We (Catholics) Have Seen the Light

This luminous painting by French painter Georges de la Tour, a Christmas favorite, actually has an ambiguous subject. While it might seem obvious to identify the figures as the Virgin Mary and the newborn Jesus together with St. Anne, the painting’s official title is nothing more definite than The Newborn. Nothing in the scene rules… Continue reading We (Catholics) Have Seen the Light

Visible Reminders of Invisible Light

West portal and nave of Chartres Cathedral (1194-1260), Chartres, France. For most practical purposes, the glorious windows of Chartres are failures. Nearly all Gothic stained-glass windows are. Looking out of these windows—dense collections of irregular bits of colored glass packed into thick metal webs—is impossible. If you could see through them, you would likely be… Continue reading Visible Reminders of Invisible Light