The Third Picture. The Death of Socrates. By-and-bye [sic] men must have discovered by experience that a connection exists between the phenomena of nature. . . . [And that the] gods, as the supposed causes of these phenomena, were not independent. . . . The idea originated, that . . . an obscure unknown power existed . . . To which Even the gods were subjected . . . [and] the gods . . . Ceased to be objects of fear and of hope. The principal act of pagan worship, offering to the gods, necessarily lost its real sense, and . . . human sacrifice was abolished. The age of reform began in the pagan world. . . . Imagination takes the place of those deeper powers of the soul which have acted in producing the original fictions of primitive religion. . . . This is the first act of the dissoLution of the pagan system, which I have characterized in my third intermediate picture by the figure of Homer. Thus poetry, which transports the gods from their residence in the obscure kingdom of belief into the sunny light of fancy and thought, became an unconscious critic of the pre-existing religious system. There was only one step more to be made. . . . Poetry had denied the original sense and meaning represented in the fiction of the gods, but not their existence; now Philosophy denied Even that existence. . . . [Pp. 9-10; see entry 06110005 for other work noted in this commentary.]
Explanation of Theo. Kaufmann's Great Pictures, illustrating the development of Religious Liberty. Mr. Kaufmann invites the attention of lovers of Art to the above Pictures, which form a series of eight principal, and nine minor Paintings. --They can be seen at his Studio from 9 to 12 o'clock every morning. Free of charge. New York: G.B. Teubner, Printer, 17 Ann Street, near Broadway. 1853.