How Democracy and Liberty Unleash Great Art

WASHINGTON — One of presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s top foreign policy advisors also happens to be a top-notch art historian.

That background has allowed Dr. Victoria Coates to study how democracy and freedom have led to some of the greatest artistic achievements of mankind.

Coates contends as liberty frees up a civilization, it also unleashes the artists in that society to flourish creatively. And the wealth unleashed by flourishing free markets can undergird those artists as they go about creating stunning beauty.

Coates’ new book, David’s Sling: a History of Democracy in Ten Works of Art, shows how civilizations enjoying liberty will often commemorate their most heroic deeds and citizens through great art.

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Coates pointed to Athens’ Parthenon, not only a massive and beautiful work of architecture atop the rocky Acropolis, but covered with hundreds of works of art — all glorifying the deeds and history of the Greek city-state as it embraced democracy and freedom more than two millennia ago.

“What the Athenians invented on their citadel was a new political system of free, self-governing people,” she said. “They called it demokratia.”

“This political innovation coincided with the brilliant flowering of creativity known as the golden age of classical Greece, which set enduring standards of cultural excellence,” Coates added.

Her book examines how flourishing Florence during the Renaissance could afford to pay for great works of art by the likes of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

“Michelangelo’s David, for example, has come down to us as the quintessential image of male beauty, and as the greatest statue ever made by the greatest sculptor who ever lived,” she said.

Coates summed up the value of all the art she examines in David’s Sling.

“They remain tributes to the free political systems that fostered them and which they were originally designed to honor,” she writes.

Report via CBN News

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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