Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, St John the Baptist, St Antony Abbot

The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, St John the Baptist, St Antony Abbot
by Michelino da Besozzo
c. 1420
Tempera on wood, 75 x 58 cm
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena

Here we see Jesus proving his love for Saint Catherine by giving her a ginormous ring.

It's all about the gold in this painting: the ring is gold, the hat-halos are gold, the chair is gold and the figures sort of float in a sea of goldness. I think the artist had a fun time rendering all the different skin tones, too.

Is that a rat in the lower right corner? Or a tiny pig?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

French Bible of Hainburg

French Bible of Hainburg
by a French Minaturist
Illumination on parchment
Episcopal Library, Pécs

Who knew that Hermey the Misfit Elf from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer posed as baby Jesus early in his career? I wonder if baby Jesus ever wanted to be a dentist? Or a gay icon?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Holy Family

The Holy Family
by El Greco
Oil on canvas, 107 x 69 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

There's all sorts of strangeness in this mannerist painting. First of all, it appears that Mary is sitting on the lap of both her parents. Then there's Jesus's spherical head with its wicked case of male pattern balding and his weird Michael Jackson nose. And Saint John the Baptist? WTF is the deal with his, um, area? Mangina?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Birth of Jesus

The Birth of Jesus
by Master of the AB Monogram
c. 1530
Oil on lime wood panel, 42 x 40 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Here we see Joseph, Mary and a crowd of nekkid angels gathered around a glowing fire.

Wait a minute, that's not a fire--it's baby Jesus!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Holy Family with St Barbara and the Infant St John

Holy Family with St Barbara and the Infant St John
by Paolo Veronese
Oil on canvas, 86 x 122 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Oh my, I don't even know where to begin with this painting. I mean, it is lovely, but then there's the penis holding and the foot sniffing.....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Virgin of Humility

The Virgin of Humility
by Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni
Tempera on panel, 77 x 51 cm
Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, Pedralbes

Could that be? No......well, maybe. Yes, it is, it really is a tiny breast Jesus is holding!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mystic Marriage of St Catherine

Mystic Marriage of St Catherine
by Lorenzo Lotto
Oil on wood, 98 x 115 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

Is it just me, or does Jesus strongly resemble Saint Jerome's fugly lion?

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Lactation of St Bernard

The Lactation of St Bernard
by Master IAM of Zwolle
Engraving, 320 x 241 mm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

So Saint Bernard is hanging out in a lovely Gothic cathedral, reading the bible with his trusty miniature lion by his side. Suddenly, Mary and Jesus appear and Mary squirts Bernard on the forehead with her breast milk.

Jesus is totally chill with the milk projectile situation--he maintains his good posture throughout.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Madonna Enthroned

Madonna Enthroned
by Bartolomeo Vivarini
Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

Do yo shuffle, Squishy Boy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child
by Francesco di Giorgio Martini
c. 1472
Panel, 75 x 51 cm
Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon

Leave your answer in the comments field: who's uglier in this painting, Mary or Jesus?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Holy Family

Holy Family
by Bernhard Strigel
c. 1505
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg

The banner over Joseph's head is Latin for "Now Son, if I've told you once I've told you 1000 times, stop wearing my shirts!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child
by Stefano di Sant'Angnese
Santa Maria del Rosario (Gesuati), Venice

Mom, why do you want me to pull your finger?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Birth of Christ

The Birth of Christ
by Hans Multscher
Panel, 148 x 140 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Townspeople, angels, Joseph and the ubiquitous ox and ass crowd around the manger in this nativity scene.

Poor Mary raises her hands in horror, shocked to find she's given birth to a slug.