More From Uncle Paul

You’d think the great ones would praise their fellow masters, and so they do. But now and then comes insight about the less perfect, the odd, the understated.

As we came to the city limits the Lateran palace diverted us from our project. Also, the mother of all churches next to it. The Byzantine mosaics in the choir, two delicious deer. After this hors d’ouevre, over to the Christian museum in the Lateran. Sculptures in a naïve style whose great beauty stems from the forcefulness of the expression. The effect of these works, which are after all imperfect, cannot be justified on intellectual grounds, and yet I am more receptive to them than the most highly praised masterpieces.

Paul Klee, Diaries, 1901