Mother's Kisses

Accession Number

Mother's Kisses

Dotty Attie

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
hand-colored lithograph on paper

36 in x 26 1/4 in (91.5 cm x 66.7 cm);46 1/4 in x 35 1/4 in x 1 in (117.48 cm x 89.54 cm x 2.54 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
For more than twenty years Dotty Attie has adapted scenes from famous Old Master paintings, calling attention both to her sources and her reinterpretations. This lithograph culls the figures of Venus and Cupid from Bronzino's mid-16th century painting "The Exposure of Luxury." To this portrayal of incest she juxtaposes a series of details. These present fragments of their bodies, which fetishizes those anatomical parts. These details are interspersed with texts that comment ironically on this perverted mother-child relationship.

Subject matter
This lithograph shows the central figures of Venus and Cupid from Bronzino's mid-16th century painting "An Allegory with Venus and Cupid," also known as "Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time." It is the central image elaborated and referenced by the 26 smaller prints in the portfolio. By pulling these central figures, Venus and Cupid, from the original painting, Attie eliminates mythical references and symbols of Renaissance refinement and focuses in on the erotic undertones of the work. 

Physical Description
A nude woman and boy are intertwined in an embrace. She is kneeling with her right arm raised and bent, finger pointing upwards, and the boy reaches around her and fondles her breast. The woman is holding a gold sphere in her left hand and they are on a pile of textiles. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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American (North American)
allegory (artistic device)
feminists (people)
modern and contemporary art
nudes (representations)
sons (people)
texts (documents)

& Author Notes

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