I had the luxury of spending my lunch hour at the Dallas Museum of Art today, and I spent quite a long time moving slowly around the William Wetmore Story marble sculpture of Semiramis.

She is a beautiful work, carved out of a single block of marble, and as I revolved around her, I thought, “Really good art is  an excellent reason to believe in God.”  Mankind can do everything but breathe spirit into a body–sculpture like this?  How does that even happen?  I mean, I know the mechanics required, but how do you coax that beauty out of a chunk of rock?

I had the same feeling when I saw the David.  How do you chisel that perfection?  How do you get the fingernails, the curls in the hair, the veins?  And how do you do it without error?  Without accidentally chipping off a chunk of thigh?  It’s not natural.  It’s not human.  It’s supernatural.  It is beyond talent.  Beyond art.

The other day I told B that I wonder if the great artists of yore, given cameras, would bother painting, or if they would just take photographs?  Why bother learning everything necessary to paint The Coronation of Napoleon when you can just take a picture of it?  We agreed that Leonardo Da Vinci would have been a shutterbug–he had a lot going on!  But, I can’t imagine a decoupage version of the Sistine Chapel.  Actually, I can, and it’s cracking me up.  Michelangelo could have papered that ceiling with photos of posed models, as I papered my bedroom wall with my junior high crushes.

And on that note…

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