What was I thinking?

Laughing Men, sculpture by Yue Minjun, Today Art Museum, Beijing

Laughing Men sculpture by Yue Minjun, Today Art Museum, Beijing

When The Husband and I were in Italy, we did a walking tour of Florence that included the major churches and museums. It was a jam-packed day with only a short break for lunch.

The tour ended with us at the Uffizi and, after being shown the “must-sees”, we still had some time before closing. Even though our feet were throbbing and our brains were mush, we decided to stick around to quickly go through the areas that weren’t part of the tour itinerary.

When I reach a certain point of extreme fatigue, I start to look like the guys in the sculpture above. I get silly. I think it’s a survival instinct that kicks in to delay the next stage of my fatigue, which is a rage that might result in me looking for a place to dispose of a body. (FYI, I would have dumped it in the Arno.)

As we walked through the final few rooms, my manic humour began to surface and random paintings started to crack me up. Understanding the significance of my mood shift, The Husband took me by the elbow and led me back to the hotel, with only a stop for sustenance on the way.

Before he did, however, there was one painting that really hit my funny bone. Knowing I would need to share this hilarity upon our return to the New World, I quickly pulled out my notebook and jotted down the title and artist. I then completely forgot all about it…

…until Sunday night when I was rifling through a drawer and found the notebook with this sole entry:

Pietro de Cosimo
The Adoration of the Baby

Recollection of the side-splitting hilarity, sent me scrambling to Google. There, I discovered there is no Pietro de Cosimo and he sure as hell didn’t paint anything entitled The Adoration of the Baby.

Not long into the search, I decided I must have meant the artist Piero di Cosimo, who does have several paintings in the Uffizi Gallery. The closest title I could find was The Adoration of the Christ Child, which seemed to fit. Turns out this is not even in the Uffizi, but at the Galleria Borghese in Rome… and there is nothing remotely funny about it.

The Adoration of the Christ Child, Piero di Cosimo

The Adoration of the Christ Child, Piero di Cosimo

(Well, except for the strange proportions on those angel legs… But maybe that IS what angel legs look like, so who am I to judge?)

So, I kept searching and concluded that this next one is the painting I intended to note and I must have been mistaken about the artist.

Adoration of the Child by Filippo Lippi.

Adoration of the Child, Filippo Lippi

It fulfils my criteria pretty well. It is in the Uffizi, it is an Adoration painting and, although it was painted by Fillippo Lippi, it was commissioned by Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici. (This Piero was a Florentine VIP who had the unfortunate nickname of Piero the Gouty.)

But again, I had absolutely no idea why this painting stuck me as so funny. Perhaps the monk playing peek-a-boo on the left? It’s odd, but not really hilarious.

I went to bed on Sunday still not fully satisfied, so on Monday night after the kids were in bed, I found myself searching again. (I have a few issues.)

I finally stumbled upon another Adoration painting by Piero di’ Cosimo which really does seem familiar. Unfortunately, it is considered a minor painting and I’m unable to confirm if it is actually in the Uffizi, but next time I’m in Florence…

Adoration of the Child 2, Piero di Cosimo

Adoration of the Child 2, Piero di Cosimo

So, if this is the one, what was it about this one that cracked me up? Perhaps it is that Joseph looks like a pedophile waiting to pounce.

I think I’m going to have to skip work tomorrow, spend seven hours walking around our Art Gallery and come back to this painting for second look. Perhaps only then will I be able to recapture my moment of zen.

To conclude, this is a very convoluted way of explaining why I haven’t posted anything in a few days.  We will now return to our regular programming.

What do you think? Anything tickling your funny bone up there?

6 responses to “What was I thinking?

  1. God has a funny sense of humour… I must say when I look at those paintings, sometimes, I cannot control the giggle….

  2. I saw this one at the AGO a few months back:

    It’s St Francis of Assisi receiving his stigmata. But when I first saw it, all I could think of was Laser Jesus, blasting the poor saint from the safety of his jet- powered cross.

  3. Of course it would have ended up in the Arno. 🙂 Delightful narratives to accompany beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

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