Sunday, May 27, 2018

Jacques-Louis David’s Artistic Revolution

From Cherwell:
Revolutionary France was a troubling time to be an artist. ‘The Declaration of the Rights of the Man’ declared an end to censorship. Yet Robespierre’s terror saw the blood of countless artists stain the Place de Revolution. The rules were less clear but in many ways state control over the arts remained unchanged. But the state didn’t just erase art, it also sponsored its creation.

Enter Jacques-Louis David, married to a royalist and a member of the artistic elite who became the de facto artist of the revolution. David’s great talent was his ability to take stories that were known but distort how audiences felt about them. We can see this in David’s neoclassical style through which he depicted the same characters but with new emotions.

Take his painting ‘The Oath of the Horatii’, presented in the Paris Salon in 1785. The painting depicted a narrative known by the citizens of Paris: two groups of men, the Horatii and the Curatii, were selected to fight in order to resolve a conflict between Rome and Alba. On the left of the painting we see the oath taking place, presented in the geometric lines of the Horatii. On the right we see the women, the sisters of the Horatii and the wives of the Curatii, weeping at the fate of their loved ones. In the period dramatizations of the story there is little reference to this oath and the selection of the combatants is usually depicted as the result of aristocratic whims. Here David paints a world where the state is worth the ultimate sacrifice.

But perhaps the message here is too subtle. ‘The Oath of the Horatii’ was, after all, accepted into the Paris Salon and David continued to receive royal commissions after its release. To see David’s true political masterstroke, we must look later in his career. On 13th July 1793 revolutionary journalist and politician Jean-Paul Marat was stabbed in his own bathtub by journalist Charlotte Corday. (Read more.)


Why it’s ridiculous to say FBI spying meant to protect the Trump campaign. From The Federalist: 
The Post and Times had been writing about the suspected source, Stefan Halper, all week, but generally refrained from including information that could reveal his identity. That all changed Friday evening. Both papers did everything but provide his Social Security number and home address. Their descriptions of his prior association with the FBI and CIA, his meetings with at least two of the Trump campaign members, and the timing of these meetings closely tracked Chuck Ross’s reporting in The Daily Caller two months ago, in which Ross named the informant as Stefan Halper.

The Times and Post declined to include Harper’s name in their otherwise-illuminating biographical profiles of him. They wrote that they withheld the name to protect him and others who may be placed in danger if his identity became public, while knowingly and effectively making his identity public. As if that bizarre departure from reality wasn’t enough, they then blamed it all on Nunes, Gowdy, and President Trump. They said their own role in identifying the informant was a direct result of Republicans’ interest in viewing the unredacted FBI records initiating the investigation. They made us do it. We had no choice.

Nunes appeared on Fox News the next day and pointed out the curious timing of the revelatory reports. He wondered if the decision to reveal Halper’s identity (in all but name) was timed to follow his scheduled meeting, inviting speculation that Nunes, his colleagues, or someone in the Trump administration had leaked all that information on Halper to the press. Under the circumstances, he was right to wonder. (Read more.)

Oregon Bishop Fights to Restore Eucharistic Reverence

From Church Militant:
The archbishop of Portland is making it his mission to restore reverence for the Eucharist. On Tuesday, Abp. Alexander Sample announced imminent changes to how Portland faithful will need to approach the Blessed Sacrament. Writing in the archdiocesan newspaper The Sentinel, Abp. Sample pointed to the reverence for the Eucharist he witnessed during Mass as a boy.

"We always received Holy Communion at the Communion rail and on the tongue," he wrote. "No one dared touch the Holy Eucharist, except the priest." He explained that "behind the former discipline was a profound sense of reverence and awe for the presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament." (Read more.)

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Day That I Have Loved

Tenderly, day that I have loved, I close your eyes,
   And smooth your quiet brow, and fold your thin dead hands.
The grey veils of the half-light deepen; colour dies.
   I bear you, a light burden, to the shrouded sands,

Where lies your waiting boat, by wreaths of the sea's making
   Mist-garlanded, with all grey weeds of the water crowned.
There you'll be laid, past fear of sleep or hope of waking;
   And over the unmoving sea, without a sound,

Faint hands will row you outward, out beyond our sight,
   Us with stretched arms and empty eyes on the far-gleaming
And marble sand....
                                    Beyond the shifting cold twilight,
   Further than laughter goes, or tears, further than dreaming,
There'll be no port, no dawn-lit islands! But the drear
   Waste darkening, and, at length, flame ultimate on the deep.
Oh, the last fire -- and you, unkissed, unfriended there!
   Oh, the lone way's red ending, and we not there to weep!

(We found you pale and quiet, and strangely crowned with flowers,
   Lovely and secret as a child. You came with us,
Came happily, hand in hand with the young dancing hours,
   High on the downs at dawn!) Void now and tenebrous,

The grey sands curve before me....
                                                From the inland meadows,
   Fragrant of June and clover, floats the dark, and fills
The hollow sea's dead face with little creeping shadows,
   And the white silence brims the hollow of the hills.

Close in the nest is folded every weary wing,
   Hushed all the joyful voices; and we, who held you dear,
Eastward we turn and homeward, alone, remembering...
   Day that I loved, day that I loved, the Night is here!

by Rupert Brooke

The Most Pro-Life President Ever

From Fox News:
Trump has stood up for the humanity of the unborn child like no president in recent memory. And this is why so many Christian conservatives stick with him. Witness the foot-stomping standing ovation the president received Tuesday night at the annual Campaign for Life gala of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. Not only was Trump reportedly the first president to address this incredible organization in its 26-year history, he used the occasion to deliver on yet another pro-life promise, one that his Republican predecessors could not, or would not, fulfill: He announced a new rule to stop indirect taxpayer funding of abortion through the Title X family planning program.

"When I ran for office, I pledged to stand for life, and as president, that's exactly what I have done," Trump declared. "Today, we have kept another promise. My administration has proposed a new rule to prohibit Title X funding from going to any clinic that performs abortions."

Any organization receiving Title X funds will be required to establish a bright line of both physical and financial separation between its family planning activities and any program or facility that performs or refers women for abortions. Since 1976, federal law has prohibited use of federal funds for abortion. But today, Planned Parenthood clinics that receive federal family planning funds often essentially refer women for on-site abortions. Under Trump's Protect Life Rule, this will no longer be permitted.

The Protect Life Rule is a victory pro-life Americans have been awaiting for three decades. President Ronald Reagan first issued a version of the rule in 1988, but pro-abortion groups challenged it in court. The George H.W. Bush administration fought them all the way to the Supreme Court and won: In 1991, the court upheld the Reagan rule in Rust v. Sullivan. But the ruling came too late; Bill Clinton soon took office and withdrew the rule.

When George W. Bush was elected, he failed to reinstate the rule during his eight years in office. My former White House colleague Yuval Levin recently wrote that the reinstatement effort "was abandoned in the spring of 2006, in a deputies-level policy gathering that was one of the most contentious meetings I ever witnessed in government."

In the Trump administration, there were apparently no "contentious" meetings or hand-wringing over the impact on Capitol Hill. He just did it. This fearlessness when it comes to the cause of life is what warms the hearts of Christian conservatives and makes them loyal to the president. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Regionalism, Tradition and Good Taste

From Return to Order:
In the field of art, two equally erroneous extremes should be avoided. One is cosmopolitanism, which strives to establish only one art form for the whole world without considering the characteristics proper to each people and each region. The other is nationalism, which rejects any outside influence, even when legitimate and necessary, in order to confine itself to purely national bounds.

The cosmopolitan tendency is observed very clearly in the mammoth construction of cement and iron buildings that reflect an architectural design that is appearing with desolate uniformity whether in Iran or Switzerland, Zimbabwe or the United States, Japan or France. It is installed indifferently in banks, prisons, shopping malls, churches or theaters. (Read more.)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Three Royal Beauties and Their Beauty Secrets

Alexandra of Denmark
Empress Eugénie
Elisabeth of Bavaria
From Geri Walton:
Three mid-nineteenth century royal beauties served as the glamorous ideal for women in the Victorian Era. These three beauties were the Empress Eugénie (wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French), Princess Alexandra of Denmark (wife to Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, and heir apparent to Queen Victoria), and Elizabeth of Austria (wife to Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, and monarch of other states in the Austro-Hungarian Empire). Newspapers, journals, and fashion magazines regularly referred to the three women. Portrait artists, such as the German painter Franz Xaver Winterhalter, known for his portraits of royalty in the mid-nineteenth century, also captured their beauty on canvas. However, what all Victorian women wanted to know was the beauty secrets of these three royal women. (Read more.)
Please do visit my Trianon Health and Beauty Blog for information on classic beauty treatments. Share

Abortion and the Decline of Mental Health

An old article but more relevant than ever. From CBS News:
A provocative new study shows that women who have an abortion face an increased risk for mental health problems including substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. "Results indicate quite consistently that abortion is associated with moderate to highly increased risks of psychological problems subsequent to the procedure," the authors wrote in the study, published in the September 1 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on 877,000 women, including 164,000 who had an abortion. They found women who had an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk for mental problems. Women who had an abortion were 34 percent more likely to develop an anxiety disorder, 37 percent more likely to experience depression, 110 percent more likely to abuse alcohol, 155 percent more likely to commit suicide, and 220 percent more likely to use marijuana. Nearly 10 percent of the problems could be attributed to abortion, the authors concluded. (Read more.)