«Art and morals» by Rüdiger Safranski (V.O. German)

José Pedro Pérez-Llorca Lecture 2022
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

«The artistic impulse surpasses the usual sense of reality. That’s why art transcends the political, economic, and moral utility. However, for the same reason, attempts arise that, conversely, seek to attack or instrumentalize art politically, economically, or morally. The lecture primarily addresses the tensions between art and morality that arise in this context. The greatest attack against the independence of art occurs in times of dramatic adversity, injustice, crisis, and war. At that moment, the question arises: isn’t art a luxury in the face of such problems? Thus, art comes under pressure to justify itself. A frequent justification is that art is committed to moral «goodness,» whatever interpretation one wishes to give it. However, this «moralization» is not valid for the true impulse of art, as it means more than merely conforming to moral or politically correct behavior. In other words, art has a transcendent dimension – a playful form. Art should not forsake this dimension, even under the pressure of moral instrumentalization.»
Rüdiger Safranski


José Pedro Pérez-Llorca Lecture
The José Pedro Pérez-Llorca Lecture, instituted in homage to the individual who chaired the Royal Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the Prado between 2012 and 2019, and maintained a deeply committed personal and professional connection with this institution, is scheduled by the Center of Studies as an annual encounter with the classical world. Not by chance, in the proximity of the end of the grape harvest, the José Pedro Pérez-Llorca Lecture brings us each year the visit of a distinguished individual among scholars of Greco-Latin culture, who will speak to us about a subject in which the Prado Museum and Antiquity will necessarily be present.

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