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Artists



David Clayton

      David Clayton is an internationally known artist, teacher, writer, and broadcaster. He moved to the USA from his native England in 2009 and has been working in the United States ever since. He is currently provost of Pontifex University, an online Catholic education platform (www.pontifex.university), where he designed a unique program, a Master in Sacred Arts. This program provides a traditional formation in beauty and creativity for 1) artists in any discipline, 2) patrons of the arts, and 3) anyone else who wants to contribute to the transformation of the culture in the modern world. 

     David’s artistic training is in both the sacred art tradition of Byzantine iconography and as a portrait painter in the style of Western classical naturalism, which he studied in Florence, Italy. Most recently he worked for seven years as artist-in-residence at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts in Merrimack, New Hampshire. He is now a visiting fellow at the college, and the college chapel contains many of his paintings. 

     With prominent commissions in the United Kingdom and in the United States, David’s work has been featured in publications in both countries. He writes a weekly blog, www.thewayofbeauty.org, and regularly contributes to www.newliturgicalmovement.org. He wrote, coproduced, and presented a 13-part TV series about traditional art and culture, The Way of Beauty, which was shown by Catholic TV in 2010 and 2011. 

     His books include The Way of Beauty: Liturgy, Education, and Inspiration for Family, School, and College (published 2015) and The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home, coauthored with Leila Marie Lawler and published in 2014.  He contributed a 10,000-word essay on The Place of the Nude in Catholic Art, in the Light of John Paul II's Theology of the Body in a festschrift for Stratford Caldecott titled The Beauty of the House of God, published in 2014. His latest book, The Vision for You: How to Discern Your God-Given Role in the New Evangelization, will be published this year. 

     On another note, David has composed over 80 tones for the psalms in English, with four-part arrangements. These have been featured in Chant Café (www.chantcafe.com), Monastic Musicians magazine, and the website of the school of liturgical music at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (http://sites.nd.edu/). On top of that he plays the banjo in the Appalachian clawhammer style. He is available to play on those occasions when rustic old-timey banjo might be entertaining or useful (although he admits he is “rarely asked to do so”). 

     As you can see, David Clayton focuses on the importance of beauty in Catholic culture and Catholic education. He elaborates: 

“My book, The Way of Beauty, contains the method behind a formation in beauty and the theory of Catholic art and culture. The Little Oratory explains prayer with visual images in harmony with the liturgy as an essential part of the spiritual life of an artist. And my upcoming book The Vision for You, gives a series of detailed spiritual exercises that enable a person to determine his personal vocation—what God wants him to do in life—and then explains how to follow that path. This is the guidance given to me 30 years ago that enabled me to become an artist.”

David Clayton
David Clayton, at home in California earlier this year.

Madonna and Child
David Clayton, Madonna and Child, 2013

Our Lady, St. John
David Clayton, Our Lady, St. John, 2013

Christ in Glory
David Clayton, Christ in Glory, 2013


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David Clayton, Christ

If you are interested in learning more about David’s work or about Pontifex University, please give him a call at 302.572.9044.



David Clayton in his studio at Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, New Hampshire, with a cast drawing in charcoal of St Jerome.