Art, too, is a gift of God. Just as the Lord Himself is not truth and holiness alone but also glory, and one who spreads the beauty of His name abroad over all His works, so it is He, too, by His Spirit equips the artists with wisdom and understanding and knowledge in all manner of workmanship (Exodus 31:3 and 35:31). Art is therefore in the first place an evidence of man’s ability to do and to make. This ability is spiritual in character and it gives expression to his deep longings, his high ideals, and his insatiable craving for harmony. Besides, art in all its works and ways conjures up an ideal world before us, in which the discords of our existence on earth are purged in a gratifying harmony. Thus a beauty is disclosed to the simple eye of the artist. And because art thus paints for us a picture of an other and higher reality, it is a comfort in our life, it lifts the soul up out of consternation, and fills our hearts with hope and joy.

But, though it is much that art can accomplish, it is only in the imagination that we can enjoy the beauty which art discloses. Art cannot close this gulf between the ideal and the real. It cannot make the yonder of its vision here of our present world. It shows us the glory of Canaan from a distance, but it does not usher us into the better country nor make us citizens of it. Art is much, but it is not everything. It is not, as a man of distinction in its domain once called it, the holiest and noblest thing, the one and only religion and the one and only salvation of man. Art cannot reconcile for sin. It cannot cleanse us of our pollution. And it is not able to dry our tears in the griefs of life. (Herman Bavinck, Our Reasonable Faith, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1956, 1980, page 21)

For further reflection on art, especially a contrast between repetitive work and art, see Against the Arts by Peter Leithart.