The relationship between art and religions is analyzed, outlining the notion of “system of art”. Then the contestation of the “system of Christian art” that has occurred in recent centuries, is specifically addressed, through various types of revivals mechanisms. Finally, forms of contemporary art which declare themselves atheistic are analyzed. In the contemporary world we encounter a lot of art full of gods and against God, or an art that lacks God; an art that between disbelief and unbelief cannot find the right measure between meaning and its form, because the “system of art” always expresses a vision of the world, in such a way that between form and content there is always a one-to-one relationship.
The present study analyzes the Thomistic doctrine concerning the foundations of art and beauty and the relationship between beauty and goodness.
Although a complete artistic theory is not found in Thomistic intents, several texts of Thomas Aquinas give valuable clues for an organic theory of art aimed to beauty and good.
Reference to nature is crucial for the production of an authentic human art, as can be seen in various examples from the past.
The following section discusses some of the implications derived from the Thomist position or, on the contrary, from a relativistic conception of the same.
Finally, it explains the usefulness of Thomas’ thinking for a renewed artistic realism.