The Florentine Pietà

In the late 1540s, an aging Michelangelo embarked on what he intended to be his culminating sculptural work, commonly known as the Florentine Pietà. Still heavily tasked with official commissions—foremost among them the rebuilding of St. Peter’s—and sometimes incapacitated by . . . . Continue Reading »

On Roman Holy Days

The September 14 liturgical feast of the Triumph of the Cross celebrates a radical revolution in our approach to human debility. The lame, the disfigured, the abandoned are no longer burdens upon society’s limited resources, doomed to a frustrated existence. Instead, they can clutch the cross that recalls the one who knows their woes and gives meaning to their anguish. Continue Reading »

Hans Friedrich Grohs: From Bereavement to Benediction

He was born four years after Kaiser Wilhelm II ascended the German imperial throne; he died nearly a century later, in the same decade that witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. He was drafted as a soldier in both world wars and experienced firsthand the Nazi reign of terror in between. Few artists have lived so fully, or recorded so faithfully, such a vast sweep of human history. Continue Reading »

Click Fix

The camera-phone has inaugurated an era of therapeutic photography. It is a photography less concerned with producing photographs and more concerned with the act of taking a picture, the “click.” In Snapchat, the actual photo disappears after being taken and sent. It is the mode of most of our . . . . Continue Reading »

Brush with Greatness

Many Beautiful Things lives up to its title. With lush visuals from the English countryside, the deserts of North Africa, and the watercolors of its subject Lilias Trotter, the latest from filmmaker Laura Waters Hinson pleases the eye while asking questions of the heart. If Trotter’s name sounds . . . . Continue Reading »