JF Ptak Science Books quick post
What is it exactly that the Christ child is doing in this painting (ca. 1435) by Rogier van der Weyden? I don't think he's reading, and there are some who seem in anti-reading--tearing out pages of the book, which is supposed to be the Old Testament, an allegory for pointing the way to the newness of the Bible in the New Testament.
To me he looks like just any other baby handling a book--not tearing, but just figuring out how the book functions, how to make it work, with fat-fisted baby hands. Perhaps the baby was looking into the past and the OT and not seeing the future in it in the NT. But even in an era of high symbolism and metaphor, perhaps this is just a baby playing with a book.