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This will be as wide open a set of answers that you will get because the topic and the medium are both fairly large canvasses for answers. I will move off the beaten path a bit and suggest Berthe Morisot's work, "On the Balcony" as an example of Impressionist Art that captures a moment and expands it in the mind's eye. The backdrop is a woman and child, presumably mother and daughter, standing on an overpass. The child is standing to peer over or through the guardrails, while the mother is next to her. I think that this art sample really catches much about the style, the content, and the emotions present between mother and child. On one hand, I think that one can look at the mother and daughter, enjoying a moment in the middle of a cosmopolitan setting. Another examination could show that there is a look of protection and devotion the mother renders to the child. While the latter is looking out at the world, the former is looking at her world, the child. Along these lines, another look could show a potential disengagement between the mother and her life. Perhaps, her looking at her daughter is one agonizing moment where disenchantment with consciousness is revealed. There is much within this portrait showing emotional complexity and technical mastery.
I'm not a connoisseur of art, but I have traveled often to Europe and have seen many moving pieces of art in all forms and in all kinds of places. I'm always stirred, for eample, at the sight of Michelangelo's Sistene Chapel, which is representative of all kinds of relationships, especially those between God and man. When I go next door to St. Peter's Basilica, though, I am always moved to tears by Michelangelo's La Pieta. When I look at this mother looking down at her dead son, who is also the Son of God, I see such sorrow and love I can hardly bear to keep looking. The artist has carved her with a young face rather than that of a middle-aged woman, and you see that she is looking at her grown son with the love of a mother for her newborn as well as an adult who understands the meaning of love and loss in a more mature way. This statue speaks to me of the mother/child relationship as nothing else ever has.
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