Art and the Theologians
Harold Rosenberg said of the painter Barnett Newman that painting was a way of practicing the sublime, not of finding symbols for it. There is a highly subjective, personal, empathetic relationship between a work of art, the artist and the reader. Practicing the sublime meant making art which was capable of giving someone, as it did me, the feeling of his own totality. In paraphrasing Gadamer, Gordon Graham tells of a commonplace experience familiar to every lover of art when he says that appreciating a work of art requires imaginative activity on the part of the observer no less than the maker. The author had an identical experience before Raphael's Madonna and Child and John Baptist thirty years earlier, as have it on the top of Monte Baldo above Lake Garda and looking towards the Dolomites, or listening to Mozart as well as when pondering the structure of a flower's form as attempt to paint it.