Mother and Child: Celebrating Mothers Through Women Artists

Mother and Child: Celebrating Mothers Through Women Artists

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than through the art of women? Talented female artists bring to life the relationship between mother and child with keen insight and loving detail.

Mothers are celebrated in the art of women, from museum paintings to original illustrations. Celebrated women artists bring to life the relationship between women and their children in tender images that transcend time and history with their loving bond.

Jessie Wilcox Smith

A classic children’s artist from the “golden age” of illustration, Smith paintings often depicted a mother’s care, patience, and love. A mother cooing over her baby for a magazine cover, helping a child dress, or planting a small seedling together. Other mother-child relationships appear in her popular children’s illustration, including prints from “At the Back of the North Wind” depicting the Wind herself comforting her young charge.

Mary Cassatt

Cassatt’s artwork depicted several scenes of mother and child. A woman cradles her baby in a familiar embrace; another lies half-awake in bed, gazing at the form of the toddler she holds propped up in a sitting position. A scene of a mother sewing, concentrated on her work as her daughter leans against her knees, staring into the curious faces of her audience. The lifelike expressions on their face, their concentration on everyday tasks makes these scenes real to the observer.

A Cassatt mother and child, The Bath

Holly Hobbie

Popular novelty illustrator Holly Hobbie brought her own mother-child relationships to life in original paintings transformed into greeting cards, stationary, calendars, and collectibles. Her own daughters appear in several prints, along with mother’s day designs conveying the loving relationship between them.

Mother and child appear in images throughout art history, but the images painted by women artists have an appeal and realism that draws us to the stories in their paintings. Scenes of tenderness and everyday life between women and children, brought to life with the stroke of a woman’s brush.

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