What event is the Beating of Babies dedicated to?
Jewish King Herod learns from the predictors of the birth of a child who will become the new king of Ancient Israel and Judea, fearing competition, he orders to kill all boys under the age of two years.
This mythological story was immortalized in their paintings by many artists of the same name. Among them are Valerio Castello, Pieter Bruegel, Nicolas Poussin, Rubens. The event reflected in the picture is associated with the actions in Bethlehem, which took place by order of the Jewish king after the alleged appearance of the messiah. This plot was often used in their paintings by Renaissance artists. As for the demand and prices for paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, these are masterpieces of world painting, so comments are unnecessary here.
The plot of the picture is based on the biblical legend.
More than two thousand years ago, the Persian Magi priests had a prophecy that the coming of the Messiah would soon come, who would come to Earth to transform the entire human world and his coming would be marked by the appearance of a bright star (comet) in the sky.
When a new bright star appeared in the sky in the east, they realized that the Messiah had come, the "king of the Jews" was born. The Magi collected gifts for the Messiah, mounted the camels and set off, following the guiding star, to bow to the new king and present him with sacred gifts.
Following the star, the Magi reached Jerusalem and, thinking that the Messiah was born here, turned to the ruler Herod with the question of where they could see the born king of Judah in order to bow to him and present gifts, believing that Herod was his relative.
So Herod found out about the birth of Jesus Christ and realized that a threat was hanging over his power and throne, but he did not show it. He said that the new king was not born here, and asking him to tell him when they would find the newborn king to worship him too, politely escorted the Magi out of the palace.
Looking at the sky, the wise men again saw the guiding star, burning brightly even in the daytime, and went after it further.
Following the star, the wise men reached Bethlehem and entered the house above which the star had stopped.
In the house, the Magi saw Mary with the baby, bowed to him and presented gifts - gold, incense and myrrh (myrrh).
On the way back, while spending the night in a cave, the sorcerers in a dream had a revelation that it was not worth returning to King Herod with information about Christ and in the morning they went to their homeland the other way.
In the Holy Family, too, Joseph had a vision. In the dream an angel appeared to him and commanded:
So Joseph did. Went with his family to Egypt, beyond the control of Herod.
Not waiting for the return of the Magi, King Herod went into a wild rage and issued an order -
Herod hoped that among these children the Infant Christ would appear and be killed.
Warriors fulfilled the order. About 14 thousand of small children were killed.
With what cruelty it happened seen in the picture.
These innocent victims were the first martyrs who perished for Christ.
Having received the news of the death of the hated king, the family did not return to the Israelite lands, because Archemaius, the son of Herod, began to reign there, and settled in Nazareth, where Jesus spent his childhood and youth.
Peter Paul Rubens' painting "The Beating of Babies" is dedicated not only to the event the death of innocent babies, but also the birth, coming to earth of Jesus Christ - The Messiah, who made a revolutionary upheaval in human consciousness, and therefore enjoys such popularity.