February 7, 2009

Philo of Alexandria

Wisdom is the art of arts, and although it seems to vary with its materials it must be recognized that its true form never changes. This is evident to those with sharp eyes, but not those who incline to the stuff surrounding [wisdom's] essence, seeing only the character stamped on it by the particular craft. The sculptor Phidias made statues out of bronze, ivory, gold and other materials besides, and in all of these he left the mark of his one same art, by which the craftsman's authorship was recognizable to connoissseur and layman alike. Art, which represents nature, also emulates nature's habit of re-using the same mold, as in the case of twins when it imprints two likenesses differing only in slight details: a perfected art outlines the same forms and fills them in alike no matter how many different materials it takes up. And so its products are siblings, twins and the closest possible kin to one another.

On Drunkenness XXII.88-90