Temperance ii

Planning for this painting has set me thinking more about the nature of temperance in the new millennium. The cardinal virtues are so out of date after a century of modernism that I suppose many of us aren’t that familiar with these foundations that regulated life in the renaissance.

Temperance – moderation in all things, self control 

Fortitude – confronting your fear and enduring against adversity

Prudence – the ability to make sensible choices at the right time

Justice – placing the interest of the greater good before your own

When the three theological virtues Faith, Hope and Charity are placed alongside the cardinal virtues they combine to make the seven heavenly virtues. These are opposed by the seven deadly sins, which have been extensively portrayed in recent times, not least in that gnarly movie with actors Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives searching for a psychotic serial killer.

Temperance         Gluttony

Fortitude              Wrath

Prudence              Idleness

Justice                  Envy

Faith                     Pride

Hope                    Avarice

Charity                 Luxury

In the painting of the angel of temperance I think there need to be hints of gluttony to show where the need for temperance lies. It’s easy to be indulgent.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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