Mother and Child
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ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

Fairly sure this is bad parenting.  With all the Mom and Baby paintings out there, maybe Pierre Auguste Renoir wanted to show a “what not to do” scenario. 

Kid has no pants on, which seems unsanitary and also slightly dangerous considering his mom is just letting him harass that demonic cat, who is clearly displeased with the whole scenario.  Mom is lifting up his shirt further, unfazed by the fact that her son is naked as the day he was born, and if kitty scratches (as kitties are wont to do), Junior may lose his junior, if you catch my drift.  It’s a little weird if you ask me…at least her breasts are looking very maternal.

On the artsy side of things, this is pretty out there for 1895.  Renoir was after all one of the pioneers of Impressionism, which is what we call it when paintings make you think you need glasses.  It might also just be blurry because he was super old in 1895.  He had rheumatoid arthritis in his hands, which could explain the shakiness of the brushstrokes here.

Renoir was generally a badass though, and kept painting for another 20 years, even when the deformities in his hands made in necessary to strap the paintbrush to his wrist.  All to bring us this strange snapshot of domesticity.