In Honor Of Mother's Day, A Look At The Moms Of Art History

These Are The Beautiful Mothers Of Art History

Happy Mother's Day!

Since -- as they say -- a picture's worth a thousand words, we'd like to pay homage to every mom with a collection of artworks that put mothers on parade. Behold, the beautiful mommas of art history, from the woman who birthed Whistler to a Pieta to a massive sculpture of a spider dedicated to mamans everywhere.

Here's to the quiet but powerful moms out there
Wikimedia Commons
James Whistler, "Whistler's Mother," 1871
The ones who've literally washed our feet
Wikimedia Commons
Mary Cassatt, "The Bath," 1893
Who never leave us without a shoulder to cry on
Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
Cindy Sherman, "Untitled," 1976/1989, black and white photograph of a 1976 collage
Image courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, NY
Motoyuki Daifu, "Family," 2011 c-print 30 x 40 inches
Who endlessly watch over us
Wikimedia Commons
Vincent Van Gogh, "Portrait of the artist's mother," 1888, oil on canvas
To the mothers who lovingly worry about their children
© The Lucian Freud Archive Photo © The Lucian Freud Archive
Lucian Freud, "The Painter's Mother," 1983 Charcoal and pastel on paper, 12 3/4 x 9 3/4 in. (32.4 x 24.8 cm)
Who protect us
Wikimedia Commons
Louise Bourgeois, "Maman," 1999, at Bürkliplatz, Zürich, Switzerland
Who've loved us since we were helpless babies
Wikimedia Commons
Adolphe Bouguereau, "Maternal Admiration," 1869
And helpless adults
Wikimedia Commons
Michelangelo, "Pieta," 1498
Who carried and carry us
Wikimedia Commons
Egon Schiele, "Tote Mutter," 1910
To the mommas who advise us
Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Statue of Isis Holding the Child Horus, ca. 664-525 B.C.E.
Who provide for us
Wikimedia Commons
Dorothea Lange, "Migrant Mother With Three Children," 1936
Who love us no matter what
© The Estate of Alice Neel Courtesy David Zwirner, New York
Alice Neel, "Mother and Child," 1926
To the mothers who are never short on hugs
Wikimedia commons
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, "Mother and Daughter," 1789
Wikimedia Commons
Gustav Klimt, "Death and Life," 1908–1916
To our first teachers
Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Caroline H. Polhemus.
Platt Powell Ryder, "The Illustrated Newspaper," 1868. Oil on canvas, 16 7/8 x 13 13/16 in. (42.9 x 35.1 cm)
Who are always with us, even when they're not
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
Joan Miro, "Seated Woman and Child (Femme assise et enfant)," 1967 Painted bronze, 48 1/4 x 16 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (122.6 x 42.5 x 41.9 cm.)
Because moms are the best
Flickr: Reggie Rachuba
Fernando Botero, "Mother and Child," Bronze, 1988
And they deserve a day of celebration
Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund
Mary Cassatt, "Woman in a Red Bodice and Her Child," ca. 1901. Oil on canvas, 27 x 20 1/4 in. (68.6 x 51.4 cm)

For more on Mother's Day, check out the essay "A Love Letter to My Mother, an Artist."

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