Famous paintings celebrating mother's love

Famous paintings celebrating mother's love
Feeding the Young, by Jean-Francois Millet, 1850, housed at the Louvre.
PHOTO: Artron.net

Have you prepared anything special for your mother to express your gratitude towards her on the Mother's Day, which falls this Sunday?

Originally, the Mother's Day was marked as a day on which the ancient Greeks paid their respects to the mother of all gods in Greece, Gaea.

But the modern day's version traces its roots to the US when the Congress named every second Sunday in May as the Mother's Day in 1914.

But long before there was Mother's Day, artists have been expressing emotion to their mothers through their brushes.

Let's take a look at images of mothers in art pieces.

Portraits of artists' mothers:

Mother Sick in Bed, by Zhang Xiaoqin

Photo: Artron.net

Watercolor painter Cheng Wenzheng remembers that when he was little, he always woke up at night seeing her mother doing needle work under the dark oil lamp.

A day in 2007, when he saw the scene again, Cheng picked up his brush, and created this painting.

When his mother saw it, she was very happy, saying "That's me", like a child. This is maybe the best expression of love to mother.

Mother, by He Duoling

Photo: Artron.net

The painting was drawn before He Duoling's mother passed away, to record his mother's image on the canvas.

He said that he couldn't communicate well with his mother emotionally, while the blood relationship and human sentiment connects them together.

Mother Sick in Bed, by Zhang Xiaoqin

Photo: Artron.net

The sketch of the painter's mother is stored deep in the drawer, and Zhang never took it out for any exhibition and contest.

The painting portrays her mother in a not-so-beautiful moment, although it is the most important commemoration for her.

When Zhang's mother was sick in 2005, Zhang stayed with her every day.

One day when her mother fell asleep while having an intravenous drip, Zhang, realizing that her mother may leave the world anytime, drew her mother's image on her canvas.

Rembrandt's Mother, by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1631, housed at Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Photo: Artron.net

Rembrandt drew this portrait of his mother when he was 25 years old.

In this painting, an honest woman, in red velvet coat, brown scarf on head, sitting on a broken stool reads the Bible.

Her wrinkles show that she had suffered in life. The woman looks silent and calm, while quite appalling.

Portraits of Mother, by Albrecht Durer, 1510-1514, housed at the Durer Art Gallery in Berlin

Photo: Artron.net

The charcoal-made artwork was created two months before Durer's mother passed away.

The lady in the portrait has a weather-worn face, and looks kind and sincere.

The art piece, which shows his respect and love to his mother, is the only portrait of Durer's mother.

Portrait of Mother, by Paul Gauguin

Photo: Artron.net

Gauguin and Van Gogh all painted portraits of their mothers through photos.

Gauguin painted his mother from a photo when she was young, while he exaggerated his mother's facial features for a little bit, with the lip thicker and nose wider, to highlight his mother's Spanish ancestry.

Portrait of Mother, by Vincent van Gogh

Photo: Artron.net

Van Gogh, however, thought the original black-and-white photo of his mother was too dull, so he portrayed his mother according to his memory, with the face in light green and eyes deep green.

Artist and His Mother, by Arshile Gorky

Photo: Artron.net

This painting, from US artist Arshile Gorky, portrays a photo of him and his mother.

The original photo was sent to his father living in US, but it became a solace for him as his mother died shortly afterwards.

Arshile modified and drew the painting again and again, as if he was not willing to admit his mother's passing away.

Portraits of Mother, by Lucian Freud

Photo: Artron.net

This is among a dozen of portraits Freud painted of his mother, and the most representative one.

The white gown his mother wears reveals a sense of pureness and nobility, which shows the artist's respect to his mother.

Portraits of Mother, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Photo: Artron.net

In 1814, Ingres' mother went to Rome to visit him, and Ingres painted a portrait of his mother.

The portrait looks lifelike, as if Ingres' mother can walk out of the canvas anytime.

The love between the son and mother fuse together in the painting.

Sister and Mother, by Berthe Morisot

Photo: Artron.net

The painting, from French impressionist Berthe Morisot, portrays Berthe's mother and sister, who wear black dress and white dress respectively, forming sharp contrast.

The two lady's faces seem tranquil, and the whole art piece, in gentle hue, contains rich emotions.

My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, by David Hockney, 1982

Photo: Artron.net

In this artwork, David Hockney portrays a woman wearing a cheap raincoat who seems quite lonely, using the photo collage.

At the bottom, a pair of expensive leather shoes are shown on purpose as a contrast.

The artist wants to show his and his mother's difficult situation and their desperate life.

Spring Silkworm, by Luo Zhongli, 1983

Photo: Artron.net

The painting portrays a mother, with her head lowered, fiddling with silkworms, and her slivery white hair just like silk.

The mother's face is not shown, the whole background and ray cast make audiences' eyes focus on the mother's silk-like white hair.

Mary with the Child and Singing Angels, by Sandro Botticelli

Photo: Artron.net

In this Italian artist's painting, the goddess, in grim look, seems worried about the future of the Christ, and shows the mother's deep love to the child.

The Laundress, by Honore Daumier

Photo: Artron.net


French artist Daumier was familiar with and cared about the common people's lives.

In this painting, he portrayed a very common scene from life, a mother taking laundry with a child.

The painter highlights the characters' body movements, which depicts a mother rushing home and reveals her spirit of struggling for life bravely.

Little Thieves, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Photo: Artron.net

Bouguereau's painting depicts a touching life scene of a mother and a child.

His works pay attention to maternal love, and especially the depicting of feminine beauty, which have a tendency of aestheticism.

Feeding the Young, by Jean-Francois Millet, 1850, housed at the Louvre

The painting depicts three children being fed by their mother in turn, which reflects the poor life of countryside people at that time, and the mother's love towards her children.

The Bath, by Mary Cassatt

Photo: Artron.net

This is US female artist Mary Cassatt's masterpiece.

The whole painting, with bright and warm colors, shows serene and soft love of mom to her daughter.

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