Since Beyonce announced she and husband Jay Z are expecting twins, social media has been abuzz with theories about the deeper meaning behind the record-breaking Instagram photo.
Why is she wearing a veil? Why is she kneeling? Why so many flowers?
Armchair art critics have been keen to offer up their own explanations.
“So perhaps Beyonce’s having a girl & a boy, hence the pink bra & blue panties?” suggested @nicbamford on Twitter.
“She’s SURROUNDED by beautiful flowers. This is her connection with life and earth. She’s energised by nature” said @TheHelenOfTrill
”Pretty blatant Virgin Mary and pagan fertility imagery going on in Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement” added @MildlyAmused.
Others were more confused than enlightened by the picture’s composition.
Lisa McCray tweeted: “Friend. Do you legit not have stretch marks? How?”
Katie Leigh cut to the chase: “I cannot be the only one who thinks Beyonce’s maternity pictures are extremely weird.”
Meanwhile, the traditional press served up a more intellectual analysis of the photo.
The Guardian chose to interpret it on a purely artistic level, pointing out its resemblance to “late 15th century Flemish portraiture, when it was popular to depict a subject from a three-quarter angle, often in front of a landscape, and with hands clasped in front”.
The background flowers, it said, are derived from “rococo influences” as is the photo’s “overall celebration of love and pleasure”.
Vanity Fair described the photo as “high-concept”, mirroring famous historical paintings of “women of cultural importance,” including Queen Elizabeth I.
Australian online pop hub Junkee hired art historian Kate Roberts to appraise the photo, comparing it to works by the great masters of the past, including Raphael, Botticelli, Reubens and Warhol.
Meanwhile, the tabloids searched for proof that Beyonce is a member of the Illuminati – the shadowy secret society believed by conspiracy theorists to be the mastermind behind global events.
“Theories say the presence of a pyramid or triangle represents the top down command structure of the world.”
Elle magazine suggested Beyonce’s lack of clothing was a response to rumours from 2011 when she was pregnant with now five-year-old daughter Blue Ivy.
It was alleged after an appearance on an Australian talk show that Beyonce’s bump was fake. By stripping down to fully exposing her bump in 2017, there can be no doubt that this pregnancy is the real deal.
Whatever the deeper meaning behind Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement, it has got the world talking.
Had she simply posted a shot of an ultrasound or two blue lines on a home pregnancy test kit, it perhaps wouldn’t have become today’s top headline.
So much of the news in 2017 has revolved around political turmoil and shifting global dynamics.
Beyonce’s abstract and slightly surreal photo has provided some welcome relief, with social media users from across the spectrum briefly uniting under one sentiment – congratulations! Perhaps that is its real intention.