Sunday, March 29, 2009

Virgin and Child

Virgin and Child
by Pedro Berruguete
c. 1475
Oil on wood, 65 x 52 cm
Private collection

Here baby Jesus expresses what can only be described as breast ambivalence. "Breast milk again? Meh. I'd rather hold your pinky finger."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Nativity (detail)

The Nativity (detail)
by Bernat Martorell
Collection Lippmann, Berlin

Mary and Joseph, afraid that baby Jesus may one day, like Moses, find himself floating down the Nile river, took the precautionary measure of having a small canoe actually built around their son's body.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

No. 18 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 2. Adoration of the Magi

No. 18 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 2. Adoration of the Magi
by Giotto di Bondone
Fresco, 200 x 185 cm
Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua

Baby Jesus has this mummy-plus-cape thing going on in Giotto's nativity, which is all right. But what is the deal with the dorky camels? Do camels have bangs any way?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Madonna and Child with two Votaries

Madonna and Child with two Votaries
by Paolo Veneziano
c. 1325
Tempera on panel, 142 x 90 cm
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

Did you know that before the invention of car seats, mothers transported their children on top of platters?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Virgin and Child

The Virgin and Child
by Bernaert de Ryckere
Oil on panel, 66 x 50 cm
Private collection

Squishy Jesus does his best Statue of Liberty while a flabby, 40ish Saint John the Baptist simultaneously grasps his cross.

It looks like hair is sticking up on Jesus's head, but really it's post-halo radiance.

What's up with rocking cradle thingy Jesus is standing on?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rest on the Flight to Egypt, panel from Grabow Altarpiece

Rest on the Flight to Egypt, panel from Grabow Altarpiece
by Master Bertram
Paint on wood
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Sometimes I wish I could talk with an artist, and in this case I have a few burning questions for Master Bertram:

1. Okay, so thing in Jesus's mouth is obviously a breast. So what the heck in Joseph's mouth--a detachable breast?

2. Mary and Joseph are fleeing to Egypt, so what is the key for that's dangling from his man-purse?

3. Why is Joseph holding a cymbal? Perhaps to entertain the family on that long donkey ride to Egypt?

4. Why are Mary's hands so huge?

5. Why does Mary get a fancy polka dot halo but not Jesus?

5. Why is the donkey eating a ball of dirt?

6. Does Jesus have a buzz cut, or a toupee?

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Holy Family

The Holy Family
by Joos van Cleve
Oil on canvas transferred from wood, 43 x 32 cmThe Hermitage, St. Petersburg

When you're learning to walk, a breast can be a great thing to hold on to...........

Thursday, March 5, 2009


by Lorenzo Costa
Tempera on wood
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

Darling, I don't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Circumcision of Christ

The Circumcision of Christ
by Hans Leonhard
Wood, 26 x 15 cm
Christian Museum, Esztergom

Too bad this is such a crappy reproduction. Trust me, you're going to want to zoom in for the creepy details as Jesus goes under the knife.

Now come on! No one could possibly believe this small person getting his foreskin sliced is a baby. Not even the simple-looking peasant with the red hat....

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Holy Family

Holy Family
by Bramantino
c. 1520
Poplar panel, 61 x 47 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Help, help, somebody help me please! My head is shrinking!