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.


  1. Hmm, a lot of baby todgers on view. I think the holy knob is clothed in the first painting so the old dude can give it a sly grope. When the body has been corrupted, the face becomes devilish.

    1. I guess I thought that was Mary's other hand - but you could be right on the old dude. Either way, it is a bit of a holy feel being copped...

  2. I am on vacation in a house that turned out to be a little log-cabiny/jenky. It's old. I woke up in the middle of the night having a nightmare about a killer baby (no doubt inspired by the Annabelle killer-doll ads I've been seeing). Still scared, I grabbed for my Kindle to read a little and calm down. Checked my email and found this.


    1. You mean the sight of smiling babies didn't soothe you to sleep? Ah well. There goes my plan for an illustrated bedtime story.

  3. Yeah, this painter has a real issue with facial expressions on infants. Truly terrifying. Also, if the first two depict BABY Jesus, why are there crosses? They wouldn't make the connection between baby Jesus and the ancient form of execution unless there was a vast conspiracy to murder Jesus from birth.

    1. To be fair, if God decided that the only way to save humanity from his own wrath was to go to Earth and be brutally murdered by the people he was saving from himself, I think that is kind of a conspiracy from birth. Also, John the Baptist wasn't really known for being fun at parties - maybe he was just a bit goth and liked his torture emblems.