Sunday, 12 October 2014

This One Pic Will Blow Your Notions of Moses Out Of The Water

Ok, more like it will fish them out of the water, where they have been stored in a waterproof basket.  But that doesn’t help me practice my Preposterous Clickbait Title Generation Skills.

Moses.  You may be familiar with him as that guy who talked to flaming shrubbery.  Or who told his brother to turn all the water in Egypt into the world’s biggest blood bank.  Or who really hated golden livestock (but magical bronze snakes were ok).  However, today we’re going to look back on an episode Before He Was Famous.

The story goes that in Egypt the Pharaoh was none too impressed with the Hebrew people thriving, so he wanted all the infant boys murdered.  To save her baby, Young Moses’ mother hid him in a basket and put it in the river.  Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe in the river with some handmaidens and was like “OMG what a cute basket!  Wait, there is a live baby in it.  That will make it harder to hold Daddy’s collection of dead babies.”  But ultimately she decides to let the baby live for some reason.
The Finding of Moses, Veronese, probably 1570/1575 (Source)
This painting depicts this episode.  I would just like to point out that this is supposed to be the princess of Egypt.

I have seen vampires with more of a tan.   

Additionally, the princess seems to have brought along some more questionable “handmaidens” to her bath.  Like this one, who clearly thinks the lady has become a basketcase…

Or this alternate-reality version of Tyrion Lannister, who pursued his childhood dream of becoming a jester.

Perhaps most striking, though, is what these ladies are up to.

They are running around like “AHHHH!  BABIES IN THE WATER!!  I hope I didn’t get any on me!!  Do you think it’s contagious?”

Sadly, worse things were in store for Egypt than a Plague of Water Babies.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Mini-Post: Madonna in the Sky with Disembodied Baby Heads

…Ok, so maybe it’s not quite as catchy as the Beatles’ tune.
The Apparition of the Virgin – Girolamo da Carpi, 1530/1540
Three things with this painting:
1. Baby angels apparently make great seats.

2. WHAT IS WITH THE CREEPY BABY FACES ALL THE TIME.  Seriously, 16th century Italian painters.  Just stop.

3. So a woman appears in the sky surrounded by light and carried by angels, and this guy goes, "Hey, this would be a great time to play with a wind sock!"

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Revenge of the Babies

It’s been several weeks now since creepy naked babies have played a major role in this blog.  I recently stumbled across the works of 15th century Italian painter Andrea del Sarto, who provided more fodder for this category than I had ever imagined.  I think that he must have had some kind of complex about children, because almost every one he painted looks ready to devour your soul, but he painted them ALL THE TIME.  Like, maybe he killed a baby once and its ghost haunted him in revenge forever.  That is the only explanation I can think of for these paintings. 

This is one of the most normal ones.
The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist, Andrea del Sarto, c. 1530 (Source)

This is a remarkably reasonable-looking baby Jesus.  The main reason it stuck out to me was the slightly wicked smirk on his face as he grasps the globe of power in his chubby baby hands. 

Yes, Baby God, the world is your plaything.  But you don’t have to look so happy about toying with your human puppets.

Things get weirder.
The Holy Family with the Young Saint John the Baptist, Andrea del Sarto (Source)

This is the same general theme as the previous one.  Except here, besides Mary having a head the size of a coconut, Young Saint John looks like he is about to cheerfully skewer Baby Jesus’ eyeball with his delicate cross-scepter.
Charity, Andrea del Sarto, before 1530 (Source)


Seriously, what does this guy think of Charity?
Charity, Andrea del Sarto, c. 1518 (Source)

I am not sure if the one on the left wants to take some kindly offered breast-sustenance in exchange for some poor little bird he’s caught, or if he is going to devour her flesh.  Also, this time the third kid at the bottom just cannot take this anymore.  That poor woman looks like she needs a week’s sleep, and possibly a fifth of vodka.
Madonna with the Harpies, Andrea del Sarto, c. 1517 (Source)


Also, I am concerned for this creature.

Its expression is a recurring theme.
Madonna and Child with Saint Elizabeth, the Infant Saint John, and Two Angels, Andrea del Sarto, c. 1515-1516 (Source)

What kind of freaky adolescent angel makeout session is going on right over Mary and Baby’s heads?? 

I’ve heard of divine ecstasy, but this is not what I had envisioned.

I leave you with this.
Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine, Andrea del Sarto, c. 1513 (Source)

Besides the uncomfortable implications of mystically marrying baby-version Jesus, the dull, empty eye sockets of all the small people in this painting remind me uncomfortably of ghouls in Japanese horror movies.  And that’s before even considering this ginger baby strangling a lamb with a grin, with some deformed dog-dragon thing without eyes desperately panting for a taste.

I should really stop writing these before bed.