Have You Ever Wondered Why Babies In Medieval Paintings Are So…Ugly? [Video]

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If you’ve ever been to the museum and seen any medieval art there’s one thing you probably noticed right off the bat: the babies look a little…

…weird.

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Why does this baby look so old?

Why do Medieval Painting Babies Look Like Old Men?

Not just weird, but a little bit like ugly old men.

Why?

Why, oh why would someone intentionally paint babies to look like this?

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screenshot from video about why Medieval painting babies look old
Why do babies look scary and not squishy and sweet?

The trend is pretty invasive and actually has a really cool backstory.

See, back in medieval times artists mostly painted religious art.

That’s what the royalty wanted, so the artists delivered.

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And since they were painting for religion, all of the mother/baby combos were based on Mary and Jesus.

screenshot of medieval painting with baby with super defined features
The baby features are so well-defined making them look older…much older!

Only, back then they believed Jesus was essentially a homunculus: a fully grown man in baby form.

Benjamin Button, without the backwards aging.

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They believed that Jesus was born fully formed as a perfect man, so each of these babies were painted as their version of a man in baby form.

Kinda creepy.

screenshot of video about medieval paintings and how kids and babies look so much older
Is He 1 or 101?

Luckily, as soon as non-royals could afford it, people started requesting paintings of their own cherub-cheeked babies, and the trend ended.

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Take a look!

Video of Why Babies in Medieval Paintings Look Like Old Men

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