Collect it. Connect it. Show it to the world.
Art

The Mother; Thomas Kennington (1856-1916), English; 1895; 1956.037

The Mother; Thomas Kennington (1856-1916), English; 1895; 1956.037
Name/Title
The Mother
About this object
Thomas Kennington was born in Great Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London and the Académie Julian in Paris and brought back to London the artistic influence of the French painters he admired. Kennington became a famous portrait and genre painter.

The theme of family life featured strongly in Victorian painting and lessons were to be drawn from the art works. They were visual puzzles to be worked out. Domestic scenes provided models of how adults and children should behave.
This huge painting of The Mother shows her as the cornerstone of the family and the composition of this painting underlines this. The entire work literally centres on the wedding ring on the mother’s finger.

In this painting the mother tends to two of her young children while an older daughter helps. She is being trained up for her future role. The dramatic and darker silhouette of the mother on the right is contrasted with the brighter area of sleeping children on the left bathed in the glow of the lamp she is carrying. It is unusual to find a painting in which the key subject has their back to the viewer and whose face cannot be seen entirely. The mother shields her children from harm and also from the viewer.

While this painting presents an ideal, rosy-hued view the reality for many Victorian mothers was quite different. Early death due to childbirth problems, sickness and hard work were common. Families were much larger and a bed this size would probably have had four to six children sleeping top to toe.

This is one of the key works in Aigantighe’s superb Victorian collection representing narrative painting on a grand scale.
Date Made
1895
Medium and Materials
Oil on canvas
Measurements
115 x 168.2 cm
Collection
Aigantighe Art Gallery Collection
Credit Line
Presented in 1956 from the collection of James Craigie.
Object Type
Painting
Object number
1956.037

Tags

A Mother's Love
Help
children

Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.


Copyright Licence Help
All rights reserved
Bookmark and Share
+ Add Comment Help
eHive copyright disclaimer

It is the responsibility of the eHive Account Holder to gain copyright clearance for any images or content published on eHive. If you are concerned about the copyright status for any content in eHive or would like more information on using or ordering copies of content, please contact the Account Holder of that content. If you would like more information on our copyright policy, click here.

© 2014  Vernon Systems Ltd