Rome, Open City by Roberto Rossellini (1945)

The evening news has a reputation for blood thirst. “If it bleeds, it leads” they say.  This is almost universally considered bad taste, but the practice continues because it draws an audience, albeit for wrong reasons.  Artists, like filmmakers, for instance, have traditionally let some time pass before depicting horrors. The tragedy of September 11th’s […]

The Life Of Our Lord Jesus Christ by James Tissot (1896)

Some conversions of faith are quiet events in the stillness of one’s heart.  Others, however, are epiphanies of disquieting thunder.  Such was the case with James Tissot.  Already a successful painter whose playboy reputation was apparently well-earned, Tissot was changed by a vision he experienced during mass.  This single event profoundly altered his course for […]

La Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Antoni Gaudi (1882)

The straight line is the line of Man, the curve is the line of God Cathedrals are breath-taking by design.  Their architects have always sought to portray religious grandeur (at least overtly) but detractors have likewise accused them of self-glorification.  Today’s masterpiece is almost unrivaled in aspiration and it is still incomplete. As Terry Glaspey […]

Fairy Tales by George MacDonald (1871)

SURPRISED BY JOY C.S. Lewis “Turning to the bookstall, I picked out an Everyman in a dirty jacket, Phantastes: A Faerie Romance, George MacDonald. Then the train came in. I can still remember the voice of the porter calling out the village names, Saxon and sweet as a nut—‘Bookham, Effingham, Horsley train.’ That evening I […]

The Heart Of The Andes by Frederic Edwin Church (1859)

COMMENTARY ON PSALM 104 John Calvin “There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice,” and, therefore, we are “not only to be spectators in this beautiful theatre but to enjoy the vast bounty and variety of good things which are displayed […]

The Voyage of Life by Thomas Cole (1842)

NATURE Ralph Waldo Emerson But if a man be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and vulgar things. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. […]

The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn (1798)

THE CREATION Franz Joseph Haydn Now heav’n in fullest glory shone; earth smiles in all her rich attire. The room of air with fowl is fill’d, the water swell’d by shoals of fish; by heavy beasts the ground is trod. But for all its glory, “the work was not complete.” There wanted yet that wond’rous […]