My Florence (6): Some Problems in Christian Art History

In Florence I have learned for the first time that angels are actually like normal people – that is, they are either men or women – well, they are of course men:

But this is not all. Even the sweet Lord Jesus has a penis – well, it’s for the first time in my life that I see something like this…

The picture above is from the Accademia di Belle Arti E Liceo Artistico, via Ricasoli, Florence, Italy. What follows is a close up:

And this is the whole picture:

Disclaimer: I am not trying to make fun of Christian religion. I am just asking how come some religious painters and the people that asked for such a picture thought that this image could really be a ‘normal’ one in the Christian art history… Or who knows, maybe there are some differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism that I am not aware of; however, the way I knew this was that angels (unlike saints) are asexual, spiritual beings. Moreover, representing the baby Jesus naked in an Orthodox Church would be a capital sin…


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