History of art’s ugliest paintings of Jesus

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Painters in the Middle Ages were on a constant quest to find the most appropriate technique to portray religious scenes while highlighting their symbolic meaning and respecting a very strict iconographic style at the same time. Their talent can’t be denied. And yet… many websites and blogs have had some fun listing all the ugliest depictions of Jesus from the period…

Rest assured, the ugliness was not unintended – painters at the time left few things to chance. You will notice that some infants seem to already seem look like older men, wrinkles and all.. This was a way for artists to  emphasise Jesus’s Wisdom, gifted to him by God. The concept of the homuncular Jesus also impacted depictions of Christ. The homunculus, which means little man, influenced the concept of Jesus with a common belief being that he was perfectly formed and unchanged throughout his life, hence why he appears to look like a shrunken man in several depictions. At the end of the mediaeval era, Italian painters increasingly took their inspiration from reality and began to depict infants in a more naturalistic way.

For your entertainment we’ve have compiled a selection of the ugliest depictions of babies from the Middle Ages.









bébés moches

bébé moche 10

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