The Art of Motherhood

Inspired by my own three children, this collection depicts the shared intimate beauty between a mother and her children. Each piece is unique in its texture, perspective, and composition- paintings and sculptures- just as each mother is unique in rearing a child. 

This pre-Hispanic painting depicts an indigenous family huddled together. This family is poor. Their clothes are painted tattered and worn while they sit on a woven rug. There is no furniture in this room either. But in this precious moment, mother and children bond together, possibly telling the youngest child a story, despite their poorly situation.
A beautiful marble statue of a young mother and her infant child. Both are naked as they gaze into each other's eyes. Perhaps they have just bathed or baby is signaling it is ready to nurse as it grabs at it's mother's skin. It is documented that skin-to-skin contact helps create a bond between mother and child while nursing and has been practiced for centuries.
In this Inuit piece, we see a mother holding her child close to her bosom. She would carry her child with her for most of the child's first years of life. Notice that the mother is portrayed with thick arms and legs as well as a rounded stomach. As the Inuit are from the Arctic region- she could be depicted as the ideal woman/wife/mother with her portly characteristics (a thicker body provides more heat and a better chance at living in the harsh icy conditions)
Yet another precious moment frozen in time on a piece of canvas. This painting was created to celebrate the artist's child being born. The painting captures the moment after birth as mother and child rest from what could have been hours upon hours of labor. The soft colors speak of a peaceful and quiet setting as they both lay in bed and look at each other.
As it is a joy to become a mother- all moments are not joyous. "Mother Lamenting Over Her Child" is based off a poem of a mother grieving over her infant child's untimely death- a mother's worst nightmare.The composition of the painting is in dark shading to reflect the mood of in mourning. You can notice the contrast of skin tone between the living sibling, rosy and pink, compared to the deceased infant, yellow and pale.
This small statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis and Horus could be one of the very fist depictions of the bond between mother and child. Here, the goddess offers her breast to the infant Horus, while still bearing a regal crown/headdress.
One of the few paintings depicting a fay family of fauns. Here we can see what we would call a 'normal' family. The male faun sits at the foot of his fresh kill while the female faun, presumably his wife, stands idly aside with their children. The difference between skin tone is evident as well. The male's skin seems to be darker than the female and children, suggesting he spends more time in direct sunlight as a hunter or even a farmer. The paler skin tone in the female suggests her main job is to raise their children.
A personal favorite. This painting depicts the Holy Family. The Virgin Mary offers her breast to the infant Christ as Joseph watches over them. The Madonna is draped in red, signifying the earth in which her son was born and the infant Christ is naked, a possible signification of his moral birth.
Another personal favorite. Japanese art is flat tone in color- or little to no shading. Here we see a mother holding her infant child, possibly rocking him to sleep. The lines are bold and crisp. The infant's kimono is brighter in color compared to his mother's kimono; possibly to signify new youth.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has 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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