Merry Christmas

A couple images from two of the best early Renaissance painters. First, a detail from The Annunciation, by Fra Angelico:

And a detail from Piero della Francesca’s Nativity:



21 Responses to “Merry Christmas”

  1. Gravatar of John S John S
    25. December 2022 at 08:42

    The early Renaissance masters are definitely underrated today.

    For some modern artistry, check out Jokic’s top ten passes from a single game. I think #8 (1:40) is the most audacious — which other player in history would even attempt it, let alone improvise the correct solution in mid-air like this?

    Merry Christmas.

  2. Gravatar of Spencer Spencer
    25. December 2022 at 09:15

    See John Cochrane: “The Federal Reserve does not even pretend to control money supply, especially inside money”.

    If you can’t define the variables, you can’t apply the math.

  3. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    25. December 2022 at 09:40

    Thanks John, That’s a great video.

  4. Gravatar of agrippa postumus agrippa postumus
    25. December 2022 at 16:18

    f angelicos nativity recently restored as profiled in the weekend ft. equally sublime.

  5. Gravatar of Edward Edward
    25. December 2022 at 19:39

    (1) You are not allowed to say Merry Christmas anymore because it’s too “christian centric.” Five points will now be deducted from your social credit compliance score for not obeying the politically correct dogma.

    (2) Posting paintings doesn’t make you an intellectual. I know you think that symbol somehow signals your refined sensibilities, but refined sensibilities while nice in themselves say nothing about one’s intelligence.

    (3) Christians know that you hate them, and we know you don’t celebrate christmas other than to go out and buy/buy/buy; you don’t know anything about God or the bible. You’re an athiest.

    If you were christian you would respect people’s right to self determination, instead of imposing yourself like a tyrant.

    I suggest reading the tenth ammendment to the Bill of Rights. What does the tenth ammendment say about the states and the federal government? That’s your holiday homework. Learn it. Apply it. Then you might stop writing insane articles about how permitting states to determine abortion laws is a “threat to democracy” and a “threat to women” when it’s neither.

  6. Gravatar of Sara Sara
    25. December 2022 at 19:58

    Yes, exactly. You can have drag queen story hour in public, but Christmas trees are too “christian centric.”

    It’s just another attack on America. It’s the left’s way, the sumner’s way, which is to say the destructionists way of destroying anything that brings people together. Sumner and the left believe that anything that creates harmony must be destroyed. Christmas in itself is good, because Sumner and his band of banking and political cronies make money from it, but the religious component is not good because it brings no monetary value and it unites society and warns about the centralization of power.

    As such, destroying the religious component is necessary to take down the “system” which is somehow “racist.” Words they never define properly. What is the “system” what are the “instutions” they can never say. But incoherency has always been the hallmark of socialism/marxism.

  7. Gravatar of David S David S
    26. December 2022 at 01:49

    Merry Christmas Scott and thanks for the pictures. Amazing use of blue in the Annunciation.

  8. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    26. December 2022 at 01:52

    Well – actually no. In the UK and Europe (the apparent home of Marxism and socialism – utter tosh) we say Merry Xmas and nobody stops us. I say it to my colleagues in America and they respond with either Merry Xmas or Happy Holidays. This has been going on since the 1990’s and nobody has ever indicated they are offended (trust me, HR would let me know). Someone explained that this came from the banking sector (boo hiss – Wall Street!) in client-facing roles, because strangely enough not all people who have money are Christian or live in WASPish countries – so the Front Office said happy holidays, and the rest of the middle and back offices slowly followed suit during the 2000’s. Given the dominance of financial services in the US (and the world) it became the traditional season’s greeting. It is tradition (like the Xmas tree!) now, not because people who read Karl Marx introduced it as part of their devilish plans for global hegemony.

    Also, remember Christians in America are waaay out of touch with the teachings in the Bible, Chrisitanity is now in the minority in the UK, largely because we are not indocrinated in faith, finance and the flag. I suppose the message about a secular society must have missed Edward and Sara, since you still have references to God on dollar bills and rammed down the throats of Americans. You had your moment in the sun with Trump (you voted for someone who you knew bore false witness which makes you complicit in mortal sin) but just go looking for offence in a world that is moving on.

    And this fear of Marxism, do you actually know what it is? It is a socioeconomic critique of mid 19th century industrialising nations, with a series of thought out tendencies within the economic system. Marx rarely talks about religion, but when he does it is not what you falsely claim it to be – maybe the following will help;

    1) Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering – Marx
    2) Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions

    and a few from the good book itself;

    1) Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
    2) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had.
    3) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God

    Anyway, being the better man I forgive both of you,


  9. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. December 2022 at 06:44

    David, Yes, the blue is almost Vermeer-like.

  10. Gravatar of John S John S
    26. December 2022 at 06:51

    Btw, every time I open the comment section I get a notification of a phishing attempt. Any idea what’s going on?

    Have you considered moving to Substack? I think you could probably get lots of paid subscribers even without a paywall. (For example, Arnold Kling’s substack says he has 100s of paid subscriptions even though his content is free.) I’m sure you don’t need the money, but you could donate it to your favorite cause.

    You wouldn’t even have to transfer your archives; you could just put up a “this blog has moved post” (as Kling did). I suspect the quality of the comments would also improve.

  11. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    26. December 2022 at 06:59

    John, They are gradually making some technical adjustments in the blog, let me know if the problem persists a month from now.

  12. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    26. December 2022 at 13:40

    The early Rennaissance masters are a particular favorite and Firenze is brimming with them. The Uffizi, especially first bunch of rooms, are a highlight. Milan has more great art than many appear to believe.

  13. Gravatar of Ricardo Ricardo
    26. December 2022 at 15:22

    Christmas used to be great: that is, before the baby boomers destroyed everything. Now it’s about how many gadgets you can buy, and how politically correct you can be with brainwashed, hard-left, relatives who, if they could, would probably report you to the authorities for the hienous crime of being christian and conservative.

    But despite Sumner’s army of Globalist/totalitarian wacko’s, I still think we’re winning. The polish prime minister recently said that he and Meloni would “change europe” to a country of states that is part of a voluntary union – as it was meant to be – with cooperation and trade, and not a union where someone in Brussels get’s to mandate and dictate.

    Sound familiar? It’s the same battle being waged between the states and the fed. The fed, like Brussels, just doesn’t know when to quit.

    This is a good sign, because it means that Sumner’s one world Nato/ one world government will face a significant hurdle. Humanity might not be headed towards that Schwabian stakeholderism and dark age afterall.

  14. Gravatar of TF TF
    26. December 2022 at 17:55

    Merry Christmas Scott

  15. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. December 2022 at 10:11

    foosion, Milan has a great painting by Piero della Francesca.

  16. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    27. December 2022 at 11:39

    Scott, do you mean in the Brera? The Brera is a wonderful museum. That, the Poldi Pezzoli (which also has a della Francesca) and the Duomo are our favorites in Milan.

  17. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    27. December 2022 at 20:41

    Yes, that’s the one.

  18. Gravatar of William Peden William Peden
    28. December 2022 at 22:30

    I hope you had a good Christmas Scott and that your New Year is also good.

    Personally, I don’t generally take an interest in paintings of people, but I like the architecture in The Annunciation. Very idyllic.

  19. Gravatar of Matt Matt
    29. December 2022 at 00:30

    I find it interesting that Scott uses hypermind cookies on his website (check the code), and also has an unknown certificate issuer, which means the certificate is self-signed, and/or the server is not sending the correct intermediate certificates. That is quite bizarre for someone who claims to not have any technical skills.

    And the comments you made about Lula Da Silva are insane.

    He is a member of the Sao Paulo forum; he was also a militant communist for years; his group has killed innocent people, including countless Christians; his campaign’s largest donor was the cartel, and the cartel receives funds from Venezuela, Cuba, and the CCP.

    You said: “he’ll be better than Bolsonaro”. Either you’re a closet communist or you’re unbelievably uneducated about South American politics because Da Silva has always been a communist drug lord. The only difference between Lula Da Silva in 2023 and the 1980’s gangster, is that he now wears a suit instead of camouflage trousers.

    I don’t wish people like you a Merry Christmas. But I do wish you’d pickup a book before you say something else that’s really dumb.

  20. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    29. December 2022 at 08:31

    William, Similar to a subway station in Berlin:

  21. Gravatar of rayward rayward
    30. December 2022 at 10:23

    Christianity is like economics: lots of experts but very few with any knowledge of it. That’s understandable: death and the economy have a profound effect on each of us. Happy New Year.

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