Even More Faces of Mary

Yesterday, I was so sick (and unable to take any useful medication, like Sudafed or ibuprofen) that I was able to do exactly three things:  drink tea, type, and whine.  Out of those three came this post for the Register:  Even More Faces of Mary, in which I repeatedly misspell Steven Greydanus’ name, because it seemed really, really funny at the time.

Follow-up question for you smart people:  Why is it, do you think, that people used to routinely depict the holy family wearing the styles of the artist’s day — but now if you do that, people freak out?  When did this change, and why?  Modernist self-loathing?  Mistrust of contemporary art in general?  Cultural illiteracy (Rembrandt and Fra Angelico’s saints look fine to us because they’re clearly wearing old-fashioned clothes, and that supplies the necessary sense of historical space, even though it’s still off by many centuries)?  Or have people always freaked out when artists did this, and I just don’t realize it?  Or what?

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