Mary Cassatt, The Child’s Bath (1893)
This is one from Mary Cassatt’s maternity series. It conveys the intimacy and trust between mother and child, does it not? Mothering is a very physical experience. It’s like physicality multiplied many times because it is tied to rituals of feeding and washing–bathing the child, breast-feeding, diapering etc etc. It’s pretty ineffable an experience. The painting is enhanced by the decorative elements which were influenced by Japanese woodblocks, which the artist had seen at the Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris in 1890. The basin appears to be aesthetically paired with the vase in the composition.