Artistic Freedom in Careful Differentiation

Jacques Maritain (1882–1973) introduced the Thomistic/Scholastic principles of art into the consciousness of enough modern artists—writers, in particular—to have a significant influence on art in both France (where he lived and taught until the Second World War) and the United States, where he lived for many years after the war. His book on aesthetics—Art and Scholasticism—was a key text that guided the work of writers such as Allen Tate, Caroline Gordon, Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, Francois Mauriac, Thomas Merton, John Howard Griffin, Flannery O’Connor and T.S. Eliot. Maritain’s exposition of the Scholastic principles of art rewards careful reading because it…

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