Hey, ready for a sneak peek of this month’s new indie nail polish limited edition? It will be available from polishpickup.com starting April 5th — April’s theme is “Famous Works of Art,” and instead of a specific piece, we were drawn to the idea of a specific trope…
Ugly renaissance baby paintings.
Why is this such a motif? We’ve all seen them as we’ve gone wandering through galleries, next to portraits of stuffy royals and their hunting dogs. We’ll pause at a gilded painting of a perfectly normal mother (holy or not) cradling her…little ugly old man? Were medieval artists kept away from human children, forced to use their elderly, constipated uncles as life-models? No — ugly renaissance babies were a proper, purposeful trend.
According to to Matthew Averett, an art history professor at Creighton University, medieval portraits of children were usually commissioned by churches. And that made the range of subjects limited to Jesus and a few other biblical babies. Medieval concepts of Jesus were deeply influenced by the homunculus, which literally means little man. “There’s the idea that Jesus was perfectly formed and unchanged,” Averett says, “and if you combine that with Byzantine painting, it became a standard way to depict Jesus. In some of these images, it looks like he had male pattern baldness.”
So an adult-looking Jesus became de rigueur for painting all children. And as time passed, it stylistically became the Way Things Are Done, much like dads wearing socks with sandals is just shrugged over and accepted today.
I’ll always be a sucker for these hilariously grumpy babygramps, which is why I had to dedicate a polish to them. Ugly baby paintings can inspire cute indie nails!
And as for the nail polish? “Ugly Renaissance Baby Paintings” is a parchment-cream jelly base, with gold, copper, and dusty green metallic flecks, and a green-aqua shimmer to finish it off. It will be available for a single weekend, starting Friday April 5th at 10:00 am central, at polishpickup.com. It will be available until the 8th, and after that shall never be seen again, not at scofflawvarnish.com, and not even in the renaissance wing of your local museum.
And don’t forget to sign up for the Scofflaw Varnish mailing list, so you’re always on top of new releases and restocks in our indie polish store! It’s quick and easy, just pop over here!
The Scofflaw Nail Varnish Manufactory has been creating artisanal, small-batch indie nail polish in Chicago since 2013. Made with the finest cosmetic ingredients, free of carcinogens, and cruelty-free. Scofflaw Varnish is curious nail polish for the unconventional scofflaws among us.