In Honor Of Mother's Day, A Look At The Moms Of Art History

05/08/2015 07:58 pm ET

Happy Mother's Day!

Since -- as they say -- a picture's worth a thousand words, we'd like to pay homage to every mom with a collection of artworks that put mothers on parade. Behold, the beautiful mommas of art history, from the woman who birthed Whistler to a Pieta to a massive sculpture of a spider dedicated to mamans everywhere.

  • Here's to the quiet but powerful moms out there
    Wikimedia Commons
    James Whistler, "Whistler's Mother," 1871
  • The ones who've literally washed our feet
    Wikimedia Commons
    Mary Cassatt, "The Bath," 1893
  • Who never leave us without a shoulder to cry on
    Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
    Cindy Sherman, "Untitled," 1976/1989, black and white photograph of a 1976 collage
  • Ever
    Image courtesy of the artist and Lombard Freid Projects, NY
    Motoyuki Daifu, "Family," 2011 c-print 30 x 40 inches
  • Who endlessly watch over us
    Wikimedia Commons
    Vincent Van Gogh, "Portrait of the artist's mother," 1888, oil on canvas
  • To the mothers who lovingly worry about their children
    © The Lucian Freud Archive Photo © The Lucian Freud Archive
    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)
  • Who protect us
    Wikimedia Commons
    Louise Bourgeois, "Maman," 1999, at Bürkliplatz, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Who've loved us since we were helpless babies
    Wikimedia Commons
    Adolphe Bouguereau, "Maternal Admiration," 1869
  • And helpless adults
    Wikimedia Commons
    Michelangelo, "Pieta," 1498
  • Who carried and carry us
    Wikimedia Commons
    Egon Schiele, "Tote Mutter," 1910
  • To the mommas who advise us
    Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    Statue of Isis Holding the Child Horus, ca. 664-525 B.C.E.
  • Who provide for us
    Wikimedia Commons
    Dorothea Lange, "Migrant Mother With Three Children," 1936
  • Who love us no matter what
    © The Estate of Alice Neel Courtesy David Zwirner, New York
    Alice Neel, "Mother and Child," 1926
  • To the mothers who are never short on hugs
    Wikimedia commons
    Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, "Mother and Daughter," 1789
  • Ever
    Wikimedia Commons
    Gustav Klimt, "Death and Life," 1908–1916
  • To our first teachers
    Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Caroline H. Polhemus.
    Platt Powell Ryder, "The Illustrated Newspaper," 1868. Oil on canvas, 16 7/8 x 13 13/16 in. (42.9 x 35.1 cm)
  • Who are always with us, even when they're not
    Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
    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.)
  • Because moms are the best
    Flickr: Reggie Rachuba
    Fernando Botero, "Mother and Child," Bronze, 1988
  • And they deserve a day of celebration
    Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund
    Mary Cassatt, "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)

For more on Mother's Day, check out the essay "A Love Letter to My Mother, an Artist."

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