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, [...]

Shelley’s “Ozymandias” and the Immortality of Art

By |2020-11-27T14:45:27-06:00November 27th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Literature, Poetry|

Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” remains one of the best-crafted sonnets, as much for its vivid description as for the breadth and depth of its meaning. It is about much more than the futility of tyranny: It is about the power of art. Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” is one of his shortest works, but also [...]

Prayer, Beauty, and Civilization

By |2020-11-21T10:16:29-06:00November 21st, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Civilization, Culture, Imagination, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

In our zeal to articulate how Christianity has shaped civilization, we are apt to neglect the specific role of prayer. The good, the true, and the beautiful fostered by our civilization have been initiated and sustained by prayer. If one does not pray, what measure of human cultivation is one missing? Art and Prayer: [...]

“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 [...]

Foucault & “Las Meninas”: On Postmodernism & Painting

By |2020-11-02T15:24:21-06:00November 6th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Philosophy|

Diego Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” has taken its rightful place as one of the most fascinating artworks to analyze in the whole of Western painting. Scholars describe “Las Meninas” as an embodiment of art itself within a painting: It is the philosophy of art depicted on canvas. Not everyone might be familiar with the original [...]

The Assault on Opera

By |2020-11-12T13:17:40-06:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Imagination, Music, Roger Scruton, Timeless Essays|

Hardly an opera producer now, confronted with a masterpiece that might otherwise delight and console an audience, can control the desire to desecrate. The more exalted the music, the more demeaning the production. What modern producers seem to forget is that audiences are gifted with the faculty of imagination. The disappearance of the bourgeoisie has [...]

Going to Purgatory With J.R.R. Tolkien

By |2020-09-03T15:27:03-05:00September 6th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christian Humanism, Christianity, Fiction, Imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien, Joseph Pearce, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In his short story, “Leaf by Niggle,” J.R.R. Tolkien provides a much more colourful and comforting purgatorial vision than that afforded by Dante. Niggle, a personification of the Artist, recognizes the landscape as the perfect, living form of which his painting was but a shadow or a foreshadowing. J.R.R. Tolkien expressed a dislike for [...]

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 [...]

Aquinas and the Theology of Grace in Michelangelo’s “The Last Judgement”

By |2020-08-20T14:02:34-05:00August 22nd, 2020|Categories: Art, Christianity, Culture, Heaven, St. Thomas Aquinas, Theology|

Portraying the souls of the faithful and those of the damned, “The Last Judgement” of Michelangelo serves as a powerful reminder of the theology of grace and of the importance of one’s own volition in accepting and actively cooperating with the grace which God so freely gives to men. The Last Judgement [...]

Art, Nature, and Revelation

By |2020-08-14T09:47:05-05:00August 8th, 2020|Categories: Art, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Nature, Senior Contributors|

In the era of scientific advancement, contemplating the sublime, both in nature and art, remains more necessary than ever. Works of art that build a sub-creation on scripture, exploiting the fullness of natural realism inherent in it, attain a very rare sublimity and draw the mind toward God. These waters must be troubled before [...]

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