The Crown and the Artist

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Before class the other day in the good natured conversation that usually takes place as people filter in, the professor mentioned the Netflix series “The Crown.” In particular he mentioned the episode involving the portrait of Winston Churchill.

I was intrigued because I was at the time going through the episodes, I had not yet reached the episode in question.

I approached the series with some skepticism. As much as I love history I would not have thought a show about recent history, the story of Elizabeth II, would have had much appeal to me. I was very wrong. The series is beautifully produced and proves that beauty, in this case in the form of writing, acting, and production, will always attract.

***Spoiler alert for those who have not yet seen the series***

The ninth of the ten episodes deals with the painting of Churchill’s portrait and the nature and purpose of art. I was going to write an extended article about it but then I found it has already been done. Tod Worner over at the National Catholic Register beat me to the punch by about a month.

My favorite exchange from the episode is between Winston Churchill and the artist Graham Sutherland:

Churchill: … perhaps I can implore you not to feel the need to be too accurate.

Sutherland: Why? Accuracy is truth.

Churchill: No. For accuracy we have the camera. Painting is the higher art.

There’s actually a much longer, much more moving conversation involving a goldfish pond, but I will leave the reader to discover that for themselves.

Do go and read the wonderful article.

_________________________________________________________________Pontifex University is an online university offering a Master’s Degree in Sacred Arts. For more information visit the website at www.pontifex.university

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