|Artist Name||Alice Neel (Pennsylvania 1900 - 1984 New York City)|
|Title||Mother and Child|
|Date of Artwork||1927|
|Medium||Brush and watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper|
|Size||Gift of Mrs. John Benson Brooks (Frances K. B. Jones, class of 1940), 1990.19.5, Loeb Art Center, Vassar College. © Estate of Alice Neel|
Alice Neel experienced a tug-of-war between painting or focusing on a family. Here she painted a moment between herself and her baby daughter Santillana in this self-portrait from 1927. The infant was born in Havana in late December 1926 to the newly wed Neel, and died in New York almost one year later in a period of dire poverty for the artist. Embracing her like a sixteenth-century Madonna, Neel painted her child in an almost lifeless state. Only two-and-a-half years out of art school when she rendered this work, Neel had trained in Philadelphia at the School of Industrial Art and the Philadelphia School of Design for Women.