Ever noticed how babies in old paintings looked like ugly old men? There is a reason for this, and it’s not because medieval people were bad at drawing! The reason behind the ugly babies will be explained in a moment, and with it comes proof that Jesus, if he was really the son of God, was an ugly baby.
Babies in medieval art look like hideous old men because they’re not really humans. Well, kind of. Most of the paintings are depictions of baby Jesus, and they were heavily inspired by the concept of a Homunculus.
The Homunculus (ho-mun-cu-lus) is latin for ‘little man,’ and this concept came about because philosophers believed that Jesus was born ‘perfectly formed and un-changed,’ this means that baby Jesus was just miniature adult Jesus, and with that came the old man look.
About half way through the Renaissance this all changed, what with both the ‘evolution’ of art, and the breakthroughs in human anatomy and perspective. Aiding this change was the fact that churches were no longer the only ones who could afford paintings, and normal people wanted cute babies, not Homunculi.
So, if Jesus was born ‘perfect and un-changed’ then he was a Homunculus, and he was a very, very ugly baby.
Want to see just how ugly Homunculi are? Visit this site. Some of the babies look like bald slugs, and photo number three is enough to give you nightmares! Quick warning: artists in the Renaissance weren’t into censoring their paintings, proceed at your own risk!
Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net