At one time, Jacques Maritain became so depressed by the meaninglessness of the modern outlook that he vowed to commit suicide unless some great Truth could present itself as a bridge over the abyss of scientism. The bridge he found was Christian Philosophy, specifically St. Thomas Aquinas', whose teaching of the personal God and the purpose of the intellect drew Maritain out of the bleak confines of secular life and opened to him a richer understanding of humanity. Maritain wrote prolifically, always calling both the Church and the world back to Christian ways of thinking. This book (published in 1920) comprehends art from a broadly Thomistic perspective. Thus, Maritain holds that the artist and the artisan are one in that they both make, but the artist is distinct in that his principle aim (here his reflection of Aquinas shines through) is to create beauty. Counter to much artistic sentiment of his time, art 'did not have for its purpose to convulse the soul, but to purify it.' Inasmuch as it participates in the intellect, in Logic, in art 'all is order and beauty, Richness, tranquility, and pleasure.' Maritain intends to 'go a little further than the mediaeval schoolmen while relying on their principles' in making his thoughts on art available to a wide readership-and this little treatise became one of the most influential art theory pieces of the twentieth century, connecting art with philosophy, morality, and religion. Maritain's friendship was eagerly sought by his contemporaries, obscure and great, and his influence was concomitant: Flannery O'Connor somewhere notes that An Eighth Day View:
Art and Scholasticism with Other Essays is a work by Catholic French Philosopher Jacques Maritain. This collection of Maritain essay's on art include Schoolmen and the Theory of Art, Art an Intellectual Virtue, Rules of Art, Art and Beauty and Some Reflections Upon Religious Art. This is an excellent publication for collectors of the writing of Jacques Maritain and also individuals in the early stages of discovering his work.