Childs Bath

Thefirst painting I chose at the museum was an oil painting on canvas. It depicted a women and child in a very informal setting. The woman was tenderly holding a small child on her lap, while bathing her.
I was drawn to the piece from across the room, by the soft, glowing toddler. The child was clothed only in a small white towel and her ivory skin seemed to glow against a muted background and it wasn't until I was very close to the painting that I even realized that there was another form in the composition.
As I studied the painting further my eyes were drawn in the direction of the eyes of the two figures and it was then that I noticed the strong lines of the woman's hands. They were a little out of proportion for a woman; they had an almost masculine quality. Yet against the soft rounded lines of the child's thigh there was a tenderness that was almost palatable. After reading the plaque next to this painting I learned that this artist used more masculine hands on all of her paintings of women and children to emphasize them. I think that it not only accomplishes that but the contrast between the strong lines and soft flowing lines leads to a feeling of stability.
The combination of the muted colors, strong solid lines of the mother's hands, and the soft organic lines of the child all lead to a very peaceful, moving, tender portrayal of a mother and child.