n°232/ Paint It Pregnant

July 2016

by Nathalie Azoulai

When the artist is a woman, you always come across the issue of motherhood, kids and rooms of their own. The very first in history of art, German painter Paula Modersohn-Becker caught our attention while painting in May 1906 a self-portrait of a nude pregnant woman. As if the issue of painting should mix with the question of being a female artist. Have a look at her mother nursing a child that has absolutely nothing to do with centuries of madonnas breastfedding unlikely babies. Much more fleshy and incarnated and real probably because of what a female artist can feel of her own breast being sucked by a real mouth. As an ultimate aesthetic and lifetime experience. So ultimate that eighteen days after the birth of her first daughter, Paula died of a pulmonary embolism. In The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, till August, 21.

 Paula Modersohn-Becker