I logged many hours in art museums as a child. I deserve no credit for having taste or maturity beyond my years– the vast majority of the time was spent under foot-stomping, sigh-heaving, glare-shooting duress. My curious and culturally-inclined parents experience an inescapable, gravitational pull towards each historic and educational thing ever discovered, and anytime our family went anywhere, there was not a single doubt that our days would be spent walking (at a glacial pace) through marble floored museums, silently staring at pictures on the wall. Actually, it was only silent if we weren’t on the longest guided tour offered, in which case I would hear my dad’s voice as much as the poor docent’s as he peppered him/her with question after question (love you, Dad! Also, to be clear, he did not burn our house down intentionally– it was a goof).
Anyway, my parents aren’t really ones for modern art, so my constant criticism didn’t come in the form of “That big black square? NOT art. I could do that,” but instead, “That’s not even pretty!” or “Yuck, so gloomy,” or “That person is NOT attractive.” Quite frequently, that last judgment was leveled at women– more specifically, at women who, compared to the taut-tummied women I was used to seeing in the media, looked very lumpy with their rippling stomach rolls. Admire the classical female form, I did not (the sociological/psychological implications can be explored at a later date). Perhaps my unappreciative self would have been more interested in these versions that I came across the other day at Photoshopped Masterpieces. The original and the new versions are side by side– take a peek!
*Also in the same vein of paintings and diet/body image etc, an article came out about two years ago about the changing portion sizes of food in depictions of the Last Supper. I thought it was pretty interesting.