Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Swaddling Clothes

"The angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Luke 2:11-12). 

 1340s The birth of Jesus By Barna Da Siena (died c. 1351)

The phrase “swaddling clothes” is a translation of the root Greek word Sparganoo. The word appears in 2 verses in the New Testament in Luke 2. The 1st appearance of Sparganoo occurs in verse 7 & the 2nd is in verse 12. The Greek word Sparganoo means “to wrap a child in swaddling clothes (long strips of cloth)” or “to clothe in strips of cloth, to wrap up in strips of cloth, to wrap in cloths.”

Swaddling is an old practice of wrapping infants in blankets or cloth to restrict the movement of arms & legs. Probably the most famous record of swaddling is in the New Testament description of  the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:6–2:7: "And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger."  

1340 Ambrogio Lorenzetti (Sienese painter, fl c 1317-1348) Virgin and Child

Several 15C paintings depict the Baby Jesus being presented at the temple (40 days after his birth) wrapped in swaddling clothes. Wrapped babies sometimes were on placed table tops or hung from a nail in a wall to give their mothers a rest or allow them time to do other work. 

1453 Andrea Mantegna (Italian artist, 1431-1506)  Presentation in the Temple

 1453 Andrea Mantegna (Italian artist, 1431-1506) Presentation in the Temple Detail

Swaddling fell out of favor in the 17C.  By the end of the 18C, Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote in his book Emile: Or, On Education in 1762: "The child has hardly left the mother's womb, it has hardly begun to move & stretch its limbs, when it is given new bonds. It is wrapped in swaddling bands, laid down with its head fixed, its legs stretched out, & its arms by its sides; it is wound round with linen & bandages of all sorts so that it cannot move...A child unswaddled would need constant watching; well swaddled it is cast into a corner & its cries are ignored."

 1455 Andrea Mantegna (Italian artist, 1431-1506) Virgin with Baby

 1455 Andrea Mantegna (Italian artist, 1431-1506) Virgin with Baby

 1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian painter 1430-1516) Presentation at the Temple

 1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian painter 1430-1516) Presentation at the Temple Detail

 1150 Meister der Palastkapelle, Palermo

1308 Duccio di Buoninsegna

  Medieval Swaddled Babies (Bodleian Library Bodley 264)

 Swaddled Baby Book Astrology, France, XIVcentury

Madonna and Child detail - Giotto (1266-1337, Florentine)

1480s Domenico Ghirlandaio (Italian artist, 1449–1494) Zacharias Writes Down the Name of his Son Ghirlandaio Tornabuoni Chapel Swaddling Clothes

1520  Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528) The Virgin with the Swaddled Child

1575-80 Luca Cambiaso (1527-1585) Madonna col Bambino

 1555 Studio of  Jean Clouet (1475–1540). Louis Charles de Bourbon (1555-57)  Comte de Marle

 1581 Unknown artist of the Dutch School.  Cornelia Burh  at the age of 2 months

1599 Unknown English artist, Perhaps Mary (d.1616) & Lettice (1585-1623) Cholmondeley, daughters of Sir Hugh Cholmondeley (1557-1601) & Mary Holford (1563-1626) Mary m Sir George Calveley & Lettice m Sir Richard Grosvenor (1595-1646)

1605 Federico Barocci (1535–1612) Federico Ubaldo della Rovere, the swaddled Prince of Urbino, in the cradle

1609 Peter Paul Reubens The Adoration of the Shepherds detail

1617 Unknown artist, De Wikkkelkinderen or The Swaddled Twins, dated April 7, 1617

Anonymous, The Dordrecht Quadruplets, 1621

1638-9 Unknown French artist,   Portrait of a Child Presumed to be Louis XIV (1638-1715) on a Bed 

1638-9 Louis XIV as an infant with his wet nurse Longuet de la Giraudiére

Georges de La Tour (French Baroque Era Painter, 1593-1652) Adoration of the Magi detail

1600s Unknown artist of the Anglo Dutch School, Portrait of a Baby, under a quilt probably swaddled

1646 Salomon de Bray (Dutch, 1597–1663). Double Portrait of the Twins Clara and Aelbert de Bray

1700s Unknown artist, Twins wearing Crosses

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