The Corner

Serendipity

 

Riding the New York subway into work this morning, I was reading Jacques Maritain’s 1953 book Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry, and happened on the following (emphasis added):

Oscar Wilde’s saying, Nature imitates art, is but an obvious truism. . . . For man’s art and vision too are one of the ways through which mankind invades Nature, so as to be reflected and meant by her. Without the mirrors worked out by generations of painters and poets, what would our aesthetic penetration of Nature be? . . . Let us look at human faces as if they were pictures, then the pleasures of our eyes will be multiplied. An epicurean of art traveling in New York subways enjoys a ceaselessly renewed exhibition of Cézanne’s, Hogarth’s, or Gauguin’s figures, offered free of charge by nature, or of Seurat’s when all the lights are on.

I looked around the subway car and saw a lot of Gauguins, and one or two Hogarths; I — after a typically sleepless night — was the only fuzzy Seurat.

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