Eadweard James Muybridge, Spanking a Child, c. 1884-87, collotype print. George Eastman House, Rochester, New York
Recently a reader asked about the history of spanking in art. One of my favorite paintings of spanking comes from Santo Spirito in Florence in which the Virgin Mary raises a rod as if about to spank a demon who terrorizes the Christ Child (see it here). Jumping forward in time, Eadweard Muybridge — reknowned for his photograph series — captured from various angles the intimate moment when a mother spanks her child. These are just two examples of a theme that I’ll continue to pursue (I’m sure Bosch and Bruegel painted spanking scenes…).