John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

Advent 2007: The Holy Innocents

Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267–1337)
The Holy Innocents, 1303–1310
The Holy Innocents
Capella degli Scrovegni, Padua, Italy

Today's work of art comes from Italy, the foreign country in which I've spent the most time -- seven days. Two in Florence, three in Rome, and three in Venice. I liked Rome best of the three, though I don't recall that we did much of anything in Florence and my impression of Venice was no doubt negatively influenced by the horrible stench of the canals. I'd like to go back to Florence, at least, because I didn't get the chance to see the Uffizi Gallery. I'm not sure how I missed it... seems like the kind of place the tour company would have included on the itinerary. Maybe that was the afternoon I took a nap ad the rest of the group went off without me. If so, that was the same afternoon I stumbled across that English-language used bookstore where I found a copy of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish in advance of its release in the U.S. That may have been worth missing the Uffizi.

This fresco depicts the Massacre of the Innocents. You remember the story:

Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance. Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

"A cry was heard in Ramah—
    weeping and great mourning.
Rachel weeps for her children,
   refusing to be comforted,
   for they are dead."

Now, most scholars agree that this didn't actually happen. Nevertheless, the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches celebrate the Feast of the Holy Innocents on this date every year.

Previous Advent posts:
2003: The Nativity of Christ
2004: Eby, Christmas Trees
2005: Christmas Wishes
2006: Southwell, "The Nativity of Christ"

Holidailies 2007 badge 

Tags: advent: 2007, art: painting

  • My tweets

    Fri, 16:04: This family and that of the woman who asked for donations to Sen. Ron Johnson's 2022 opponent in lieu of flowers would probably get…

  • My tweets

    Thu, 13:31: With the finale right around the corner and in light of the extravagant praise she has received, I'd like to point out that one…

  • My tweets

    Wed, 13:34: I don't care enough (or at all, really) about the British royal family to have heard about this controversy, but nevertheless this…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.