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Eugene Carriere

Maternite

Maternite by Eugene Carriere

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Eugène Carrière repeatedly returned to the theme of maternity throughout his art practice, exploring the symbolic and emotional significations of the domestic relationship. A Symbolist, Carrière’s interest in motherhood derived from his belief in its symbolic importance for an eternal human spiritualism. His lithograph is at once intimate and universal. The woman clutches her child in a passionate embrace, the fervour of her affection indicated through the blurred contours melding the two figures together. Indeterminate and generalised, the two figures are reduced to a series of curvilinear shapes leading our eyes in a continuous circular motion that alludes to the centrality of human creation while also echoing the motion of the woman’s caress. Demonstrating the influence of Auguste Rodin, the mother and child emerge from, and melt into, the dark background. Abstract and ephemeral, the lithograph is a seemingly infinite portal through which we can explore our emotions, memories and dreams.

Title
Maternite
Artist/creator
Production date
1869-1906
Medium
lithograph
Size (h x w)
551 x 354 mm
Inscription
Eugene Carriere (l.l. on stone)
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1980
Accession no
1980/1
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
On display

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