Artist NameAlice Neel (Pennsylvania 1900 - 1984 New York City)
TitleMother and Child
Date of Artwork1927
MediumBrush and watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper
SizeGift of Mrs. John Benson Brooks (Frances K. B. Jones, class of 1940), 1990.19.5, Loeb Art Center, Vassar College. © Estate of Alice Neel

Further Information

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.