Why Must Aesthetics Govern A Society Worthy Of Political Freedom? Ask the CIA

By Matthew Ehret In the mid-1990s, a series of exposés featured on the London Independent and elsewhere brought a dark secret to light. Many were startled by the revelation that the entire evolution of 20th century modern art was directed in large measure by the CIA! This not only included the direct financing of abstract painters like Jackson Pollock…

Unifying Spirit between East and West: Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Jesuit painter in the Forbidden City.

By Matthew Ehret “In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that when it comes to different civilizations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority. This will boost mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust among different countries” -Xi Jinping, Belt and Road…

Russia Before the Revolution: A Voyage Along the Silk Road in Colour

Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky (1863 – 1944) was a Russian chemist and photographer. He is best known for his pioneering work in colour photography, in particular, his colour portrait of Leo Tolstoy. It was this fame that, in 1909, brought him to the attention of Tsar Nicholas II who would provide funding and the authority for Prokudin-Gorsky to…

To What Purpose do We Seek the Beautiful?

Class by Cynthia Chung. We all have something that comes to mind when we are speaking of beauty. It is certain that almost everyone right now is thinking of something different from the person next to them about what is beautiful. Everyone seeks out beauty, But if we cannot explain why we think something is…

Sparks of a New Renaissance in Painting Emerge from China

By Matthew Ehret It is rare to see new artistic movements arise. It is even rarer that such artistic revolutions manage to respect the best traditions of the past while at the same time infuse something new and improved into society. The fatal error made by many innovators attempting to break with the often stultifying…

Virgil or Aristotle… Who is Contemplating the Bust of Homer?

By Gerald Therrien One of Rembrandt’s greatest paintings is known by some people as ‘Aristotle contemplating the Bust of Homer’. Since no surviving records exist from either Rembrandt’s hand nor the patron who commissioned this masterpiece in 1653 AD, speculation has run rampant for over 350 years as to the true identity of the mysterious…

Norman Rockwell & the Rediscovery of America’s Moral Compass

By Matthew Ehret A great poet once said that you can judge a nation by how it honors (or fails to honor) its artists. In many ways, the soul of a nation is entirely shaped by the artists which that society has produced. This makes perfectly good sense, as an artist is able to portray…

The Discovery of the School of Athens Part 1: The Pre-Socratic Philosophers Explored

By Gerald Therrien “A little learning is a dang’rous thing;Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,And drinking largely sobers us again.”(from ‘An Essay on Criticism’, by Alexander Pope) The year 2020 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the great Florentine artist Raffaello Sanzio.  One of his most…