Once the baby Jesus looked like Bobby Hill.

Spoiler: Artist is identified.
Mystery: I'd still like to find the crucifixion painting I describe below.

This was originally on my facebook page, in 2013, and 2016, and I had put the first part on my blog, as Bobby Hill in the Renaissance. Now it's here.

This is a detail of a painting

I saved this a while hoping to come across more information, but I should've published it! Help is welcome.

The comments that came when I put this up on facebook in October 2013:

Sandra Dodd
I didn't note the artist. Once I saw a painting where a soldier or guard, I think, looked like a 22 year old Bobby Hill. Maybe I'll come across it again. Maybe it's the same artist. This one was in the Norton Simon Museum. I looked through their website's paintings, and didn't find it. It's one of the most minor curiosities ever, though, so I don't have a burning need to know.
October 25, 2013 at 10:26pm

Heather L Greek
Aha ha!
October 25, 2013 at 10:32pm

Kim Zerbe
That boy's not right. (To quote Hank Hill.)
October 25, 2013 at 10:44pm

Gavin Muhlberger
Dammit, Bobby...
October 25, 2013 at 10:53pm

Sandra Dodd
All that hard Renaissance-artist work just to end up with a cousin of Beavis and Butthead. It just ain't right.
October 25, 2013 at 11:38pm

Gavin Muhlberger
I am a HUGE KOTH fan. This is pretty neat to me.
October 26, 2013 at 12:05am

Deb Lewis
"Now, for my next trick I'm gonna need a large wooden cross, and a couple of volunteers..."
October 26, 2013 at 6:38am

Kirby Dodd
This made me laugh openly
October 26, 2013 at 7:02am

Elaine Greenwood-Hyde
Ha ha!
October 26, 2013 at 7:02am

A few years later...
Sandra Dodd
In 2013 I said I didn't have a burning need to know, but my curiosity has heated up since then. 🙂
If anyone goes to the Norton Simon Museum, or feels like e-mailing someone who works there, please help me out!

Erica Lewis
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Vincenzo Catena.

Sandra Dodd
How did you find that so fast!?

Erica Lewis
Google fu?
Actually no, I looked through the Norton Simon Museum collection on their website. The colours are really off in their image on there.

Sandra Dodd
So I'm looking on Google images to see if I see the other Bobby Hill face I remembered. I said maybe Vincenzo Catena had a friend or relative who looked like Bobby Hill (though he wouldn't have known that) and Brie Jontry is sitting here and says maybe Mike Judge is related to Vincenzo Catena. 🙂
Seriously, perhaps that face runs in the family.

Sandra Dodd
> Looking through the crucifixion images.... for anyone else who looks, it's not a very busy scene. The guard was on the left side of the cross. It's Renaissance, not medieval, not modern, not stained glass... a painting, fairly plain and sparse, daylight.

Haven't found it but saw dozens that were nothing like it.

Sandra Dodd
It would be cool if the one I remember (if I ever find it) was uncredited and it's a match beause of the Bobby Hill face! 🙂

Theresa Larson
Thoroughly enjoying this thread. Made my morning.Thank you!😂

Sandra Dodd
I found another infant by the same artist, and it's not good. Looks like the head and body weren't painted as a set. The baby's butt is bigger than his head, and the face is too small. Maybe the artist hadn't been around many actual babies, whose heads are relatively huge.

Babies' hands reach from their chins to their noses (butt of palm on chin, top of longest finger nose-ish). Adults' hands reach from chin to forehead (on their own faces).

Erica Lewis
Calling this particular baby bad when there are so many terrible baby depictions to choose from seems a bit harsh. Look at this beauty: UGLYRENAISSANCEBABIES.TUMBLR.COM

Sandra Dodd
OH, you're right. My #2 Vincenzo Catena baby did look like a baby, kind of. Your example looks like a cranky old guy. 🙂

Wait. I looked some more. That baby has a receding hairline, maybe. SO MUCH HAIR, but not in the front. And at the back, looks like... a haircut? A white background to show the hair off better? Something was in progress, with that hair, that wasn't finished.


People come along and "discover" unfinished manuscripts, unreleased recordings, unfinished paintings, and get all happy, but perhaps should have let it go as unfinished, unimpressive, not-chosen-by-the-artist.

Or maybe those funny-looking babies were sold during the artists' lifetimes.

Maybe they made the baby look like the patron.

Carolyn Pihl
Now for crappy Renaissance paintings where the Virgin's breasts appear to be located just under her chin.

Sandra Dodd
In "A Warrior adoring the Infant Christ and the Virgin" which I linked above, the best part is the sword belt the guy left hanging on the wall before he knelt. There's a dog. I think it's a dog. SO much good detail on the belt pouch, though!

Sarah Waff and Jeff Bettis, doesn't it look like a pouch Kragon would wear? Nice.

Mystery Art Mary feeding Jesus Grapes (a Renaissance motif) David Gerard's same-old basket

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