The subject of mother and child first entered Gari Melchers' body of work in the 1890s. His deep fascination with the concepts of maternity prompted the artist to return to his favorite theme repeatedly over the next forty years. Reviewers of Melchers' art have consistently agreed that the mother and child paintings are among his finest. Christian Breton, a contemporary critic, wrote, "Wholly endearing in their frank community of feeling are 'The Family' now in the National Gallery of Berlin, and the 'Maternity' of the Luxembourg, the latter showing a blonde mother in flowered cap and cape holding in her arms a serious blue-eyed infant. It is in pictures such as these as well as in the later and still more simple and direct 'Mother and Child' which has found its home in America that Melchers strikes his truest, most profound note." (as quoted in J.G. Dreiss, Gari Melchers: His Works in the Belmont Collection, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1984, p.33)
We are grateful to Joanna Catron for confirming the authenticity of this lot.