Recalling contemporary criticism from the bloodless realm of form, the eminent French scholar and Curator-in-Chief of the Louvre reminds even the most abstract purist that art is expressive and communicative--the language of the human spirit. To convey that ""living force of art"", the je-ne sais-quoi that makes it more than accomplished craft or formal technique, Mr. Huyghe prepares his case with the ""means of expression"" available to translate feeling into visual image--drawing, form, light, color, imagination. Then ""the human meaning of art"" is set in its historical vista by specific and beautifully chosen examples such as these: Art and Ideas, Leonardo; Art and Society, the Flemish middle class and its discovery of matter; Art and the Nation. France and its portraiture; Art and the Individual, Rembrandt and the inner man; Art and the Irrational, the contemporary excursion into the absurd and the hidden psyche. Articulate and erudite, the text is incandescent with insight and acumen provoked by the profuse illustrations. One may disagree with his metaphysical premise and yet not sacrifice the enjoyment of meeting a brilliant and impassioned devotee. Scholarly and superb.