Dwight Peck's personal website

Collectibles, Odds and Ends

Photos of various things we thought were pretty funny at the time

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.

The sometimes unusual Baby Jesus

An extremely cute Bambino Gesù, in his Sunday-best dress (in the Theatine church of Sant'Andrea della Valle, Rome) [viewed in 2010]

Christus triumphans (by Juan de las Roelas, ca. 1616, in the Museo de Bellas Artes of Seville) [viewed in 2011]

-- Go in peace (by Zurbaràn, also in the Museo de Bellas Artes)

A cute little redhead (by Gerard David from Bruges, in the Palazzo Bianco in Genoa) [2012]

The very image of his mom, and with his little coral rosary on for protection (by the mid-15th century artist known as the Maestro dagli occhì ammiccanti -- The Master of the Squinty Eyes -- in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara) [viewed in 2013]

A pause in the parade of Baby Jesus pictures for a fast look at the world's ugliest Madonna -- a detail from the Croce Sagomata col Pellicano, la Madonna e i santi Giovanni e Cristina, ca. 1450, attributed to Giovanni Martorelli, in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Bologna [viewed in 2014]

A desperate little Jesus, by Angelo Puccinelli, ca. 1390, in the National Museum of the Villa Guinigi, in Lucca [2014]

Another go at it by Puccinelli

A long-haired little tyke getting some help giving his blessing (in the Civic Museum in San Gimignano) [viewed in 2014]

A very laid-back Baby Jesus, despite missing his shorts (Eusebio Ferrari, Madonna and baby with saints and two donors, 1519) in the Palazzo Madama, Torino [first seen 2014]

'Madonna with St Catherine of Alexandria and St Barbara', by the German Hans Sebald Beham (1517), in the Pinacoteca Malaspina, Pavia [viewed 2015].

In the Civic Museum in the Palazzo Farnese in Piacenza, this enigmatic Jesus with his mom was discovered during the building of the Palazzo Comunale in 1281. [viewed in 2015]

Madonna and Child of the Improbably Long Necks (by the 13th century 'Sienese Master'), in Federico III da Montefeltro's Ducal Palace in Gubbio, a smaller version modeled on his Palace in Urbino. [2015]

Baby Jesus in pigtails. This, from the mid-14th century, has been attributed to one of the best known of the local artists, Mello da Gubbio; now in the Palazzo dei Consoli (Palace of the Consuls) in Gubbio. [2015]

The Baby Jesus with the exploding head, by Vigoroso da Siena, ca. 1291, now in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, located in the Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. [2015]

A silly Baby Jesus; Gentile da Fabriano, Madonna in trono col Bambino e angeli (1405-1410), also in the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia

This is an interesting if conventional Adoration of the Shepherds, attributed to Denys Calvaert, ca. 1600, in the Sabauda Gallery, part of the Ducal Palace in Torino, and . . .

. . . the smile on the face of the Happy Jesus is priceless. [2015]

A squat little Jesus: the "Aquila Polyptych", Giovanni Badile, 15th century, in the Castelvecchio in Verona (St Peter Martyr of Verona is the one with the cleaver in his head.) [2016]

And this uncharming Madonna with her son and a sneering John the Baptist (by Somebody from the Veneto, 16th century), in the Papal Palace and Cathedral Museum, Orvieto [2016]

Today's winner of the ugliest Madonna competition, with the runner-up in the ugliest Christ child category, early 16th century, attributed to a Pittore Veneto who didn't want his name mentioned. In the pinacoteca of the Museo Civico in Padua [2017]

A classic mystic marriage of St Catherine by the 'Master of the Embroidered Foliage' (ca. 1490), with . . .

. . . a very scrawny baby Jesus. In the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon. [2017]

A non-stereotypical representation of the Christ child, a tryptych on the presentation in the Temple (attributed to Goswijn van der Weyden, early 16th century), also in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

And also in the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, by Quentin Metsys or his 'circle', here are two scenes from the life of Christ, his disputations with the doctors in the Temple and, below, his presentation in the Temple. This depiction of Christ as a baby is probably unique.

He doesn't really look much like the Pantocrator yet. [viewed in 2017]

Here, in the Museo di Stato in San Marino, are two distinctly odd representations of the Baby Jesus. [2017]

This one appears to have been done in the 18th century. Perhaps as a school exercise. [2017]

Curlilocks Jesus adorns one of the side chapels in the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Bosco in Cuneo, Piemonte region [2018]

This strange Madonna and Child, in the Museo Diocesano in Albenga in Liguria, is identified as created by a 13th century stonecutter from Como. [2018]

It appears from the information panels that medieval religious sculpture flourished in the region of the Valle d'Aosta in large part because of the continuous flow of pilgrims trudging down the Via Francigena pilgrim route towards Rome. This Madonna and baby (by a 'Scultore piemontese-aostano') is dated to around 1270-1280, in the Palazzo Madama in Torino (Turin). [2019]

This cute scene by the workshop of Rogier van der Weyden (c.1465) provides us with an adorable baby Jesus, but his mom just barely meets our standards for misplaced anatomy on the Nursing Madonna page. In the Art Institute of Chicago [2021].

By Colyn de Coter, a Netherlander, a 'Virgin and Child with Angels' (ca. 1490/95), this baby Jesus looks more like a miniature merchant or pawnbroker. At the Art Institute of Chicago [2021]

This Baby Jesus (ca. 1495) comes from an altar in the Carthusian monastery of Thuison in Picardy, northern France. The Madonna's hand gesture is often shone pointing upward to signify the baby's glorious mission on earth. In the Art Institute of Chicago [2021]

This Baby Jesus with the cherries and blank stare, ca. 1490/96, is attributed to Ercole de' Roberti, who after 1486 was the court painter for the Estes in Ferrara but died youngish in 1496; he was thus also known as Ercole Ferrarese. In the Art Institute of Chicago [2021]

Baby Jesuses prior to the 1480s or so tended to be hilariously ugly, whereas after that time the babies began to look more human -- like this cute little fellow, by Bronzino (or one of his followers), dated to after 1527. The John the Baptist looks a little doofus, though. In the Art Institute of Chicago [2021]

In an early work by Correggio, dated to ca. 1515, a somewhat jowly Baby Jesus appears to be blessing young John the Baptist, who has no idea what he's on about. In the Art Institute of Chicago [2021]

This Virgin with Jesus and John, by Jacopo Bassano (1560/65), commands attention, and not only to the Baby Jesus's weird face. Why is tiny John carrying a big cross so early in the holy story, or is that a spear? In the Art Institute of Chicago, USA [2021]

Perhaps my favorite piece in the Art Institute of Chicago, USA [viewed in 2021]-- what a charmer that kid is. Is it even a kid? A face like a stand-up comic from the 1950s. French, probably from Picardy, in ivory, ca. 1240/50.

'Madonna and Christ child enthroned, with benediction', listed here as by Bartolomeo Vivarini, late 15th century, in the Gallery Colonna, Rome [viewed in 2022]

The Madonna with a cute little curly-haired Jesus, by the 'Circle of Mabuse', that is, of Jan Gossaert (c.1478-1532) from the Low Countries (Palazzo Colonna, Rome)

A Christ child who obviously gets enough to eat but wants more. Attributed to Pietro del Donzello (1452-1509) (Galleria Colonna)

Cute little Jesus -- 'Gesù Bambino dormiente' -- curly-haired and chubby, sleeping on a skull, by Domenico Piola (1627-1703), 'the leading artist in Genoa in the second half of the 17th century' (Pinacoteca Civica di Ascoli Piceno) [2022]

An extract from the 'Madonna Enthroned with Bambino', by Pietro Alemanno -- Baby Jesus with a precocious but listless blessing alongside the ugliest Mary Magdalene we've ever seen (the ointment jar is the Magdalene's tell). In the Pinacoteca di Ascoli Piceno [2022]

That classically ugly baby is not actually Baby Jesus: this is the 'Birth of the Virgin Maria', by Carlo Allegretti, who's dated as '16th-17th century'. Ascoli Piceno [2022]

A very cute kid with beautiful golden curls (all the rage in Nazareth back in the day), and what's either the ritual blessing or a cheery wave, by Nicola Monti. Ascoli Piceno [2022]

The Baby Jesus who could bless everybody even while he's watching TV. Ascoli Piceno, 2022

A vague look from a curly-headed blonde Jesus, making a first shot at getting the blessing gesture down, so important later on. By Benvenuto di Giovanni of Siena, dated 1480/85. National Gallery, viewed 2023.

By Matteo de Giovanni, dated to 1465/70, some time before he'd figured out how to do ladies' fingers. National Gallery, 2023.

This is by Neroccio de' Landi & features St Anthony Abbot & St Sigismund, King of the Burgundians in the early 6th century. Anthony ('the Great', d. 356) is intense as usual, Sigismund is wary, Madonna is demure of course, and the Baby Jesus just wants out. Dated to 1490/95. National Gallery, 2023.

A Madonna who looks like she's fed up with being the Madonna, with a Baby that might explain why, by Fra Filippo Lippi of Florence, ca. 1440. National Gallery, 2023.

The Madonna of Humility (ca.1430), by Fra Angelico, with an undernourished Christ Child. National Gallery, 2023.

Madonna and a curly blonde Jesus who looks at us as if he's got our number. No baby blessings here. By Domenico Veneziano, dated 1445/50. National Gallery, 2023.

Enthroned Madonna and Child (ca.1250-1275), straightforwardly attributed to 'Byzantine (possibly from Constantinople)'. National Gallery, 2023.

On the left, another one from 'Byzantine (possibly from Constantinople', Madonna and Child with a long neck, on a Curved Throne (no kidding), dated ca.1260/80, and on the right, Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels, by the Florentine Bernardo Daddi, dated to the 1330s. National Gallery, 2023.

This amazing set would be worth the price of admission by itself, even if there were a price of admission to the National Gallery. The attribution is just 'Veronese, 14th century' and dated to 1321; one can sympathize with the sculptor wanting to remain anonymous.

A Madonna and Child by Giotto himself, ca. 1310/15. National Gallery, 2023.

A Madonna with a broken halo and Christ Child possibly picking his nose, by 'Circle of Giovanni di Turino' of Siena, painted terracotta, first half of the 15th century. National Gallery, 2023.

Detail: an emaciated Christ Child with a flight of fat little baby angels, from an elaborate Adoration of the Christ Child by Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, 1512, one of several less crowded versions he'd made on the same theme. In the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, viewed in October 2023

A fat-headed baby Christ and uninterested Madonna by Il Perugino, 1500. In the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, viewed in October 2023

Boccaccio Boccaccino (ca. 1467-1525), Adoration of the Shepherds (1500-1507), with . . .

. . . a bewildered Baby Jesus. In the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, viewed in October 2023

From the circle of Joos van Cleve (van der Becke) of Antwerp (ca. 1485-ca. 1540), a copy of a Leonardo da Vinci that ought to be entitled 'Don't Ask'. In the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, viewed in October 2023

This is an Adoration of the Magi from about 1520, attributed to Giralamo Ramarino, called Girolamo de Salerno, with its . . .

. . . chubby, jowly little Christ child. In the church of the Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples, October 2023

Perhaps it's best if we leave it here for now.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 12 August 2019, updated 16 January 2024.

Odds & Ends