The Origin of Art (II)
Written by Alfonso Elizondo
The brilliant philosopher and author, Louis Cottreaux recounts in an old chronicle the experience of a certain Parisian aristocrat who was walking calmly along the Seine quay with his friends when he suddenly began to scream in pain. He ran and threw himself into the river and they had a very hard time getting him out. When asked what had happened to him he said: ‘My house is burning and my picture has turned to ashes’.
A short time later his friends confirmed the truth of what he had said and they were frightened to realize the effectiveness of the occult sciences. The aristocrat also learned that magic is reversible because, after charging his magical portrait to take in his stead any misfortune that might have happened to him, he was surprised to see that the opposite can also happen and that he had run the risk of being burnt himself instead of his picture that was resistant to the flames. When he threw himself into the water he stopped the magic and restored the norm, to the detriment of the picture but to his relief.
The great English writer Oscar Wilde knew about such processes, so in his book entitled The Picture of Dorian Gray he wrote the following:
‘The irrational study of ancient beliefs will probably lead us to realize our gross ignorance about the problems concernin g life and death.
The proud belief in our so-called civilization and in our pseudo-science, unfortunately, prevents us from considering the mystery of creation, starting from primitive simplicity, where instinct coupled with intuition brilliantly replaces our worthless rational reasoning. For only he who penetrates to the root knows all the secrets of the tree.’
Finally, Armand Drouat said that ‘the artist does not have to imitate nature at the risk of appearing foolish or stupid’.
Addendum: Fortunately, art has survived several million years of human existence, although it is tending to disappear forever with the chaotic situation that our planetary system in particular is experiencing.