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 [...]

Roman Death Masks and the Role of Memory

By |2020-07-31T17:06:50-05:00July 31st, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Death, History, Patriotism, Rome|

Roman death masks—called “imagines”—were actually wax models impressed directly on the face during life, and they bore a remarkable likeness to the person. Displayed during the funerals of the elite, they served as a link between the present and the past and were meant to inspire attendees to patriotic virtue. The recent defacement of [...]

Edgar Allan Poe’s Metaphysics: Rediscovering “Eureka”

By |2020-06-24T09:57:31-05:00June 23rd, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Edgar Allan Poe, Imagination, Literature, Reason|

Many details of Edgar Allan Poe’s scientific treatment of the universe in “Eureka” has flaws which we may today see as errors. However, the value of this masterpiece lies primarily in the concise method of fruitful thinking showcased throughout and the broad universal principles of order, beauty, goodness, and creativity which Poe makes intelligible [...]

Poetry as a Form of Life

By |2020-06-19T14:19:42-05:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Literature, Modernity, Poetry, Virtue, Writing|

The poet’s power is a power to disclose, extol, and communicate the sanctity of experience, protecting it from the ordinary disorientation of the quotidian. The poet calls attention to the ordinary patterns of human life, and is a call to contentment, that rarest of achievements. To attribute to poetry such power is to ascribe [...]

Myth: The Door to the Transcendent

By |2020-06-19T14:09:02-05:00June 19th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Fiction, Modernity, Myth|

Throughout history, cultures have always developed fantastical tales of heroes and gods and monsters and demons. Whether they are tales of the Greek Pantheon, Norse gods, or modern-day superheroes, these tales grasp the imagination and transport the hearer to a different realm full of possibility. The question then arises in my mind: Are these [...]

How Should Christians Approach Beauty?

By |2020-06-06T19:40:13-05:00June 6th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Books, Christianity, Culture, Michael De Sapio, Senior Contributors|

Although the beauty of visible and audible things presupposes the use of the senses, beauty’s essence is not sensual but spiritual. It does not distract us from God; on the contrary, it elevates our minds to God. Beauty in the Light of the Redemption, by Dietrich von Hildebrand (92 pages, Hildebrand Project, 2019) The [...]

What Is Beauty?

By |2020-05-07T11:48:52-05:00May 7th, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture, Music|

Beauty reconciles opposites: It adheres to objects themselves, and yet it calls to each of us in the depths of our psyche. Only beauty blocks out the outside world and focuses our attention on the work of art. This is, perhaps, its danger. But it is also its power. I will confess that, of [...]

The Plight of the Conservative Artist in a Liberal World

By |2020-04-30T10:26:47-05:00April 29th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, Morality, Virtue|

The left has long understood the power of the arts in furthering radical ideas, in a way conservatives have largely failed to grasp in defending theirs. Conservatives with the financial means must increase their support of conservative artists for the sake of a culture in immediate need of the wisdom that a long intellectual, [...]

Modernism vs. Traditionalism in the Art of Female Nudes

By |2020-04-22T10:38:28-05:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Art, Beauty, Culture|

In two famous paintings of female nudes, we see more than just two differing depictions of the same subject. We see the essential differences between the Traditionalist and Modernist artist: The former looks outward, seeking something higher than himself to contemplate, while the latter looks inward, seeking to assert his own will upon the world. [...]

Art and Patriotism in Japanese-American Internment Camps

By |2020-03-11T03:08:59-05:00March 10th, 2020|Categories: Art, Culture, History, World War II|

During the Japanese-American internment of 1942-1946, there arose a style of art that drew from elements and techniques of Western and traditional Japanese forms. Through a closer look at these works of art, Japanese-American internment art can serve to reflect the internees’ cultural, social, and political resilience while also allowing us to study the [...]

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