During a recent Internet binge, I came across this lovely article on Buzzfeed featuring ugly Renaissance babies. Which makes sense. Not every Renaissance artist was a da Vinci. And so, inspired by both Buzzfeed and the original uglyrenaissancebabies on Tumblr, I decided to make my own list of the best Renaissance babies. And by best I mean most awkward.
1. Veronese, Adoration of the Magi. Look at those winged baby cherub heads. Those won’t give you nightmares.
That’s right. Cherub baby winged bird head things. Because that’s what every baby Jesus needs. This is Veronese, the guy who did Feast in the House of Levi, though.
2. Guido Reni, Drinking Bacchus. You’ll be glad to know that the Art Docent Program doesn’t cover Reni. Babies getting #2turnt are too much.
3. Bronzino, An Allegory with Venus and Cupid. I have no idea what’s going on here but the kid in the back is obvs really excited about it. And there’s a disembodied head/snake lady. This is a Mannerist painting, which kind of explains a little bit of its weirdness. Mannerism was a brief period immediately following the Renaissance proper in which artists experimented with depth and color, sort of a reaction against the perfection that the Renaissance stressed. But that still doesn’t help me understand what the heck is going on. Full image can be found here.
4. Parmigianino, Madonna with the Long Neck. Not only is this Jesus way too big, Mary’s got an interesting body shape, too. Thanks, Mannerism, for thoroughly confusing us all.
5. Francesco Bianchi Ferrari, Arion Riding on a Dolphin. I couldn’t not include this baby, who might just want to watch the world burn. Whilst riding a doplhin playing a stringed instrument. Thanks, uglyrenaissancebabies!
6. Francesco Bianchi Ferrari, Virgin and Child. The pure unadulterated sass of this baby. Wow.
Honorable mention non-Renaissance children who are too good not to include:
7. Sir Thomas Lawrence, Miss Murray. That glare though. She may be offering you flowers, but she’s really thinking about how to steal your soul.