Happy Mother's Day - Artist's Paintings of Their Mothers...


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From Whistler to Warhol, Famous Artists Paint Their Mothers, Part One of Two.



In honor of Mother's Day this coming Sunday, I thought I'd share with you several portraits of the female forebearers of various respected and well-known painters. The portraits range from the 15th century to the present* - excluding paintings of The Madonna, arguably the most famous of all mothers.

Most artists, at one time or another, have painted a portrait of the woman from whose womb they sprang. Some are flattering, some are not and others are very personal or intimate -- yet all are an homage to the parent whose role we celebrate this Sunday, May 8th.

There are so many, I'm breaking this up into two posts. Today I am featuring paintings of artists' mothers prior to the 20th century and tomorrow I will be featuring Part Two, more recent homages to Mom by such artists as Hopper, Dali, Hockney, and Warhol.

A good place to start would be with the world's most well-known "Mother" artwork, that of by James McNeill Whistler, painted in 1871:


above: James McNeill Whistler, Whistler's Mother 1871, Musée d'Orsay, Paris

The following portraits are presented in chronological order from the earliest to the most recent. While it's true that many of these artists painted multiple sittings of their mothers (e.g. Lautrec, Cassat, and Cezanne), I chose to share those I found to be the most compelling.

Albrecht Durer, portrait of Barbara Durere, the artist's mother, 1490:


Guido Reni, Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 1612:


Rembrandt, Portrait of the Artist's Mother, 1630:

http://ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com.br/2011/05/from-whistler-to-warhol-famous-artists.html <<<<lots more in the link...

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  • 9 months later...

Do you note the resemblance amongst our countenances? That resigned yet faintly rebellious expression means "This is the last time I'm sitting here because your model did not show up. I've got a cake in the oven!"

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in re models, I recently read The Truth About Delilah Blue by Tish Cohen. The protagonist is an artist and artists' model, and it beautifully says a lot about art and life. I think Jonathan would enjoy it. Actually anyone would who likes good novels/

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