Motherhood, ca. 1800s


Maternité (Motherhood) by Marguerite Gérard, ca. 1800s

French artist Marguerite Gérard (1761-1837) was the first successful female genre painter ever, and produced steadily throughout her life. Her favorite subjects were mothers and children, although she herself never married. Her portraits conveyed an intimacy and beauty not often seen in domestic paintings, likely the influence of her appreciation of the Dutch golden age painters.


Born in Grassé, France, she moved to Paris at age eight to live with her sister Marie Anne, who just happened to be married to storied artist Jean Honoré Fragonard. Under his tutelage, and other masters of their coterie at the Louvre (they lived apartments in the Louvre for thirty years!), she became an artist recognized in her own right by the mid-1780s. After the Parisian Salons were opened to women, she became a regular exhibitor, drawing the attention of and purchase power of the likes of Napoleon and King Louis XVII. She died in Paris in 1837 at the remarkable age of seventy-six.

source:  obstinate headstrong girl

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