Friday, January 02, 2015

Arty Farty Friday ~ Starter People (aka Babies) In Art

Baby art, for me, doesn't bring on a fit of the "aww, oooh, ahhhhs!!" What set me wandering down this, not terribly deep, arty farty rabbit hole was noticing that husband had featured some vintage cover art from The New Yorker on his flickr page. It was a photograph I'd asked him to take when I saw the cover, framed, in an antique store in Texas last February. I used the photo in a weekend bits-and-pieces post HERE. It hadn't been the baby pic attracting me, but the advertising of an article to be found within the magazine, you'll guess which one!

Anyway, husband dug out his photo to use on flickr and had searched for the name of the artist: Dorothy Hope Smith (1895-1955), American illustrator (mainly of babies and for children's books) most famous for a sketch which won Gerber's competition for an illustration of "The Gerber Baby" - now that's a baby everyone recognises, even non-baby-fanciers like me. I'll not go into detail of who that baby was in real life - many others have been there and done that - it's easy enough to find the tale online. Dorothy Hope Smith (she usually signed her pics "DHS", was married to another magazine illustrator with numerous New Yorker covers to his name: Perry Barlow.

 by Bessie Pease Gutmann
Wandering further down the rabbit hole, trying to bring to mind the name of another famous painter of babies I'd once featured (turns out it was Bessie Pease Gutmann...see HERE), I Google searched "baby paintings" and found, on Mashable's website this: 25 Creepy Paintings of Renaissance Babies. Now those really are some creepy baby paintings, irrespective of who they're meant to depict.
There are even more, at Ugly Renaissaince Babies with some fun captions (beware if of religious or delicate sensibilities!)

Sample (click on it for a sharper image):

It's odd, is it not, that renaissance paintings are so revered, capable of commanding HUGE prices? I realise they have value related to their age, yet really and truly, how good are they, as art? It's hardly likely that any art-geek will pass by and stop to let me know the answer. It depends what one means by "good", in any case.

Maybe it takes a woman's eye and hand to paint a baby? Maybe it takes a woman's naturally prejudiced eye to see a baby as beautiful? Or, erm, maybe babies in renaissance times were all ugly or prematurely well-developed in the facial feature department? We can't be absolutely - sure can we?


Sonny G said...

I prefer the Gutmann art baby to the other samples.

as for art through the ages, I have to admit I often snicker at it.

"Famous" art is like a constant repeat , with slight variations, of The Emperors New Clothes. :-)

Sonny G said...

Oh yea- just one example of that "Emperors New Clothes" thing was that no talent drunkard who stood several feet from the canvas and threw paint at it.. oui vey:(

mike said...

I'm still with mucho-lots computer problems...can't distinguish between computer, modem, or connection. Required many attempts to have your page load. When will this torture end?

Babies of any mammalian species access the you-are-adorable part of our human brain...add a little extra estrogen and baby addiction is almost inevitable. It's all very deceiving, as we are simply bags that carry the more important genes.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ LOL! I wonder if the "no talent drunkard" you mentioned was Jackson Pollock. If so, I know what you mean, used to think much the same until convinced by husband that there was much more to Pollock's artwork than simply throwing paint. There was a definite skill to the way the pieces turned out - and the colour choices. I wouldn't want a Pollock piece on my living room wall though (I'd rather sell it and travel the world on the proceeds!) :-)

Twilight said...

mike ~ Oh dear - my deepest sympathies on your computer ills. Wish I could help, but I'm a numbskull re computer probs. Is your computer working normally when not online ?

LOL ..."bags that carry the more important genes". Or ultra well-developed plants with legs and hands (something akin to the Venus Flytrap genus?)