Where Is the Reverence?

A while back I was in Washington DC for a conference and had an hour to spare in the National Gallery. I asked for the Venetian collection and headed down the hallway, entering the first room and immediately turning right to look at the first painting on that wall. I made my way around the room, picture by picture, ignoring the sculpture at my back. Then I came around to the front of it and saw this:


Yikes! What the heck was the artist thinking? Is this really a Mary with Child tableau? Mary needs a valium, and baby Jesus needs fiber. Where is the reverence?

A few rooms down, I saw this Venetian guy. Sorry I didn’t write down the information on any of these–the titles or artists. I’m sure some of you viewers out there could help identify them. But this guy also struck me as pretty intense. I wouldn’t want to cross him in a dark Venetian alley. I don’t think I’d want to be his servant or his wife, either.


I’m only showing you the scary folks. There were plenty of lovely pieces too. But I have to end with the Rafael that was at the end of the hall. Again, what was the artist thinking?


Baby Jesus looks a little too gleeful, possessive, and brash. This is mine! Hee hee!


About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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One Response to Where Is the Reverence?

  1. Nancy Schwalen says:

    I love your comments. I agree with the first two totally. The third made me laugh. I breastfed all three of mine and this was such a common gesture with my kids then. I love that the artist caught this real humanity in the “Mary and Baby Jesus” pose.

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