Year 1 AD (approximately): King Herod gets word that a new King of the Jews has been born. In a fit of jealous rage, he orders his soldiers to execute all the baby boys in Bethlehem. (All very shocking events that the Episcopalians back in Kansas City seemed to skip past when discussing Christmas, it seems. That or I was too busy making doodles on the offering envelopes).
1565-1567: Pieter Bruegel the Elder reinterprets the Massacre of the Innocents, but places the grizzly scene in a contemporary snowy Flemish village.
A tiny bit later: Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II acquires the painting, finds all the carnage unsavory (for many reasons in general and for being a Hapsburg in particular) and orders artists to cover all the corpses with hams, cheese and nondescript bundles.
2010: The amazing Eric White reinterprets Bruegel's original heartache (sans ham) on a 16 foot canvas.
See it in person at the opening tomorrow from 7-9 at Jonathan LeVine in Chelsea.
Jonathan LeVine Gallery |