Mother & Child, Brittany by Bartlett, 1907
Mother & Child, Brittany painted by Charles William Bartlett, printed in The Art Journal, 1907.
The subject of mother and child can be found in the art of every culture. It can be found in a variety of different media, from painting to sculpture, and style, from naturalistic to abstract. Genre art is filled with examples of mothers caring for their children. It is a symbol that can be used for a number of different purposes. For example many artists use the image of a mother grieving over a child to emphasize the horrors of war or disasters. While the depiction of a mother caring for a young child has long been used to promote ideals of womanhood. It is also a feature in the art of several religions. The Madonna and Child has been among the most easily recognizable symbols of Christian art for centuries.
Charles William Bartlett (1860-1940) was an English painter and printmaker. He was an extensive traveller and found inspiration for his art in the countries he visited. His artistic career began at the age of twenty-three when he enrolled in the Royal Academy. After three years of study he joined the Académie Julian. After the death of his first wife, whom he married in 1889, and infant son, Bartlett spent a great deal of time in Europe where he produced some of his best early works. He joined the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1897 and help found the Société de la Peinture a l'Eau in 1908. Five years later he and his second wife, Catherine Main, embarked on a trip to India, Indonesia, China and Japan. While in Japan he produced prints for Japanese publisher Watanabe Shozaburo (1885-1962), who was a leading force in twentieth century Japanese art. In 1917, they stopped in Hawaii on there way back to England, where they remained for the rest of their lives. Anne Rice Cooke (1853-1934), founder of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, became Bartlett's patron and in 1928 he helped found the Honolulu Printmakers.
- Naomi Bean