Why did the Renaissance painters paint outright hilarious and grotesque depictions of baby Jesus

The European renaissance art movement lasted from the late 12th to the early 15th century. Paintings, sculptures, and architecture emerged as a distinctive style in this era.

When it comes to the paintings, at first glance, it looks like the artists didn't really do any justice to the babies. These babies have very strong male features, some have male pattern baldness, others have a strong muscular body.

In the Italo-Byzantine style, the focus on Jesus had been his suffering on the cross and his divinity.

From the Renaissance era onwards, Church started taking an active part in the social and cultural aspects of society. Beginning with art, the Church commissioned painters to paint portraits of babies and children. Also, they didn’t want just any other baby — they wanted the baby, Jesus.

In this era, most of the paintings started depicting the birth of baby Jesus. Child Jesus looks like a little man, almost like a homunculus, which literally means little man.


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