Art From The Sacred To The Profane: East and West by Frithjof Schuon

By Frithjof Schuon

This variation of popular thinker Frithjof Schuon's writings with regards to artwork, chosen and edited via his spouse Catherine Schuon, comprises over 270 photographs-200 colour and 70 black and white. Keith Critchlow writes, "This appealing publication . . . has the broadest assurance of any of the books on paintings that this author has noticeable in 40 years of training paintings and architecture." Frithjof Schuon, the most important consultant of the traditionalist institution of idea, offers the common rules and standards with which to figure sacred from profane artwork, and conventional from in basic terms "religious" paintings. He then bargains with the religious importance of the creative productions of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Far-Eastern international. additionally lined are the themes of attractiveness and the experience of the sacred, the crafts, poetry, track, dance, costume, and atmosphere.

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The former Dadaists found their means of tapping the subconscious in the enthusiasm for spiritualism and for everything supernatural that was common in Paris after the war: in spiritualist séances, automatic writing and the narration of dreams. They were drawn to word-play, and preoccupied with the mystery of the telepathic link between Duchamp, who was in America, and his young protégé in Paris, the poet Robert Desnos. Later, Breton recalled his first encounter with the mystery of the dream: “In 1919, my attention focussed on the sentences, more or less fragmentary, which, when one is in complete solitude, just before going to sleep, one’s mind is able to pick up without being able to detect any prior purpose behind them.

In homage to Guillaume Apollinaire”, he wrote, “… Soupault and I assigned the name of Surrealism to the new mode of pure expression …”44 Nevertheless, Breton could not agree completely with Apollinaire. He thought that for the new artistic language, “supernaturalism”, the term that was employed by Gérard de Nerval, was possibly more suitable. Nerval intended this term to cover not only his own art, but creative work of any kind that was made subject not to the copying of reality, but to the imagination, the same approach Apollinaire had in mind.

And, as will always be the case, Surrealist painting did not spring up out of a desert. The history of European art is remarkable for such a wealth of treasures that here and there the future Surrealists were able to find the first shoots of what would later, with careful nurturing, function to make up the special language of their art. If the first road to Surrealism traversed through Dada, then the second road lay through that existing tradition in art which had constituted a manifestation of Surrealism long before the movement was officially christened in the twentieth century.

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Art From The Sacred To The Profane: East and West by Frithjof Schuon
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