• Kristine Spencer

Classical Presentation of Motherly Love in Painting: Can Modern Mothers Relate?

Updated: Mar 12

Motherly love has been explained and defined in many ways of presentation. It cannot be denied that even in history, being a mother is defined as the noblest work women are known for.


The theme of Madonna and Child, primarily presenting Mary and Jesus and the connection that they share, has been explored many times by many painters then and now.


The inspiration that is created by this picture has made it possible for artists of different ages and generations to find a way of creating their versions of the same image. Mothers have been expected to care for their children from infancy onwards. This is the special connection and bond that a mother and her child comes from.




Artists such as Rafaello Sanzio da Urbino were among the many fascinated by this representation of unconditional love.


The modern picture of motherhood seems to take another turn. Women who have given birth to their children are now also expected to fully provide or at least partake in the manner of providing for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of their young ones.


With all the exhaustion that they experience, mothers often lose time or even the drive to spend some more bonding moments with their children when they get home. Other mothers cannot even get a decent minute to care for themselves. In the process, the mother-and-child connection is slowly getting lost along the way. While this picture may not be true for every mother out there, the pressure that this time and age has created for modern mothers is certainly real and has a huge impact on how mothers connect with their children.


Surely, the picture of motherhood has changed. But then again, the value that it serves the lives of people remains the same. The very reason why mothers go beyond their comfort zone to provide for their children is that they love them, which equates to the same level of attention and protection that mothers in the past have provided for their children.


The bond that mothers share with their children will continue to stay alive, especially in the sense that historical art pieces like that of Rafaello Sanzio de Urbino continue to remind the modern society of what history has defined real motherhood is about.


A more in-depth discussion on this painting in the book “Madonna of Divine Love by Raffaello” by Carla Nicole De Petris shall bring to life the history behind the work and create a more profound appreciation of how the artist himself came with his version of mother and child love. Reading through Carle de Petris’ narrative shall bring you back to the days when Rafaello first stroked this work and bring to life a theme that lasts for a lifetime. In this book, knowing the story behind the painting certainly redefines the picture and the message that the work and the artist intended to convey.




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