Friday, November 28, 2014

STRANGE PROPORTIONS

Sometimes when an artist makes a painting or sculpture, it just looks "wrong."  And the reason for that might be because some body parts do not match other body parts, like for instance, the head might be too big or too small.  A bunch of this out-of-proportion art seemed to happen in Medieval and Renaissance times, but I don't know why, because I am just a little dog, and I don't have an art degree.  Maybe it was just a popular way to paint.  That's the only reason I can think of why artists would make pieces that showed people who don't look like people really look.  And not only that, but their artwork got put into museums.

Anyway, I am going to share some pictures with you that Mom took at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is where she works.  Quite a few of these are Madonna and Child pictures, but I am not trying to make any type of comment on religious beliefs, so please don't get mad at me!

Okay, so here's Mary, who has just learned from an angel that she will give birth to a baby named Jesus.  Mary puts her really large hand over her breast to show how surprised she is.



This one is a stained glass window.  The Baby Jesus is in a manger with no hay or blanket to keep him warm.  Also, he looks more like he is about four years old, instead of just having been born.  And the angel looks like she might be a midget.


Here's another manger scene.  It is painted on a large plate.  This baby is also really big for a newborn, and his limbs have articulated joints.  Either that or he's wearing elbow pads and knee pads.  But at least he has some hay to lie on and a nice blanket with stripes.


This painting shows a beautiful Madonna and a very spindly baby with a tiny head.  Maybe he will grow up to be a basketball player!


In this painting by a Dutch artist, the Madonna and child are inside a house that is not at all like any house in Nazareth might have looked at the time.  This baby is also somewhat long-limbed and small-headed.



Here's a Baby Jesus, on the other hand, who is not skinny.  He is fairly plump, and he has a double chin.  His head is kind of pointed in back, as if he had just come out of the birth canal. And his face seems  more like an adult's than a baby's. Maybe it's hard to make nice-looking people in stained glass.  I've never tried it, so I wouldn't know.



And speaking of strange-looking stained glass people.  Here are some angels adoring God.  Except that they seem to be totally sad and bored.  Their hands look like they were attached backwards to their wrists, and their hairstyles are just weird.  Oh wait, I think maybe those might be haloes!


Another plump Baby Jesus with a somewhat oddly-shaped cheeks and jaw.


"Um, are you my mother?"


This Baby Jesus has the face of a much older child, maybe 12 or so.  Mary's breast is located very high on her chest, but maybe it was pushed into that position by her clothing.  Anyway, the child is looking out at the viewer as if to show how much he is enjoying his meal.



Here are some saintly people with very strange necks.  Or at least their heads are attached to their necks in an odd way.  It's probably because of having to wear those heavy-looking haloes.


Sometimes you see paintings of men who have very long, slender fingers.  Mom heard a docent say that sometimes artists used women's hands as models when painting men, because the women had more time to pose than the men did.  We don't know if this is true or not.



And in a Chinese gallery, Mom found this Bodhisattva with humongous hands.  This might be symbolic of generosity or something.  Or maybe it's just easier to carve big hands than small hands.


And last, but not least, here's a sculpture by Auguste Rodin of Adam, the first man.  It clearly shows that Adam had everything he needed to father the human race!


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