A child is a human being who has not yet attained puberty. Different parts of the world and societies have various metrics to measure who a child is. These metrics give us a wide range of qualities by which we can qualify who or what a child is. It doesn’t matter how we view it; children make the world an exciting place and are a source of hope, especially for the future.
Aesthetics refers mainly to beauty and the study of beauty. Simply put, “aesthetic perception” is the perception of things classified as artworks, regardless of their value. One of the things intrinsically present in every human being, regardless of age or development, is the ability to recognize and appreciate beauty. It is easy for children to appreciate beauty.
This article will examine a few famous paintings of children that are very aesthetically pleasing and hold deep meaning concerning the importance of childhood.
L’ Innocence (Innocence)
William Adolphe Bouguereau did this first painting. It depicts a mother who is moving with her little child. Many of Bouguereau’s works were based on mythological and religious themes, emphasizing the study of the feminine figure.
Throughout his career, Bouguereau painted numerous works featuring women and children. Still, maybe none are as sweet and moving as his religiously-themed mother picture, “L’Innocence”.
The painting depicts the Virgin Mary carrying a lamb in one arm and a sleeping infant Jesus in the other. The lamb stands in for the future sacrifice that Jesus will make for his followers, and the realistically warm depiction of a mother and child eloquently captures a mother’s love.
The Madonna Of The Chair
Yet another famous painting of children is by the famous artist Raphaello Sanzio da Urbino. Widely known as Raphael, he was an Italian High Renaissance artist. Along with Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, the Italian painter Raphael is regarded as one of the three great artists.
Raphael also produced many works featuring women and children and other works honoring the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus, demonstrating once more the pervasiveness of this topic in the arts in that era.
One of the famous paintings of children is his “Madonna Della Seggiola” or “The Madonna of the Chair” piece. Raphael paints several Madonna portraits, but “The Madonna of the Chair” is one of his most delicate and significant works. This magnificent artwork of a mother and infant has a spiritual harmony and a tone of tranquility that is unmatched in its genre.
Mother And Child
Like Bouguereau, Gustav Klimt created several works that feature women and children in various scenarios. However, Klimt went a step further, painting unclothed mothers cradling their young children and even pregnant ladies, all of which were taboo at the period.
The mother and kid in Klimt’s 1905 painting “Mother and Child” are shown as being relatively recently crowned. The original work, “The Three Stages of Woman”, featured many ladies in various stages of life, with the mother carrying the infant taking center stage.
The picture has a warm, welcoming atmosphere thanks to its natural appearance and gentle holistic tones. The mother and child motif’s nature and nurture symbolism are brilliantly captured in the painting.
Portrait Of A Boy, Aged Six
This is a famous painting done by Jan de Bray in 1654. The appearance of this six-year-old is anything from youthful. He is dressed like a grown man, casting a grave glance our way. But what makes him appear older than his years is most definitely the fact that he is staring down at us from above. He now has a heroic aura that is at odds with his youth. Unknown is the boy’s identity.
Like the painter Jan de Bray, his parents most likely hail from Haarlem. Jan de Bray spent most of his life in his hometown of Haarlem, where he was born into a well-known family of artists.
Despite being young—the inscription states that he is only six years old—this youngster has large blue eyes and looks at us gravely, almost tragically. Due to our propensity to show or capture toddlers grinning or laughing in photographs, his look impresses the modern observer as ever so solemn. Contrary to that idea is the closed lips with somewhat downward bent corners. The boy’s look would not have been interpreted as depressing but as suitable and courteous in an era when laughter was frowned upon for a portrait.
The Madonna Litta is a late 15th-century artwork in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg that is frequently credited to Leonardo da Vinci. It features the Madonna Lactans, representing the Virgin Mary nursing the Christ child.
As in Leonardo’s previous Madonna of the Carnation, the figures are in a dark room with two arched doorways. Beyond them is a mountainous landscape seen from an aerial viewpoint. In his left hand, Christ is depicted holding a goldfinch, representing his future Passion.
The painting emphasizes motherly love. The Church is represented by Mary’s blue mantle, while her scarlet garment represents the passion of Christ. The goldfinch represents Jesus’ impending crucifixion in the future. The vastness of God’s creation of the earth is reflected in the mountainous backdrop.
In this article, we have briefly examined iconic paintings of children that hold deep meaning. It is quite instructive that many famous paintings of children usually depict them in the arms of a loving mother. It shows how important nurture and care are to a child’s development.