September 20, 2013

Real Boy

This sort of painting, despite its merits, would not typically catch my prolonged attention. My favorites are more modern, more ambiguous, and less academic. But this portrait of a little boy with a long name, destined not to grow up, came to life during story time with  my younger son.  The painting is in our An Alphabet in Art book under M for Magpies. Suddenly, through the eyes of a three-year-old, I saw this painting for the very first time.

This is a portrait of a tiny kid, a toddler really, just the sort of boy we would meet at a playground. And birds, oblivious to danger. And kitty-cats, a little sinister but soft. As I watch my own little boy look at length at his long-lost friend, asking questions, the formal portrait fades and all that's left is a real boy.

Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuniga by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes - image loaned from the Met
Read about our favorite kiddie art history books here.

1 comment:

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