Pope John Paul II on What is Art

Each authentic work of art interprets the reality beyond sensory perception.  It is born of silence, admiration, or the protest of an honest heart.  It tries to bring closer the mystery of reality.  So what constitutes the essence of art is found deep within each person.  It is there where the aspiration to give meaning to one's life is accompanied by the fleeting sense of beauty and the mysterious union of things.  Authentic and humble artists are perfectly well aware, no matter what kind of beauty characterizes their handiwork, that their paintings, sculptures, or creations are nothing else but the reflection of God's Beauty.  No matter how strong the charm of their music and words, they know that their works are only a distant echo of God's Word.

From Pope John Paul II at the Mass for Artists in Brussels, May 20, 1985.