Breastfeeding in public recurs in the public debate from time to time. Whether it’s a legal, ethical, or aesthetic matter… Whether you’re a mother, a hungry baby, or an annoyed passerby, these paintings show that breastfeeding is as beautiful as nature itself.
1. Paul Cézanne
2. Stanisław Wyspiański
This tender portrayal of maternal care was created by Polish master Stanisław Wyspiański, a true Renaissance man who, besides painting, kept himself busy with writing plays, poetry, interior design, and… architecture!
3. Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt, who never had children of her own, was very keen on depicting mothers with their children. Her life story is quite remarkable. Cassatt was one of a few female artists, and the only American, to fully integrate with the male-dominated clique of Impressionists.
4. Kitagawa Utamaro
Kitagawa Utamaro was a Japanese printmaker, and one of the most esteemed representatives of the ukiyo-e style in Japanese woodblock prints. His sensual depictions of Japanese women in his prints were of profound influence on 19th-century Western art, among his many admirers was Mary Cassatt who’s mentioned above.
5. Jean Fouquet
This painting is one of the most fascinating masterpieces of 15th-century European art. While this Madonna hardly fits in the standards of religious art of that time, nowadays it could be easily classified as an avant-garde piece. Learn more about this painting’s story here.
Did you know that the nursing Virgin Mary was quite a common sight in Italian Renaissance art? The so-called Nursing Madonna or Madonna Lactans is a religious representation belonging to the official Christian iconography, only to be discouraged by the Church in the aftermath of the Council of Trent (1545-1563), on grounds of decorum.