“Because you are a special being.” Ancient and contemporary art celebrate the same mother

IOur journey into the world of art begins with …

Piero, Louise & Josephine, 1445-1947-1999

Two, or rather three drops of water: the «Madonna of Mercy” out of Piero della Francescawho quite naturally spreads his arms wide and lifts his great cloak to invite the people to take refuge there, and the “Mama” by Louise Bourgeois, a giant spider mother who holds her young’s marble eggs in her womb but stands ready to protect anyone who seeks a home beneath her body. Louise’s mother was a tapestry weaver, so Maman is also the working mom able to weave the plans for the future of her children and the world.

There, too, she is a full Maman «Black Venus» Josephine Baker with his “Rainbow Tribe”, consisting of the twelve children he wanted to adopt from all over the world.

Michelangelo & Jan, 1497 – 2011

Two mothers who caused scandals in the very distant future. When they appear, the Michelangelo’s Pieta caused some confusion in this almost-adolescent mother, such as appearing even younger than her own son. But such is the Trinity that Dante himself sings about in Paradise: “Virgin mother, daughter of thy son”. More than five centuries later, the Jan Fabre’s Pieta she was even accused of blasphemy.

But having replaced Michelangelo’s mother’s face with a skull and that of Jesus with his own self-portrait is meant to be nothing but the intense depiction of a mother who would love nothing more than to die in her son’s place.

Ambrogio & Vanessa, 1492 – 2006

That Bergognone’s Madonna del Lattepreserved in the Accademia Carrara, is one of the most delicate testimonies of perhaps the richest iconography in the history of Christian art.

It looks like the red-haired Madonna herself Vanessa Beecroftwho slips into the role of Mother Nature in 2006, who protects and breastfeeds her children (orphaned twins Madit and Mongor, met on a trip to Sudan) from fire across all geographic, cultural and genetic borders.

Piero & Pino, 1450-1964

In another masterpiece by Piero della Francescathat “Madonna del Parto” In frescoes in Monterchi di Arezzo we find Maria in the role of any pregnant woman, “photographed” in the totally natural gesture of bringing her hand to her hip and arching her back to support the weight of the already developed belly.

Not so different is the “Maternity” of made immortal Pino Pascalicontemporary picture of permanent pregnancy, halted at eight months, in perpetual expectation of giving birth to the future.

Jerome & Anish, 1480-2004

A famous symbol of motherhood in art, the egg signifies life, birth, rebirth, the revelation of a surprise in all cultures. In his “Garden of Earthly Delights”, Bosch overturns the destiny of creation and instead of taking back a humanity emerging from an open shell, he envisions them returning there in search of a prenatal state.

The same rewind who lives who flees among the great «Cloud Gate» installed by Anisk Kapoor in Chicago, a big belly ready to welcome both the finite and the infinite: the whole city and the sky reflected in it.

Giacomo & Dorothea, 1730-1936

Amid so many depictions of middle-class mothers struggling to care for their children in their tastefully decorated rooms, said Giacomo Ceruti the Pitocchetto it shows a very poor mother who has been reduced to the point of exhaustion and does not even have milk to feed her child.

The same fate befalls Flores, the “Migrant Mother” she photographed. Dorothea Lange in the image that has become an icon of America’s Great Depression: a poor pea-picking mother living in a tent with her children.

Francesco & Mariella, 1535 – 2015

Who is not fascinated by the “Long-necked Madonna” of Parmesan?

In his series “The next era”, the artist from Bergamo shows Mariella Bettineschi it doubles its gaze, as if to say that the mother is the one who, thanks to two pairs of eyes, can see beyond things, shows us how to face the future, is a woman capable of “putting the world into the world bring to”. .

Massimo & Gilian, 1949-2003

Sometimes mother and daughter fall together, they really are one.

It happens in a portrait of Massimo Campiglias well as in “Self-Portrait as My Mother” by Gillan wears.

Andrea & Ermanno, 1496 – 1978

Motherhood is not just a private fact, but a sign of hope and rebirth that affects the whole community, if not all of humanity. In “Madonna della Vittoria by Mantegna», The birth of the child is shared with the communion of saints, within that natural order of things that unfolds on a great pergola piled with fruits swollen with symbolic juices, from cedars (incorruptibility) to pomegranates (abundance), from the coral that banishes negative presences to the walnut that protects the fruit in a leathery shell.

Children are also a guarantee for the future in choral history “The Tree of Hooves” by Olmi: “Children are born alone, without outside help” his wife, who has just given birth to their third child, tells Batistì. And when her husband points out that it is “Another Mouth to Feed”she answers promptly: “But no, you don’t have to worry. It goes rigurdì cusa va disìa la pora òsta màma? When a beautiful baby is born, Providence gives him his little bundle”.

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