Christ’s penis in Adelaide: Orazio Samacchini’s The Holy Family, with St Catherine of Alexandria, St Margaret of Antioch and St Francis of Assisi
I suppose there are many ways to introduce my unusual topic but let me get straight to it: I am writing about Christ’s penis. What drew me to this subject? Walking through the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) in Adelaide, I overheard a child being shushed and bustled out of the room. I almost walked on too, but I couldn’t resist seeing what had provoked the child’s remark that had so embarrassed the parents. I turned around to see a painting by Orazio Samacchini (1534–1577), The Holy Family, with St Catherine of Alexandria, St Margaret of Antioch and St Francis of Assisi. The child had asked why the figures in the painting were looking at the baby Christ’s penis.