If you’ve been to churches in Europe, these images will be very familiar. They are everywhere, looming over the proceedings, reminding us of this very basic bond between mother and infant.
I recall taking a toddler to the Renaissance section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art once– he ran around on his wobbly legs pointing at the walls, crying out, “Mommy, baby, mommy, baby, mommy, baby…” Other gallery-goers chuckled. He had pretty summed it up.
What I love about these paintings is that there are so many strikingly familiar moments– a baby reaching for the boob, a mom relieved to see a baby sated and asleep on her lap. It’s also hard to believe, looking at these beautiful and iconic images, that so many people in America find public breastfeeding obscene.