The Oxford dictionary defines art as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. . .producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” If it is in fact measured by its beauty or emotional power, I had the opportunity to “live” art to its extreme earlier this week.
On Monday evening, I sat in the Church of Mother of God before Tyn in the Old Town Square of Prague and listened to a live performance of Mozart’s Requiem. Construction of the church, which is one of the most visited and photographed of Prague’s many architectural masterpieces, was begun in the 14th Century. Hundreds of years later in 1791, Mozart wrote his famous Requiem. To witness both forms of art together was a magical experience of beauty and emotional power words cannot describe. I can only share the thought which circulated in my mind and soul as I listened and looked.
As I sat allowing the music, late Gothic architecture and gilded sculptures to pierce every part of my soul, I marveled that humans created them. My mind imagined what Mozart had been thinking while composing the beautiful mass. I wondered what had inspired the architects and sculptors as they built the monument to God in the 1300s. I could not escape the thought, the undeniable reality, that something much bigger and greater than themselves had produced such artistic ability and mastery.
For those who believe man does not exist for any great reason, or who think we evolved from a single cell, I challenge you to witness art at its most intense extremes, as I did this week. If you do, I believe you’ll agree only a Divine Power can produce such music, such art, or a human, such as myself, who can be so moved by them.