Hesiod and the Muse, 1891
Oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)

Serving the Muse

The purpose of art is to acquaint us with the mysteries of being alive and human. Art is not trivial. Art is not peripheral to our daily activities. It is the reason we exist. 

In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk

- from the Navajo Blessing Way Ceremony

What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.
Henry Miller (1891 - 1980)

Beauty is a form of genius - is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.
Oscar Wilde (1856 - 1900)

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626)

Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite. Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
George Bancroft

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Why Art?

Why do we educate ourselves and our children? Why do we try to remain healthy? Why do we build roads and foster commerce? Why do we create institutions of government to provide for the general good, safety and well-being? All of these things must be done, but for what reason? To ease suffering? To gain wealth? Certainly, but why are these things important?

The core purpose of humanity is to experience art. In its purest forms, art is not an expression of ego. It is the expression of the fundamental creative urge that is within all living things.