‘the whole POV from which the necessity arose’ – Stanislas on his father, Balthus

– Eric Gill, Girl with a deer. Ex libris Ananda Coomaraswamy, 1925

the true appreciation of art … the philosopher A.K. Coomaraswamy warns us, ‘must not be confused with a psycho-analysis of our likes and dislikes dignified by the name of “aesthetic reactions” … The study of art, it is to have any cultural value, will demand two far more difficult operations than this, in the first place an understanding and acceptance of the whole point of view from which the necessity for the work arose, and in the second place a bringing to life in ourselves of the form in which the artist conceived the work and by which he judged it. …’ …

– Ananda K. Coomaraswamy

Should one be able to overcome the superficial handicap of one’s ‘aesthetic reactions’ (described by the anthropologist R. Firth as ‘an excrescence upon a genuine interest in art which seems peculiar to civilized peoples’), one might then be able to penetrate the deeper meaning of the work and thus truly to judge it.

– Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, Balthus, Thames and Hudson, London, 1996, p. 19

– Stella Bloch, photograph by Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy, c. 1920