TNC visits the Met:
This is Massacre of the Innocents, by Navez. I saw it last week, and it stayed with me, and then, a few days later, my Bible reading took me to Herod, who killed all the male children in his kingdom, in hopes of staving off the coming of the Messiah. I hope I have that right. Anyway, with the lore in hand, I wanted to see the painting again. I hoped the colors would mean more, that they would be deeper to me.
This was easier said the done. The Met is a universe, and each wing is a galaxy, and in each galaxy there and stars and planets tugging at the imagination. You come in with your heart set on seeing Hercules shooting his bow, but instead you end up staring at a nomad queen's golden crown.
Toward the end I finally made it there, but I had to push myself, and it is true, I did see more, but I'm not sure I saw better. I guess it was nice to know what the painter had in mind, and I did hone in on details that I'd missed before, but the story really didn't feel essential to me.
Whatever. The painting is gorgeous. The woman in the back futilely trying to shush her young son, is just arresting. I love this piece.