both)

Droopy FlowersBeauty is in the eye of the beholder. Through the lessons passed down from the greats we know that there are certain elements of beauty to which we are naturally drawn: Symmetry, balance, proper perspective and proportions. To some though, the perfection is in the flaws.

There is a quality so true and emotional in creating or viewing an artistic composition, that decades ago cultured citizens supported those with artistic ambitions and inclinations. Artists had sponsors. Would we have had the Sistine Chapel’s amazing paintings without that support? Michelangelo most likely would never have had a chance without a sponsor. Sponsorship also gave the artists the time and ability to teach others the skills for the next generation. It was how they kept the arts blooming, alive, and a central part of life. All those many years ago they realized that there was something civilized about the arts.

It may be difficult to put into words, but we know that certain artwork speaks to us. We feel pain, hope, mercy, grace, relief, sorrow, love and joy. We can be awestruck. Inspired. The true beauty of the arts is the ability to reach across any and all barriers to touch the very fibers of our existence, and pluck a harmonious chord within the soul. It is expression, individualism, and freedom incarnate. A sculpture can capture more than a historical textbook. Sponsoring the arts encouraged respectful competition as well as excellence. Different styles were acceptable; there was always room for another. The arts brought communities together by highlighting similarities and by providing social commentaries. The artists, in turn, contributed to the artistic value of the community, not just by creating amazing works, but by sharing their knowledge and reminding everyone of the basic truths of humanity. The arts truly are food for the soul.

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