Fun with art: suspicius Child vs. John the Baptist

Here is a piece of relief typical of many funerary monuments produced in and around Naples in the second half of 1300s. It is part of the Renaissance collection at V&A so if you really want you can find it in room 50a. The full version shows Virgin and Child between Saints James and John the Baptist but I limited the photo to the most interesting part.

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And that part is showing some tension between Child and John the Baptist. Just look at Child’s pose and eyes – he is a bit suspicious or maybe annoyed with the stuff John is saying. He even seems to be preparing to throw an apple at John; his one hand is on the fruit and the other one holding tightly to Virgin’s scarf to prevent him from falling down. Naughty Child.

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