What's Wrong With This Picture

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What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:31 pm

Madonna+Child+St._Anne+Serpent-Caravaggio_(c._1605-6)-02.jpg
Madonna+Child+St._Anne+Serpent-Caravaggio_(c._1605-6)-02.jpg (16.27 KiB) Viewed 3947 times

This picture is in the "Gallery" here, however if you would like to examine it in greater detail,
there is a 10,000 x 13795 pixel version available at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galleria_Borghese when you click on the thumbnail of it.

One is supposed to look carefully at great art such as this to try to see what message(s) the artist has embedded in the picture and in the process one may also see unintended things such as the artist's ignorance or prejudices as well.

What struck me this morning was two different matters.

First look at the age of the child Jesus. I suppose that we might regard him as a toddler of likely 3 years or thereabouts.

Next look at the feet.
Feet.jpg
Feet.jpg (24.11 KiB) Viewed 3947 times
Now compare this with
Various translations in the Xiphos Bible computer application wrote:Genesis 3:
King James Version (1769)
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Green's Literal Translation
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

Young' Literal Translation (1898)
15 and enmity I put between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; he doth bruise thee--the head, and thou dost bruise him--the heel.'

Douay-Rheims, Challoner Revision
15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
So here we see that only the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims, version makes the crushing foot that of Mary rather than that of Jesus. So this appears to be an example of Mariology[1]/Mariolatry[2], and the best we can say is, that in this feature, that the painting carries a sect specific message.

What may be a bit more open to question is the another quirk. The artist has gone to great effort for detail in that we saw in the picture of the feet, that a detail as small as the forked tongue of the serpent is clearly seen. But if we then look at the genitals of the toddler aged Jesus, we see this.
Uncircumcised.jpg
Uncircumcised.jpg (31.13 KiB) Viewed 3947 times
The artist has even gone to the detail of the shadow of the penis, yet for all his skill he has not chosen to depict the penis as circumcised. Yet, in Luke 2:21 we find the circumcision of Jesus on the 8th day according to the Abrahamic covenant. Nevertheless Jesus as a toddler is depicted with an uncircumcised penis. Surely an artist who can so clearly define the split tip of the tongue of a serpent should have the skill to show a circumcised penis. This omission of such detail in this matter is however not unique. Michaelangelo's famous statue of David has oft been noted to show the same error. How would it be that a Jewish king in the lineage of the Messiah would have this detail left out. Were all the great artists of europe ignorant of this detail so critical to Jewishness? Or perhaps, was it the very Jewishness that is being subjected to the political correctness of the times. Is it a denial that all of Christiaity is founded on the Jewish base and the even more ancient base of the worship of the God of Abraham, the very God who commanded circumcision? Were all the great artists, or at least many of them under political correctness pressure to falsify history, just because of the bias against the Jews?




------------------------
From Dictionary.com
[1]
Mar·i·ol·o·gy
noun
1.
the body of belief, doctrine, and opinion concerning the Virgin Mary.
2.
the study of the person and nature of the Virgin Mary, especially in reference to her role in the incarnation of God in Christ.
[2]
Mar·i·ol·a·try
noun
1.
excessive (and proscribed) veneration of the Virgin Mary, especially in forms appropriate to God.
2.
veneration of women.
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:06 am

Dare we suggest that the prime consideration in the mind of the artist, of any period and any skill level, is not historical / cultural accuracy? He may let the interests of his customers / patrons influence who / what is in the picture [like putting his client into the Last Supper if he wants to be there] and whose heel is on the snake - one who wants to go into it can likely figure out the species. But HE is not going to care - nor will his employers care - if the bodies and clothing are strictly appropriate for 1st century Nazareth.
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:03 am

Petros wrote:Dare we suggest that the prime consideration in the mind of the artist, of any period and any skill level, is not historical / cultural accuracy? ....
When we consider that literacy was way low by today's standards, images were a prime mode of communication to the populace. No doubt the picture would be explained to a few the illiterate who would explain it to others. So the maxim that one good picture is worth a thousand words would be repeated many times.

Call me suspicious if you wish, but I tend to think that it was most likely intentional propaganda. The alternate explanation is to apply the maxim, "Never attribute to conspiracy what can as readily be explained by group ignorance.".

It is entirely possible that the foot issue can be explained by sectarian teaching to the artist, but I find the circumcision thing to be difficult to attribute likewise. Surely a culture that does not practice circumcision and even greatly disdains it and also despises Jews, must have known of the practice. On that point I suspect a deliberate choice of the artist ...... or perhaps specific instruction from his patron.
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:26 am

Bare_Truth wrote:
Petros wrote:Dare we suggest that the prime consideration in the mind of the artist, of any period and any skill level, is not historical / cultural accuracy? ....
When we consider that literacy was way low by today's standards, images were a prime mode of communication to the populace. No doubt the picture would be explained to a few the illiterate who would explain it to others. So the maxim that one good picture is worth a thousand words would be repeated many times.


While you are correct that literacy was low and one of the forms of communication from the literate to the illiterate was pictures (that was certainly the reason for the stained glass in churches), accuracy, especially of art was not necessarily a factor.

For instance, is Michaelangelo's David circumcised? I can't really tell but don't think so from a couple of photos and a video. Does that discredit the art? Not really.



The fact that these pieces of art may speak more to being illiterate in the Bible than just being illiterate...
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:06 pm

bn2bnude wrote:..... is Michaelangelo's David circumcised? I can't really tell but don't think so from a couple of photos and a video. .....
The comment at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_%28Michelangelo%29 confirms the lack of circumcision.

A web search based on the 3 terms, "Michaelangelo", "David", and "Circumcision" will turn up numerous citations of this matter (and a whole lot of rancorous polemic about circumcision too!).
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:04 pm

Just for fun, since we are coming up for the Feast of St Nicholas [whom I once portrayed in our Latin class play]:

Here is about 1500:

The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:07 pm

Here from an earlier Eastern source:
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:09 pm

Here from the West about 1380.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:11 pm

Historical accuracy is as historical accuracy does.

I am not really convinced we need assume deliberate propaganda.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: What's Wrong With This Picture

Postby Petros » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:26 pm

Apparently, toward the end of his career Caravaggio accepted a connission topaint the circumcision of Christ. He did not live to complete it, someone else had to finish it. But if he were propagating, would he have been willing to take it on?
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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