Artworks
Donna Gravida
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gstecyk's picture

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Donna Gravida means “Pregnant Woman” in Italian, so this is a painting of...you guessed it, a pregnant woman!  

Corinth borrows the title and general pose from a renaissance portrait of an unidentified pregnant lady attributed to Raphael.  Like Raphael’s painting, this donna has a single hand resting on her baby bump, but Corinth’s lady ditches the binding 16th-Century attire and lets it all hang out.  She wears a comfortable, loose-fitting smock with the tops of her bare nipples peeping out.

Corinth was one of those rare guys who’s almost creepily obsessed with women, yet actually respects and understands their bodies.  Unlike his renaissance counterpart Raphael, Corinth knew that making a pregnant woman pose for hours on end in Shakespeare In Love-type undergarments would not produce a happy sitter.  Raphael’s version does look decidedly mopey.  Corinth’s donna is enjoying a no-bra day, the expectant mother’s best friend.  All she needs now are some pickles and ice-cream.

Corinth had a great deal of sympathy for the condition of pregnancy after watching his beloved wife/model/student Charlotte endure successive pregnancies.  Charlotte was utterly devoted to him, and never complained over years of bearing children and furthering her husband’s career at the expense of her own.  Charlotte was a painter in her own right, an insatiable drive to keep painting even while heavily pregnant.  At least Corinth appreciated what she went through, as this natural and un-confining portrait of pregnancy shows.