Wassily Kandinsky wrote Concerning the Spiritual in Art in 1912. He felt that art was the antidote to the materialism that he witnessed in Germany at that time. The following is a quote from his book:
[In great art] the spectator does feel a corresponding thrill in himself. Such harmony or even contrast of emotion cannot be superficial or worthless; indeed the Stimmung (essential spirit of nature) of a picture can deepen and purify that of the spectator. Such works of art at least preserve the soul from coarseness; they “key it up,” so to speak, to a certain height, as a tuning-key the strings of a musical instrument.
In painting class, students are asked to access their souls and create.