In honor of the new year, which is only three days old, here are some pictures of babies and children.estremoz doll

This is a happy little sculpture from Estremoz, Portugal. Maybe the mother had arms once.

In very old paintings the babies often look peculiar. The face of Duccio’s  baby Jesus face is old, although his feet are young.  The same is true of the Giotto. Why?


I have read that the babies look old because the society had a different conception of childhood, but this explanation never made sense to me. If you have ideas about this, please leave a comment.


I think that maybe the babies look like the artists looked. Another possibility is that the more detail you put into a face, the older it looks.

I love these awkward children painted by Henri Rousseau.


rousseau child

Why do her legs disappear into the meadow? Did Rousseau just run out of space?

henri rousseau

This serene child in red was painted by Ammi Phillips.

ammi phillips

When I draw babies I sometimes just do a shorthand baby – real features seem to weigh it down and make it unbaby like.

Paschkis the King and the Baby

Simple cartoonish drawings can feel real. Crockett Johnson makes Harold feel real and alive by his body language, even though the few details are odd.CrockettJohnson

Margaret (Chodos-Irvine) includes very little detail in this baby from Only You, but the body feels just right. You can imagine holding this baby.

chodos irvine baby

Maurice Sendak has lots of detail AND the babies in Outside Over There look like babies. Except that according to the text they are goblins, not babies.

sendak goblins

Neither babies nor years stay brand new for very long. Time flies.

And sometimes babies fly too, as in this devinette.


May you have a Happy New Year, filled with new projects and new hope, and maybe even new babies. (But not flying babies).

8 responses to “Babies

  1. Happy New Year! I like flying babies. 🙂

  2. I hope you have a very happy memorable New Year.

  3. In Medieval Art, the “Baby” Christ is represented with adult-like features in a child-like dimension because the feature of the face were believed to represent intellectual features. So Jesus, being the son of God,and being God himself as part of the Trinity, had all the knowledge and the Power of his Father from the moment He was born, His human part (represented by the dimension) undergone to the process of growing from infancy to adult-ness, while His divine part (represented by the features) was already complete from the moment He came to our world. There are also many rules for “iconography” where each physical feature of Jesus (as well as Mary and the other Saints) has great meaning, and must be adhered to by the artist for the impact of the message behind the Icon – the story it is telling.

    • Thank you for that explanation – it makes sense, and it will make me look at those paintings differently.

  4. Thank You for reminding me of the Baby being the icon for the New Year. Is it the icon in other countries,too?
    I also really appreciated the note from Cas.
    Happy New Year All
    Karen Watson

  5. Pingback: Art in the Ordinary Moments | We'll Eat You Up – We Love You So

  6. Pingback: 31 veces que el Niño Jesús entendió todos los dramas de la vida – Venezuela Mundial

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s