Mother and Child is a beautiful painting that I loved as soon as I saw it. It depicts a mother holding her child in a tender embrace. Gustav Klimt was an Austrian painter who created this masterpiece in 1905 (Senses: Art Nouveau Brussels, 2008). This painting represents two of the human experiences; love, and pain. First I want to explain why it represents pain. Shortly after I was married, my husband and I decided we wanted to have a baby. After a few years of trying, I was finally pregnant. The joy was short lived as I miscarried a few weeks later. Devastated by this, we still decided to try again. The next pregnancy I carried the baby until 12 weeks and then miscarried for the second time. I had decided at that point that I could no longer endure another miscarriage and I did not want to try to have any more children. Nevertheless, I found myself pregnant for the third time a few weeks later. I was so hopeful that this time would be the time. Unfortunately, I miscarried again. This was the longest pregnancy at 16 weeks. That was a very dark time in my life and still makes me cry to this day. This painting makes me think of the babies I lost. This is almost too hard to explain, but I somehow feel both pain and a sense of calm. I feel pain looking at it because I could never hold my babies, but the sense of calm comes from the fact that I know I would have loved them just as much as the mother loves the child in the picture.
Like most stories, however, there is another side. This painting also represents love to me. After everything I had gone through, I then went on to have two beautiful and healthy baby boys. This painting expresses how I feel about my children, both the children I lost, and the children I have. I am so blessed to be a mother and to give my children the love that they need and deserve. To me, the mothers’ face expresses absolute and unconditional love. It is impossible to express the feelings I have toward my children in words and I think this painting does an excellent job conveying the message of love, support, caring, and bonding.
The social, cultural and moral values that this painting represents are those of the mother being the nurturer. The mother is a gentle, caring person in a child’s life. She shows compassion and understanding. The child can in turn learn from these values to be the same way. A mother can teach a child patience and tolerance. I believe this painting encompasses all of these values and shows the mother child relationship in a beautiful and natural state.
Senses: Art Nouveau Brussels. (2008). Gustav Klimt. Retrieved from http://www.senses-artnouveau.com/biography.php?artist=kli