Prompts for RWJ, Prompt 181


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.


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