“To be enthused by the painting of Orcagna or Giotto is not to be hopelessly out of date, ‘stuck’ in an historical period that has been and gone. It is only to possess an aesthetic, cultural, spiritual taste that happened to be prevalent then but which has not been made any less real and valid by the passing of the centuries. Just because contemporary taste between then and now has celebrated Rubens, Tiepolo, Monet, Warhol or Rozendaal doesn’t mean that taste has necessarily improved or that one has some kind of social duty to reflect the artistic Zeitgeist by which one is surrounded”.
“Perantulo was intrigued to find that the people they depicted were not perfect, but that this in some peculiar way lent the figures a positive perfection. Beyond their creased faces, bent backs and gnarled feet lay an intangible radiance. There was a clarity and purity in the form of these people that seemed to have come from far, far, away. They were filled with a grace that made their superficial flaws irrelevant to all those who beheld them”.
“By the time we reach the 16th century the gold has disappeared from the works of art themselves and fled out to the frames in great heavy, ugly, twists of ostentation. The heavenly light, too, has fled from the paintings. Isn’t that also what has happened to the feeling of divinity, of connection, that must lie at the origins of religious belief? It was forced out of the interior of the human soul into the overbearing external framework of a pompous religious hierarchy. An intermediary, blocking our experience of the eternal truth. Everything is outside the human soul – ruling it, oppressing it, limiting it. The god within becomes the god above. A god outside of his own creation, outside of his own people, sneering down at their failings. An angry man with a beard ready to punish you for not obeying his orders”.
The Fakir of Florence: A novel in three layers
by Paul Cudenec
Winter Oak Press, Sussex, England, 2016
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