Jul 7, 2018

Tender looks

Rmn-Grand Palais

What could be more natural than to begin our exploration of glances and the feelings they express with "tenderness"? Here we refer to the tenderness of parents with regard to their children,

and especially that of mothers who so tenderly care for their children during the first days of their lives.

In Europe, the iconic "Virgin and Child" trope was seen as serious and severe until the Middle Ages, when it took on a certain tenderness and began to embody an ideal and universal kind of maternal love.

And so, the sacred entered daily life through Georges de La Tour's 17th-century work .

The daily life appeared sacred with Tamara de Lempicka in the 20th century.

Indeed, the whole extended family has become conducive to evoking tenderness.

Mothers and their children have been swiftly joined by brothers, sisters, grandparents, and grandchildren.

Subtle differences emanate from the attentive eyes of the characters featured, varying by generation: the astonishment of young mothers,

the gentleness and protection of the eldest,

and the admiration of the youngest.

Body language, such as entwined arms or a hand resting on a shoulder or chest, reinforces the meaning behind these candid look directed at the onlooker, who is likely to find himself touched by these looks of love.

Rmn-Grand Palais
Credits: Story

We would like to thank:
- For design, illustrations, writing, and coordination of the RMN-Grand Palais project: Cécile Maisonneuve (Doctor of Art History, Policy Officer, Scientific Council), Nathalie Gathelier (National Museums Speaker), Annie Madec (Iconographer), Françoise Lombardi-Peissel (Project Manager) at RMN-Grand Palais.
- For reproductions: French museum collections represented by the Photo Agency of the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais:
Montpellier, Musée Fabre; Versailles, Musée Lambinet; Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Paris, The Louvre; Paris, Centre Pompidou (Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre de Création Industrielle).

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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