Titled ‘La Culla’ (The Cradle) and ‘La Pappa’ (The Baby Food), these paintings are beautiful depictions of motherhood and everyday domestic life in 19th-Century Italy. The two works were created by the famous Italian artist, Gaetano Chierici. Chierici is best-known for his genre paintings, which he began to produce in the 1860s. These works were praised by critics when Chierici first exhibited them at the Fine Art Expositions at the Brera Academy in 1869.
Focused on the subject of motherhood, these paintings depict a woman caring for her young children. ‘La Culla’ shows a woman checking on her sleeping baby by lifting up a piece of fabric that covers the cradle. She is accompanied by a young boy, who peers over the cradle at his sibling. In the second picture, ‘La Pappa’, a woman is depicted spoon-feeding her baby, who sits before her. A young boy sits with his back to the baby’s chair and holds a dish of milk for a cat to drink. It appears that the paintings depict the same family, within the same modestly-furnished interior. The room they are pictured in has brown brick floors and yellow plaster walls, which are sparsely decorated with pictures of religious figures, and wooden crucifixes. Chierici has managed to convey the beauty of this very humble way of life. Both paintings are signed ‘G. Chierici’.
The paintings are displayed in carved giltwood frames, which feature title labels on their backs.
‘La Culla’- Height 52.5cm, width 63.5cm, depth 5cm
‘La Pappa’- Height 52.5cm, width 64.5cm, depth 5cm