Ugly Children of the Renaissance

Why do some children look like ugly old men?
On the Tambler for quite a long time already exists a page called “Ugly Renaissance Babies” or “Terrible Children of the Renaissance”.
Here is a large collection of old paintings depicting children - and not just children, but extremely ugly, scary, more like obese adults than angel-like kids.
Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

On Tumbler, pictures are accompanied by rather sarcastic, and sometimes frankly mocking signatures, which may give the impression that the artists of that time simply did not know how to draw people, or did not know how to draw specifically children. Who knows, maybe then the people of art did not know at all what the real children look like?
Phenomenon of the Lord: exile of money changers (fragment). OK. 1480-1500.
Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

But actually the reason is different. In fact, by the way the baby is depicted in the picture, it is even possible to understand whether it belongs to the Renaissance or the Middle Ages. This will not always be a guarantee, but the trends are still evident.The fact is that most of the paintings with ugly children actually belong to the period before the XIV century - it was at this time that the Renaissance was believed to have originated.
Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

Marten van heemkirk
Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

Until that time, the main part of the paintings was on a religious theme, and therefore the children in the canvases depicted either Jesus or the famous saints. According to the then belief, Jesus could not have been born a small helpless screaming cub, this was completely contrary to the idea of ​​his divinity. Would the son of God begin to urinate under him and crawl on his knees across the dirty floor of the barn? No, the church claimed that Jesus was born already fully formed, and even immediately after birth, he looked just like an adult, it was just small in size - and it increased with age, but did not change significantly.
Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

This idea was called the “homunculus,” which literally translates as “little man.” And since Jesus was born an “adult,” then it wasn’t good for the other children to portray otherwise. This is how the tendency has appeared to depict children who are not stressed like children. Moreover, the artists of the Middle Ages were not interested in realism - they were more concerned about their commitment to traditions.Since the rest of them paint children ugly, it means that all artists should draw like this.
Lucas van Leiden "Virgin with Child" (fragment)
Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

Ugly children of the Renaissance of children, paintings, people, ugly, draw, Jesus, look, very, depict, knew, born, artists, may, period, Renaissance, simple, fragment, time, more, old men

In the Renaissance, or Renaissance, other motifs among the paintings began to appear besides the religious theme. There were portraits of middle class people, ordinary people. And they didn’t want to see their children as ugly old men. So the homunculi went into the background, and the realism of the images became the first priority.

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