|Arrangement in Grey and Black (1871) James McNeill Whistler|
|Portrait of the Artist's Mother (1902) Joseph Edward Southall|
|Portrait of the Artist's Mother (1886) James Cadenhead|
|The Artist's Mother (late 1840s) Frederick Sandys|
It's all very well being the subject of your son's picture, but what of the anonymous mother of Nineteenth Century imagery? When the subject is in the abstract, 'the mother' becomes a symbol, an icon, an eternal.
|Motherhood (1890s) Arthur Hughes|
|Mother and Child (Spring) Christopher Williams|
|Maternity (1873) Leon Perrault|
|After a Sleepless Night (1893) Kalle Lochen|
|Weaning Jules Ernest Renoux|
There was a plethora of images of cheery ladies/chubby infants/maternal pride, like this...
|'Oh look, I had a baby, I rule. Plus your bum looks big in that...'|
|A Son's Devotion (1868) Pierre Castan|
Ahh, look, rural sons love their mums. Look, this nice young man has made his old mum some food because he loves her so much. It seems a shame that his sister is using his moment of affection to pick her mother's pocket, but that's life. They are poor after all, so it's good to start your life of petty crime early.
|Mother and Daughter (1910) Frank Dicksee|
|Mother has Fallen Asleep Delapoer Downing|
Anyway, I have two favourite images of Victorian motherhood, I couldn't chose between them as they are both so gorgeous. Firstly, we have this rather Thomas Hardy number...
|The Wayfarer George Hitchcock|
|A Mother and Child by a River, with Wild Roses (1900) Mildred Butler|
Anyway, happy Mothering Sunday/Refreshment Sunday or whatever you call it, I hope you have a lovely day filled with maternal jollity and stuff. I'm off to laze around in my pyjamas a bit more while dying the grey bits out of my hair. What sent me grey? Oh yes, motherhood....