March 2018

Holy Thursday, the Last Seder

On Holy Thursday, Catholic imagination turns to thoughts of a painting. You know the one: Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Painted over a door in the refectory of a Milanese monastery in 1498, the mural is the sum of theological reflection on Jesus’ last Passover meal. Our own mental image of the event—who was there? what did it look like?—is fixed on Da Vinci’s interpretation. But an interpretation is all that it is. Yet we grant to pictorial orchestration the veracity of revelation. Continue Reading
Portraits: No Politics, Just Pictures

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery unveiled the official presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama last month. Much of the fun of it was in reading pundit responses to the paintings. I resisted adding to the chatter. But so many people emailed to ask what I thought of the duo, it is simpler to do one post than multiple repetitions. Besides, now that the heat of the moment has cooled is a good time to take a second look at the portraits unfiltered through a political lens. Continue Reading