"Attributed To Louis-leopold Boilly (1761-1845), Genre Scene Representing Maternal Love "Delicate period painting from the last quarter of the 18th century, representing a mother and her child in a rural landscape.
Our picture crystallizes the change that takes place in mentalities concerning the mother's place and the conception of maternal love.
Since the middle of the 18th century, there has been a global craze for everything related to "nature". The philosophers of enlightenment instill an unprecedented dynamic concerning the natural sciences and the questioning of the concepts of society and education. Jean-Jacques Rousseau develops in Emile, a reflection on the sensitive experience of the child. The expressivity of feelings hitherto tried to hide, enters into this general movement. In society, in art as in literature, emotion occupies a major place.
This very cultural construction of nature has consequences for the perception of maternal feeling, now considered "instinctive". The mother and the love that attaches her to her child are glorified by society.
We find in our painting the deep intimacy that unites the mother to her child. It reflects the discovery of sweetness, the fulfillment of a maternal vocation, the popularization of caresses and kisses from mother to child.
Here we see a mother tenderly hugging her little boy in a country setting. The tenderly entwined poses embody the mother's double sense of love and protection for the child. However, a certain staging is reflected in the dialogue of the eyes tied with the viewer and in the design of the decor. This pictorial snapshot captures during a walk, seems to be idealized by a multitude of details. The presence of a basket of fruit cleverly placed on a low relief as well as the company of a domestic animal certainly docile, translate a certain theatricality.
This genre scene celebrating a family life, is characteristic of the works that Boilly painted after 1791, invoking a more moralistic artistic approach than his previous representations.
Our painting was done with great care and gives great attention to attitudes and costumes, in a precise and delicate oil technique. The artist has applied himself to apply an almost miniaturist mastery which sublimates the brightness of the curtains, the suppleness of the flesh as well as the detail of the materials. The rendering of the fabrics, the straw hat, the dog's coat and the carved stone representing a cherub, are remarkably executed.
The velvety colors contribute to a wonderful work of shadows and lights, imbuing our picture with a delicious iridescent atmosphere.
By its attention to detail, this composition is a precious testimony to society at the time of the Revolution and the Directory.
Our painting dates from the end of the 18th century, around 1795. It is attributed to Louis-Léopold Boilly and it is presented in a gilded posterior frame, decorated with palmettes.
Oil on canvas (47 cm x 42 cm) and its frame (60 cm x 55 cm).
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