23 May 2010

The Virgin Mary spanking The Baby Jesus


The proper title is The Blessed Virgin Chastises the Infant Jesus Before Three Witnesses: André Breton, Paul Éluard, and the Painter, painted by Max Ernst in 1926.  According to a Time magazine story in 1976 -
His father was a fiercely authoritarian Roman Catholic, an amateur painter who taught in a school for deaf-mutes in the Rhineland town of Brühl. Little Max briefly persuaded this eccentric sire that he was the child Jesus. Memories of this sort underlie Ernst's most notorious thrust of anticlerical wit, a spanking Madonna...
The painting is (not surprisingly) said to have been controversial at the time.  Now it hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art   Ludwig Museum in Cologne.

18 comments:

  1. Jesus was a Perfect Child, there's no reason to hit him ....

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    1. Note the halo has fallen off in the painting...

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  2. She didn't hit him. She spanked him, and he was the perfect child because she loved him enough to do it.

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    1. Nice. I must be perfect then as I got my butt spanked a lot...

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  3. Its hangs not in the metropolitain museum of art but in the Luwig museum in Cologne.

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    1. The MMA link is now a 404, so I'll take your word for it on the new location. Post amended; thanks.

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  4. It's a delightful painting, audacious and a great rebuttal to rampant piety. It also seems to justify my Christian friends philosphy that spanking is beneficial for children, 'just like their parents did to them.' We surmise that this make them the perfect adults they are today, and grants them the right to dicipline thier children in such a manner.

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  5. Maren - you're a sick person if you think spanking (or hitting) a child for any reason is done "because you love them enough to do it." Hitting a child for any reason is just plain wrong. Adults hit children because they can - and because they don't want to take the time to sit down and have a conversation or they think hitting is the only answer. Hitting is never the answer - it's only the start of more problems.

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  6. well, you might imagine the way a child would use his powers...

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  7. "Spare the rod and spoil the child." is an aphorism rather than a commandment, as is "all things in moderation" which would seem to contradict the admonishment regarding faith: "Because you are luke warm, I will vomit you out of My mouth."

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  8. what beautiful colours on this painting ...

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  9. Jesus never did anything to deserve a spanking. He was Perfection manifestated. this depiction is absurd!

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    1. "this depiction is absurd"

      Gosh, do you think maybe "André Breton, Paul Éluard, and the Painter" were NOT really present when the baby Jesus was spanked? Maybe the Virgin Mary didn't really dress like that?

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    2. "Jesus never did anything to deserve a spanking."

      How would you know? Would it be because you believe everything that theologians, church leaders and that tome you call your 'Bible' tell you? If anything here is absurd it is your thought process that dictates any human is a manifestation of perfection [why exactly did you bother to capitalize that word but not the first word in your next sentence?].
      Also your outrage is almost 90 years late. Let us know when you arrive in the 21sr Century with the rest of us.

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    3. The Bible does not state that Jesus was perfection manifested ("manifestated?" What is that?) Jesus is portrayed as the Messiah, and from certain viewpoints, the Son of God, but never is he shown as 'perfection.' That's a later Church teaching.

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  10. Spanking an INFANT is completely inexcusable, and to do so in a public way takes that wrongness to an entirely new level of abuse

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  11. I am a different poster, using the Anonymous identity line. I'm going to have to create a name on one of the other discussion sites, one just for posting on blogspot, as I don't want my Google I.D. messed with.

    Anyway, I was expecting to see the "Mother and Child" statuette that was in the background of a Len Norris cartoon, published decades ago in the Vancouver Sun. In that one, it's a very simple smooth-flowing impressionistic piece of angry mom spanking a wailing child, almost lost in the jumble of artsy kitsch that includes a mobile made of bottle openers, a chair made from a cello, and a coffee table with paint brushes and pencils for legs. It is not available on the internet, at least as far as I've searched (which isn't beyond the first page of Google).

    Now I've got to, I mean, get to look up André Breton andPaul Éluard and see what they did to deserve this part of immortality. And, oh, look, there's an article on "Hoods for Holy Week" and another on "Notice to burglars" I've got to go look up. Anyway, thank you for posting the painting and the article. I think I've seen Max Ernst's work elsewhere, decades ago, and now I've got to look him up, too.

    (For what it may matter, I found this site from "Free Will Astrology" in my local free weekly newspaper--a real fun read that takes me to places such as this.)

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    1. "I'm going to have to create a name on one of the other discussion sites, one just for posting on blogspot"

      Anon, the easiest way to create an identity here is to pull down the "Reply as" menu to "Name/url" and insert a name (and leave the url blank). It won't be clickable, but if you create a unique one you will have your identity risk-free.

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