Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I Can't Not Post This Picture

15 comments:

Foxfier said...

...Is that Mary about to smack a demon like a bad dog?

Poor banished children, indeed!

Brandon said...

I saw that going around; it's an awesome picture. We need more Madonna del Soccorso these days. It reminds me of the Little Office: "Sovereign of angels, Terror of hell".

Brandon said...

You know what this picture actually makes me think of? Ellen Ripley putting the smack-down on the Alien queen in order to save Newt in the movie Aliens. I will never watch that movie the same way again.

bearing said...

Wait, I'm confused, what is this picture?

Anonymous said...

I believe that Fr. Z is the proximate source of the picture making the rounds--it's been on his website for a long time.

@bearing: That's Mary beating the hell out of the devil as it tries to carry off children.

Love the Aliens ref, Brandon.

Rob

bearing said...

Oh, ok. i was confused because i was expecting a madonna and child, but there are two children.

Darwin said...

I wasn't really sure of the explanation behind the picture (suddenly it was all over Facebook last night) but I was so charmed by it that I had to do something with it.

I like Foxfier's description: Mary about to smack a demon like a bad dog.

Matthew Lickona said...

Hm. Judging from the angle of Mary's head, it looks to me like she's about to smack the child. And the child's posture is ambiguous - maybe he's running to Mary for help, maybe he's attacking her in a fit of childish rage. My first thought was, "the devil has his hand upon the child, indicating the devil's influence in the child's horrid behavior. Mary is about to whup the child, thus driving the devil away. You know, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod shall drive it from him," that sort of thing. It's old school parenting, but then, this looks like an old painting. This probably says more about me than it does about the image.

Jenny said...

Matthew,

I'm glad I am not the only one who sees it that way! I swear to me it looks like Mary is about to beat the child. It gives me a chuckle because, boy, can I relate. :)

Matthew Lickona said...

Jenny,
The more I look, the more I think I might actually be right. Look at the way she's holding the child's arm. Not taking his hand to draw him lovingly away from the devil, but gripping his forearm, to hold him still for his spanking. Look at her expression - that's an angry Mom if ever I saw one. And look at the other child - can't you just hear her crying, "No, Mama!" in solidarity with her naughty brother? But it's the grip on the forearm that most tips it for me.

Darwin said...

Hmmm. I mostly figured that was a matter of how in paintings in that period the perspective is often a bit off. (Plus it looks like kind of a big cudgel to be leveling at the kid.)

Here's one where it's pretty clear that it's the demon who's about to be whupped.

Darwin said...

Ah, and now I know the correct term from Brandon, I can find lots:

http://www.stpauls.it/madre/1006md/images/1006m25b.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_f1vNZ-E8trc/R7riOjKFw8I/AAAAAAAAAFo/ZlK_P2KMA0Q/s200/madonna+del+soccorso.jpg

http://www.museumsinflorence.com/foto/santo%20spirito/image/dia.jpg

I particularly like that last one. The demon already looks cockeyed and the Mary's lids are low and angry as she winds up for the blow.

Matthew Lickona said...

Spare the cudgel and spoil the child, I always say.

Julie D. said...

Thank goodness I wasn't the only one wondering why Mary was going to whack that child with a big, big stick. :-D

mandamum said...

I figured she might be aiming at the demon's arm -- and I'd be angry if something like that was touching my kid too :)

Thanks for the other images, Darwin!