Thursday, May 15, 2014

Serious Babies

I want to make some clay child heads to scatter around our gardens.  I can't get out of my mind the strange children in artwork that I drew in Barcelona museums last month.  It's a commonplace that children were depicted as miniature adults in early art, and that must mean people actually saw children differently in earlier times.  I think it's true that when we're looking for something, when we value something, that is what we focus on.  And what we focus on increases.  So when an average human lifespan was a few decades long, there wasn't any time to waste on prolonged childhood, let alone adolescence of any length.  All the babies that I drew today seemed to have knotty little chins on top of several layers of under-chin pudge, strong noses, adult clothing, and serious expressions.  Lots of these were Baby Jesi;  hence the blessing fingers and halos.  But even the little Roman looks like a miniature senator.  Over in the lower right hand corner Maya reads herself to sleep while I copy babies from my old Janson's History of Art.

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