There’s a scene in the movie The Agony & The Ecstasy in which Michelangelo (Charlton Heston) takes his latest ideas for the ceiling paintings in The Sistine Chapel to Pope Julius II (Rex Harrison), who is in the middle of commanding a battle. The artist carried the huge sheet of paper folded in his bag on a horse and retrieves them to share with Julius. He pulls the paper out, bends down on the ground, and unfolds it.
The Pontiff is drawn into a discussion with Michelangelo just as the troops await his order to fire back at those firing upon them. But he’s in another world. He’s busy looking at Michelangelo’s sketches.
Yes, art goes on. Despite war. Despite violence, tragedy, and hatred. Art seems to persevere.
Creativity can’t be repressed. Nor can the desire for things beautiful and things that reflect the resilient human spirit.
Is art used to mask reality? Is it used to create a reality we prefer?