Joseph Phelan

About Joseph Phelan

Joseph Phelan holds a Ph.D. in the history of political thought from the University of Toronto. He was the arts editor for, a now-defunct Washington DC free paper where he wrote a regular monthly column. Dr. Phelan has also written for the Weekly Standard, the Claremont Institute, New Criterion, Canadian Review of Books, and The Washington Times.

Michelangelo’s “Sin”

By |2021-04-27T20:36:29-05:00April 10th, 2021|Categories: Art, Culture, Film|

Set in the period after the completion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the film, “Sin,” paints a rounded characterization of Michelangelo rather than the hoary cliché of the solitary misanthropic genius holed up in his studio. This episode of the artist’s career has never been so dramatically or so convincingly told. Il Peccato (Sin), the [...]

Christmas Story in Art: Giorgione’s “Adoration of the Shepherds”

By |2020-12-24T21:40:38-06:00December 24th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christmas, Culture|

In the center of Giorgione’s painting, “The Adoration of the Shepherds,” two shepherds genuflect before the Child, connecting the two worlds of the scene, the natural and the supernatural. The shepherds are the first men to recognize the divinity of Christ. While we are unlikely to identify with the Magi, those royal wise men, we [...]

“Raphael Revealed”: His Life and Influence

By |2020-11-04T16:29:31-06:00November 13th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Film, History|

“Raphael Revealed” offers abundant opportunities to view an array of Raphael’s masterpieces up close in the context of the Rome of the early 16th century. One of the richest achievements of European art and culture once again becomes accessible and understandable. Exhibition on Screen, the long-running and highly popular series of high-definition documentary films about [...]

Demystifying the Louvre

By |2020-08-26T16:37:23-05:00August 26th, 2020|Categories: Architecture, Art, Books, Culture, History, Western Civilization|

In recounting the growth of one of the West’s grandest cultural achievements, James Gardner is an admirably conservative guide to the impressive qualities of the Louvre. Today when Western civilization is under attack as never before, it is a paradox that the encyclopedic art museum, one of the characteristic achievements of this civilization, is more [...]

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