Who doesn’t like a cute baby? Lucky for us, history is full of cute babies in art. And while we could dedicate one whole article to the babies in Mary Cassatt’s paintings alone, there happen to be more artists who excelled in this genre. But where would we be if we forgot to mention the stranger art works out there as well? We cannot forget those. Just research “cute babies in art” and you will be met with some fascinating and possibly disturbing images.
Cute Babies in Art
As an Impressionist female artist in the late 19th century, Cassatt’s oeuvre focuses heavily on the female presence in the world as mother, daughter, etc. If you were to look deeper into her portfolio, the theme is much the same throughout. Her depictions are some of the cutest of all the babies in art history. For example, look at these two paintings; they are intimate in feeling and feature two precious babies.
Vincent Van Gogh
These Van Gogh painting are bright and vibrant; indicative of Van Gogh’s later style and color palette. While the artist painted many other paintings for the Roulin family, these next two are particularly focused on the infant, Marcelle. Look at those chubby cheeks!
Perhaps lesser known than his American counterpart, Mary Cassatt, Melchers also painted women and children. According to the Art Institute of Chicago, Melchers specialized in naturalistic depictions of peasant life.
A large portion of the French artist’s oeuvre is focused on the female body. MFA Houston labels Bouguereau as the “quintessential successful academic painter.” Throughout his realistic paintings, there are numerous children and babies in addition to the women. For instance, the below painting of a young girl cradling her younger sibling. He had his own children model for the very clear and hyper-realistic portrait.
Again, Bouguereau’s painting of the Madonna and Child hearkens back to the Renaissance style, but with a better approach to Realism.
Peter Paul Rubens
The 17th century Flemish painter is known for his religious and mythological paintings of portraits and landscapes. Below are both a sketch of his own child and a painting of two curly-haired babies in bed believed to be his elder brothers.
Cornelis van Cleve
While not all of the Flemish artist’s paintings of the Baby Jesus could be defined as ‘cute’ in nature, this one fits the description. It is a more realistic portrait of a baby than what other Renaissance artists were utilizing at around the same time and area of Europe.
Bonus: Not that Cute Babies in Art
Opinions differ on whether all babies are cute, however that is not the argument here. But if you want to see art works depicting babies in an unrealistic or downright strange manner, look no further.
What exactly is happening here? Poor child!
Is this mother giving birth to a new born infant or an adult?
Is this a man or a baby?
Read more about children and motherhood in art: