Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Balthazar / He's found the saucer news [about political correctness]

Back in the late 1400s, when the convention was evolving among Northern Renaissance painters that one of the three Magi at the Epiphany was Moorish, the more conservative columnists at the Nuremberg Chronicle waxed apoplectic and frothed at the mouth about Political Correctness overriding historical accuracy. Also, it was unfair how the Flanders and Rhenish art establishments sidelined conservative artists on account of their political views.

It is an interesting story if you like that sort of thing and if you don't care where everyone goes at parties when you use the Explaining Voice. The original account in the christian mythos does not specify the number of Magi, or their names, ethnicity or ranks. On the general principle that corroborative details lend verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative, latter commenters were happy to bolster the canon by inventing the missing information, so now we know that the number of Magi was three (Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three), and that they were kings, and that the one they decided to call Balthazar was Black. Also INCLUSIVENESS. And LEANING OVER BACKWARDS.*

For even more inclusiveness, Hieronymus Bosch tried painting a Zombie magus as an addition to the canonical triad, but his innovation failed to catch on.

So far there are no renditions of the Adoration scene in which a robot -- or indeed a Grey -- appears as one of the Magi. Of course there are not many artists painting Adoration scenes in the modern era of secular art. This may change at any time if the theocratic wing of US politics manage to buy an election and turn their country into Gideon Gilead.

Across 500 years or so of art, it seems to have never occurred to anyone that any of the Magi might possibly have been female. But let's not go overboard with 'inclusiveness'.

Another Kiwi? Can you get the library pixies out of there? The little feckers pay more attention to you.


* Nine paintings out of ten, given the choice of gold and frankincense and myrrh, the Baby Jesus is shown as reaching out for the gold. No fool him.

11 comments:

H. Rumbold, Master Barber said...

What about Magic Johnson, hah?

mikey said...

OK, in the Bosch he gets a lot of the details right, which makes it a fascinating picture and explains it's popularity as a paint by numbers kit in south florida. In addition to the deplorable state of the building infrastructure, you'll notice that ol' Baldy took off his headgear, which gives us some insight into it's secondary uses as a fire hydrant or battle-bot. But one truly wonders if any of these political leaders of the time, having come to power in the midst of much scheming and murdering, would actually tolerate the armed wackaloon on the roof. The dood in the doorway, by the way, is clearly an early Catholic - went inside and took off his trousers. I expect jesus juice was consumed.

But mainly I want to call your attention to the dood peeking through the hole in the wall to check out Mary's ass. Because, after all, it was the ass of the mother of the son of god, and that makes it one mother of an ass.

Which brings us to the Durer. In addition to his fascination with dwarves, munchkins, midgets and little people (not to mention the fucking flying NUN, fer crissakes!!), he corroborates ol' Baldy's headgear removal, but in his version the checking out of Mary's divine ass was done by bovine spectators - telling us, I sadly suspect, just a little more about Durer than we wanted to know...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I love the two draugar fixing to ride the roof of the stable in Bosch's painting.

Whale Chowder said...

O Noes, the munchkins are taking away the babby Jeebus and Mary's all like "OK you guys, take 'im for all I care!"

I suspect a bluff.

M. Bouffant said...

It's obvious to me that the person in the meat dress in the Bosch is a time-travelling Lady Googoo, as confirmed by the suppurating ankle sore (That woman & her silly shoes!) bordered by the Opus Dei mortification dealie.

Another Kiwi said...

Jebus, sorry about the pixies. They said that they were going to a magic show.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Cute.

From anzombie standpoint, you're all dead.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Can you get the library pixies out of there? The little feckers pay more attention to you.

A.K. feeds them after midnight.
~

Another Kiwi said...

Gee thanks for keeping that secret Thundra. Man, you know who can trust around here? No one that's who.

Just Alison in a red velvet hat said...

Hey, I know I'm late to this party, but has anyone noticed the apparent penile ornament sported by the near-naked dood? Because man, that's some exercises he must be doing to haul that amount of metal around on his todger.

Smut Clyde said...

Early version of Tetsuo.