In all true art, there is a vital underlying thought, and artists have accordingly been among the great thinkers of mankind,
An eminent painter of the nineteenth century has well expressed it: ‘My intention has not been so much to paint pictures that will charm the eye as to suggest great thoughts that will appeal to the imagination and the heart, and kindle all that is best and noblest in humanity. I even think that, in the future, art may yet speak, as great poetry itself, with the solemn and majestic ring in which the Hebrew prophets spoke to the Jews of old, demanding noble aspirations, condemning in the most trenchant manner private vices, and warning us in deep tones against lapses from morals and duties’ (F. W. Watts)
The highest artist, in the eyes of Jewish teachers of all generation, is not the greatest master in self-expression, but in self-control; he who fashions himself into a sanctuary. Such a View sounds strange in modern ears. One of the saddest phenomena of the age is the misuse of art for the perversion of Youth. Art is a divine gift, and must be divinely- used. ‘When the Hebrew spirit prevails over the Greek, he strips it of its pagan sensuality, so that its beauty stands revealed untarnished by barbaric or ungodly association’ (Solomon J. Solomon).