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Catholic Culture Dedication
Catholic Culture Dedication

Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry

by Jacques Maritain

Description

This book by Jacques Maritain is an example of Thomistic philosophy directed specifically toward the topic of creativity.

Publisher & Date

Bollingen Foundation Inc., 1953

CONTENTS

List of Plates

Publisher's Note

Acknowledgments

Preliminary Note

I. Poetry, Man, and Things
Preliminary remarks—Nature and Man—Things and the creative Self—The advent of the Self

Texts without Comment for Chapter One

II. Art as a Virtue of the Practical Intellect
The Practical Intellect—The virtue of Art—Useful Arts and Fine Arts—Transcendence of the Fine Arts

Texts without Comment for Chapter Two

III. The Preconscious Life of the Intellect
Art bitten by Poetry longs to be freed from Reason—Mania from below and mania from above. The Platonic Muse—The Spiritual Unconscious or Preconscious—The Illuminating Intellect and the preconscious activity of the spirit

Texts without Comment for Chapter Three

IV. Creative Intuition and Poetic Knowledge
At the single root of the soul's powers—Poetic intuition---Nature of poetic knowledge--Poetic intuition as cognitive—Poetic intuition as creative

Texts without Comment for Chapter Four

V. Poetry and Beauty
The philosophical concept of Beauty—Beauty is not the object, but the "end beyond the end" of Poetry—The spiritual experience of modern poetry—The craving for Magical Knowledge and the dismissal of Beauty

Texts without Comment for Chapter Five

VI. Beauty and Modern Painting
New thresholds, new anatomies—Nonrepresentative Beauty—Natural appearances and Creative Intuition

VII. Poetic Experience and Poetic Sense
Magic and poetic knowledge—Poetry, Mysticism, Metaphysics—Poetry transcends Art—Poetic Experience. Exit the Platonic Muse, enter real Inspiration—The experience of the composer and the painter—Self-awareness and the search for self-purification in modern poetry—The Poetic Sense

Texts without Comment for Chapter Seven

VIII. The Internalization of Music
Poetic Intuition and the beginning of a wordless musical stir—The music of intuitive pulsions—The transmission of poetic intuition through the poem—Classical poetry and the music of words—Modern poetry and the internalization of music—A parenthesis about the critic—Purposive Comparison and Immediately Illuminating Image

Texts without Comment for Chapter Eight

IX. The Three Epiphanies of Creative Intuition
Poetic Sense or Inner Melody, Action and Theme, Number or Harmonic Expansion—Dante's innocence—And luck—The three specific types of poetry—Magic as a free "In plus"

Index

LIST OF PLATES

Frontispiece. Duccio di Buoninsegna. Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Samuel H. Kress Collection.

Illustrating Chapter I:

1. Temple of Lingaraja. Bhuvaneśvara, India. (Photo: from "Aux Indes," Paris: Paul Hartmann, 1951, courtesy of the publisher.)

2. Detail of the Kailasa Temple. Ellora, India. (Photo: from "Aux Indes," Paris: Paul Hartmann, 1951, courtesy of the publisher.)

3. A Young Woman Seated. Fresco, Ajanta Caves, India. (Photo: from "Aux Indes," Paris: Paul Hartmann, 1951, courtesy of the publisher.)

4. Hsu Shih-ch'ang. Mountain Landscape (A Scholar's Abode). Yüan Dynasty. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. (Photo: courtesy of the Freer Gallery.)

5. Ku K'ai-chih. The Toilet Scene. Brush painting on silk, from the scroll entitled "Admonitions of the Instructress to the Ladies of the Palace." Tsin Dynasty. British Museum. (Photo: courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.)

6. Sleeping Avalokiteśvara. Sung Dynasty. Art Institute of Chicago, Lucy Maud Buckingham Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Art Institute.)

7. Calf-Bearer. Sixth century B.C. Acropolis Museum, Athens. (Photo: courtesy of La Guilde du Livre, Switzerland.)

8. Apollo of Attica. Sixth century B.C. Glyptothek, Munich. (Photo: courtesy of La Guilde du Livre, Switzerland.)

9. The Empress Theodora (detail). Mosaic, San Vitale, Ravenna. (Photo: Anderson-Viollet, Paris.)

10. The Prophet Isaiah. Church of St. Mary, Souillac. (Photo: Archives photographiques, Paris.)

11a. The Nativity. Chartres Cathedral. (Photo: J. E. Bulloz.)

11b. God Meditating Creation. Chartres Cathedral. (Photo: Archives photographiques, Paris.)

12. Giotto di Bondone. Allegory of Franciscan Vows: Poverty (detail). San Francesco, Assisi, Lower Church. (Photo: Anderson.)

13. Fra Angelico. The Entombment. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Samuel H. Kress Collection.

14. Piero della Francesca. The Queen of Sheba's Train (detail). San Francesco, Arezzo. (Photo: Skira.)

15. Matthias Grünewald. The Virgin and St. John. Detail from the Isenheim Altar. Musée d'Unterlinden, Colmar. (Photo: Jr. E. Bulloz.)

16. Hieronymus Bosch. Creation of Adam and Eve. Detail from "The Garden of Earthly Delights." Museo del Prado, Madrid. (Photo: A. y R. Mas.)

17. Michelangelo. Creation of Adam (detail). Sistine Chapel, Vatican. (Photo: from the Phaidon edition of "The Paintings of Michelangelo," courtesy of the Phaidon Press Ltd., London.)

18. El Greco. St. Martin and the Beggar. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Widener Collection.

19. Francisco de Zurbarán. The Young Virgin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

20. Rembrandt van Rijn. Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph. Gallery of Cassel, Germany. (Photo: from the Phaidon edition of "The Paintings of Rembrandt," courtesy of Phaidon Press Ltd., London.)

21. Nicolas Poussin. Orpheus and Eurydice (detail). Louvre. (Photo: from "Poussin," Collection "Les Demi-Dieux," Paris, 1945, courtesy of Éditions du Divan, Paris.)

22. Jan Vermeer. Woman Weighing Gold. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Widener Collection.

23. Antoine Watteau. Italian Comedians. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Samuel H. Kress Collection.

24. Edouard Manet. The Balcony. Louvre. (Photo: Braun & cie, Paris, New York.)

25. Paul Cézanne. Self-Portrait. Phillips Gallery, Washington, D. C. (Photo: J. H. Schaefer & Son.)

26. Paul Cézanne. Lake of Annecy. Home House Trustees, Courtauld Institute of Art, London. (Photo: courtesy of the Institute.)

27. Paul Cézanne. Boy in a Red Waistcoat. Collection of E. Bührle, Zurich. (Photo: courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.)

28. Vincent van Gogh. A Sidewalk Café at Night. Kröller-Müller State Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

29. Vincent van Gogh. On the Threshold of Eternity. Kröller-Müller State Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

30. Henri Rousseau. The Equatorial Jungle. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Chester Dale Collection.

31. Maurice Utrillo. Marizy-Ste-Geneviève. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Chester Dale Collection (loan).

32. Marc Chagall. Abraham and the Three Angels. Gouache. Private collection, Rome. (Photo: from "Chagall ou l'Orage enchanté," by Raïssa Maritain, Geneva-Paris: Editions des Trois Collines, 1948, courtesy of the publisher.)

33. Henri Matisse. The Piano. Collection of Stephen C. Clark, New York. (Photo: Braun & cie, Paris, New York.)

34. Georges Rouault. The Last Romantic (click "Next" twice to see the painting). Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Harry Bakwin. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.)

35. Georges Rouault. The End of Autumn No. 2. (Photo: Yvonne Chevalier.)

36. Georges Rouault. Exodus. Private Collection, Paris. (Photo: Yvonne Chevalier.)

Illustrating Chapter VI:

37. Georges Braque. The Studio. 1952. (Photo: courtesy of Galerie Maeght, Paris.)

38. Pablo Picasso. Three Musicians. 1921. Museum of Modern Art, New York, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

39. Juan Gris. The Man in the Café. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

40. Gino Severini. Dynamic Hieroglyphic of the Bal Tabarin. 1912. Museum of Modern Art, New York, acquired through Lillie P. Bliss Bequest. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

41. Salvador Dali. A Chemist Lifting with Precaution the Cuticle of a Grand Piano. Collection of Ruth Page. (Photo: courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.)

42. Yves Tanguy. The Storm. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

43. Giorgio de Chirico. Melancholy and Mystery of a Street. Collection of Stanley Resor. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.)

44. Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 1907. Museum of Modern Art, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

45. Pablo Picasso. Guernica. Owned by the artist, on loan to the Museum of Modern Art, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

46. Marcel Duchamp. The Bride. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

47. Marcel Duchamp. Nude Desending a Staircase. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

48. Kazimir Malevich. Suprematist Composition. Museum of Modern Art, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

49. Piet Mondrian. Broadway Boogie-Woogie. Museum of Modern Art, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

50. Vasili Kandinsky. Two Sides Red. Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, New York.)

51. Vasili Kandinsky. Circles in Circle. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

52. Paul Klee. Prestidigitator. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

53. Hieronymus Bosch. Temptation of St. Anthony (detail). National Museum of Fine Arts, Lisbon. (Photo: from Charles de Tolnay, "Hieronymus Bosch," Les Éditions Holbein.)

54. Tintoretto. Christ at the Sea of Galilee. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Samuel H. Kress Collection.

55. El Greco. View of Toledo. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

56. Giambattista Piranesi. The Baths of Trajan. (Erroneously called the Baths of Titus.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Rosenwald Collection.

Illustrating the illuminating image:

57. Pieter Brueghel (the Elder). Fall of Icarus. Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

58. Giorgio de Chirico. The Soothsayer's Recompense. Philadelphia Museum of Art, Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

59. Marc Chagall. Self-Portrait with a Clock. Property of the artist. (Photo: from "Chagall ou l'Orage enchanté," by Raïssa Maritain, Geneva-Paris: Editions de Trois Collines, 1948, courtesy of the publisher.)

60. Marc Chagall. Around Her. Musée d'Art moderne, Paris. (Photo: see the preceding.)

61. Georges de la Tour. St. Sebastian Mourned by St. Irene and Her Ladies. Kaiser Friedrich Museum, Berlin. (Photo: courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.)

62. Claude Lorrain. The Herdsman. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Samuel H. Kress Collection.

63. Francisco Jose de GOYA y Lucientes. The Marquesa de Pontejos. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., Mellon Collection.

64. Paul Cézanne. Mont Ste-Victoire, 1885-87. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. (Photo: courtesy of the Museum.)

65. Georges Rouault. Head of Christ. Cleveland Museum. (Photo: Yvonne Chevalier.)

66. Georges Braque. Big Clouds. 1952. (Photo: courtesy of Galerie Maeght, Paris.)

67. Georges Rouault. "He was oppressed and abused, and he did not open his mouth." (Isaiah 53:7.) Etching. Plate 21 from "Le Miserere de Georges Rouault," Paris: L'Etoile filante, aux Éditions de Seuil, 1951. (Photo: Charles Hurault.)

68. Marc Chagall. White Crucifixion. Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Mrs. Alfred S. Alschuler. (Photo: courtesy of the Art Institute.)

Publishers Note

Published for Bollingen Foundation Inc., New York, N.Y. by Pantheon Books Inc., New York, N.Y. This is the first volume of the A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, which are delivered annually at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The volumes of lectures constitute Number XXXV in Bollingen Series, sponsored by and published for Bollingen Foundation.

Acknowledgments

This book grew out of six lectures given at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in the spring of 1952. I appreciate very much the honor of having been invited to deliver there the initial series of the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the lectureship committee; to the National Gallery of Art and its director Mr. David E. Finley; and especially to Mr. Huntington Cairns, chairman of the lectureship committee, whose enlightened and generous assistance was invaluable to me. I also thank cordially Mr. Macgill James, assistant director of the National Gallery of Art, and Mr. Raymond S. Stites, curator in charge of education, for their gracious help in the preparation of the slides shown during the lectures; without Mr. James's precious and untiring co-operation the illustration of the book would have been impossible.

I am greatly indebted to Mr. Francis Fergusson, who, as director of the seminars in literary criticism at Princeton University, gave me the opportunity for an indispensable preparatory phase of research, and whose friendly insistence is responsible for the essay on Dante which I wrote both as a contribution to the Kenyon Review and as the central part of the last chapter of this book. To him and to Mr. Allen Tate I owe my having become more familiar with the remarkable work done by contemporary American criticism, and with the perspectives and problems it has elucidated. Mr. Edward Toner Cone, associate professor of music at Princeton University, was kind enough to provide me with several texts from letters of great composers. Mrs. E. B. O. Borgerhoff was for me, regarding research work as well as my effort to achieve exact expression in a language which is not my native tongue, a collaborator for whose spirited attention, discerning competence, and congenial understanding I have deep gratitude.

Raïssa, my wife, assisted me all through my work—I do not believe that a philosopher would dare to speak of poetry if he could not rely on the direct experience of a poet.

J. M.

Preliminary Note

A few indications may be given about some of the characteristics of this book.

I. The material of the quotations is principally English and French. Many excerpts from French authors ( especially poets) have been cited in the original, not only because it is almost impossible, except for a poet, adequately to translate poetry ( especially modern French poetry), but also, and first of all, because this book—in its perspective, if not in its subject matter—is concerned with comparative poetry. In the view of its author, it is a kind of joint tribute to British and American and to French poetry.

II. The book has been illustrated in a twofold way: by pictorial illustrations and by literary illustrations. The latter are the Texts without Comment which occur at the end of most of the chapters.

The pictorial illustrations refer mainly to Chapter I and Chapter VI. The photographs which illustrate Chapter I are distributed throughout Chapters I, II, III, and IV. Those which illustrate Chapter VI are distributed throughout Chapters V to IX. The series of works reproduced in Chapters VII and IX (nos. 53 to 56, and 61 to 68), which has to do with the last pages of Chapter VI, is interrupted in Chapter VIII by illustrations dealing especially with the "illuminating image."

III. The Texts without Comment must also be regarded as simple illustrations. My purpose in selecting them was not to set up an apparatus of authorities and witnesses; it was only to prepare a set of significant images, not for the eye but for the mind. I have added the usual references to a number of these excerpts (at least those from modern authors) in order to facilitate research. Yet my only aim has been to group and present some "pure texts" for "pure reading," as self-sufficient objects likely to nourish either the reflection or the pleasure of the intellect.

In many cases only a fragment of a poem, which I considered particularly significant for my purpose, could be given. I hope I shall be pardoned for the liberty I thus took.

IV. Finally, I might mention here that while I cite the existing English translations of my books and give page references where required, I have exercised the privilege, occasionally, of revising the language.

© Trustees of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Published for the Bollingen Foundation Inc. N.Y., N.Y.

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