Professor David Clayton

Provost, Pontifex University 

Director of Sacred Arts

Dean of the Faculty of Sacred Arts

 David Clayton is an artist, writer, and teacher who grew up in England and is a graduate of Oxford university. He is the Provost of Pontifex University, a Visiting Fellow at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in new Hampshire, and has an international reputation as a painter, with major commissions in both the UK and the US. Mr. Clayton is the founder of Claritas: The Journal for Catholic Culture & Arts and is a regular contributor to the New Liturgical Movement website. In addition to his writings, he has published two books about the connection between sacred art, culture, and their connection to the liturgy.

Professor Clayton is also the creator of "The Way of Beauty" which is about the culture in the broadest sense of the word. It is therefore, about how we live our lives in every aspect. It is a way of life. To help people understand the Way of Beauty, Professor Clayton created to help illuminate the faithful through its articles, media and advertised courses which focus on inspiring devotion to and guidance on the Way of Beauty. The Way of Beauty's articles are featured on Claritas: The Journal for Catholic Culture & Arts which is the newsletter and publication for Pontifex University. 

For more information on Claritas: The Journal for Catholic Culture & Arts please click here.


The following are courses taught by Professor Clayton

A Study of Artistic Method for Patrons and Artists 

A Study of Artistic Method for Patrons and Artists teaches the basics of creating a picture in the style of a past tradition, by demonstration of how it is done with the 13th century English style of illumination called the School of St. Albans. It is also an introduction to the method of painting in egg tempera. This course describes both theory and practice. Please click here to learn more information.  Below is the introduction video to the course.

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A History and Practical Theology of Images

A History and Practical Theology of Images is a theology of images and history of Western art seen through the eyes of faith. By considering Christology and Christian anthropology, the course examines the theological justification for the creation and veneration of sacred images. It then examines how, as a general principle, the way an artist creates his art, that is, the artist's style, is governed by his understanding of what he paints. Please click here to learn more information. Below is the introduction video to the course.

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Mathematics of Beauty

Mathematics and Geometry are studies of the quantitative aspect of number - answering the question, how much? The traditional approach to mathematics, prior to the Enlightenment, did this too; but it also looked at the qualitative aspect, that is the symbolic character of number. Similarly, the relatioships between numbers are not all equivalent in value, but some are naturally percieved as more beautiful than others. Similarly, the pattern of harmony and proportion - numbers in combination - that is seen in the cosmos is analyzed. Students will consider how aspects of the culture such as the calendar, art, architecture, and mustic traditionally reflects these values. The writings of figures such as Plato and Aristotle, Boethius, St. Augustine and St. Thomas are examined as sources. There is also an examination of how, far from undermining it, modern science reinforces these traditional ideas. There is a practical element built into this course which students will create examples of Islamic tiled patterns and traditional Christian patterns based upon Romanesque floor designs. Below is the lesson Geometry and Beauty, and more information can be found here


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To read Professor Clayton's Welcome Letter as Provost of Pontifex University please click here.