HuffPost Arts would like to officially thank moms everywhere for their countless gifts of strength and inspiration. What better way is there to express our eternal gratitude than to celebrate motherhood through our favorite images of mothers in art, starting with Whistler's beloved matriarch.
As you'll see below, some artists idealize motherhood while others seem a bit more traumatized (...ahem, Louise Bourgeois). We're not sure how the mothers of creative kids managed to foster such creative offspring, but we're certainly glad they did. We hope that it is fitting that the works below show a range of mothers, because motherhood is a complex, difficult task.
Happy Mother's Day, mothers of the world! Raising a child is an art in itself and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Let us know your favorite paintings of mothers in the comments below, or share your own thoughts about your creative moms, too!
James Whistler Whistler's Mother, 1871 Wikimedia Commons
Mary Cassatt The Bath, 1893 Portrait Wikimedia Commons
Cindy Sherman Untitled, 1976/1989 black and white photograph of a 1976 collage 9-7/8 x 8 inches 25 x 20.3 cm Edition of 200 (MP# MP-R-) Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
Motoyuki Daifu Family, 2011 c-print 30 x 40 inches Image courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, NY
Vincent Van Gogh Portrait of the artist's mother, 1888 oil on canvas 40,5 x 32,5 cm Wikimedia Commons
Lucian Freud The Painter's Mother, 1983 Charcoal and pastel on paper, 12 3/4 x 9 3/4 in. (32.4 x 24.8 cm) Private Collection © The Lucian Freud Archive Photo © The Lucian Freud Archive
Louise Bourgeois Manan, 1999 Photograph of "Maman" by Louise Bourgeois, taken at Bürkliplatz, Zürich, Switzerland Wikimedia Commons
Adolphe Bouguereau Maternal Admiration, 1869 Wikimedia Commons
Michelangelo Pieta, 1498 Marble Wikimedia Commons
Egon Schiele Tote Mutter, 1910 oil on panel translate Wikimedia Commons
Statue of Isis Holding the Child Horus, ca. 664-525 B.C.E. Slate, 7 1/2 x 1 5/8 x 4 1/4 in. (19.1 x 4.1 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.938E
Dorothea Lange Migrant Mother With Three Children, 1936 Wikimedia Commons
Alice Neel Mother and Child, 1926 Oil on canvas 26 x 28 inches 66 x 71.1 cm © The Estate of Alice Neel Courtesy David Zwirner, New York
Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun Mother and Daughter, 1789 Wikimedia commons
Marnie Weber Still from "The Night of Forevermore"
Gustav Klimt Death and Life Wiki Commons
Platt Powell Ryder (American, 1821-1896). The Illustrated Newspaper, 1868. Oil on canvas, 16 7/8 x 13 13/16 in. (42.9 x 35.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Caroline H. Polhemus.
Joan Miro, Seated Woman and Child (Femme assise et enfant), 1967 Painted bronze, 48 1/4 x 16 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (122.6 x 42.5 x 41.9 cm.) Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
Fernando Botero, Mother and Child, Bronze, 1988 Flickr: Reggie Rachuba
Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926). Woman in a Red Bodice and Her Child, ca. 1901. Oil on canvas, 27 x 20 1/4 in. (68.6 x 51.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 19.95