Levine Andro Lao
University of Santo Tomas
The choice of this topic is a curious one, perhaps, for art seems to be such a personal creation that even its appreciation may be relative and most of the time considered as subjective or reliant on impressions. Whether this idea is rightfully founded or not is reviewed in this paper: Is art’s meaning simply an impression? Does it come to exist merely because of whims and ecstasies? Is the experience of art such that it cannot but be dominated by personal ideas? In answering these questions, I present a synthesis of some of the works of Jacques Maritain (1882–1973), a Thomist who has important insights concerning aesthetic experience. Since the experience of art starts from its causes to the work’s appreciation by other people, the progression of this discussion is presented as follows: first, the concept of inspiration, to which artists usually attribute their creations, is assessed; then the aesthetic experience is reviewed to understand art’s qualities; and finally, the purpose and meaning of the artwork are examined.
Keywords Thomistic Aesthetics  Jacques Maritain  Intuition
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A Preface to Metaphysics.Jacques Maritain - 1939 - Freeport, N.Y., Books for Libraries Press.
Approaches to God.Jacques Maritain - 1954 - Greenwood Press.

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