For centuries of western history, the beauty of art was conceived as a response to, and a reflection of, the cosmic artistry of a good God, who patterned all things well. Aesthetic order was therefore a manifestation of cosmic order, and beauty an expression of the good providence of a benevolent God. In the modern period patterns have seemed like the consoling creations of people worried that they live at the mercy of an arbitrary universe. What do patterns in art (pre-modern and then modern) tell us about our changing perspectives on the world we live in?
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