Exploring the Louvre can be a daunting task with four floors to cover and approximately 35,000 works on display. Exploring with a particular theme in mind can help give the trip more clarity.
Paintings with the following themes naturally catch our attention each time we visit – namely babies, moms with babies and breastfeeding babies!
Our favorites pieces are below, along with a bit of history about each work. It’s refreshing to see these tender mother and baby moments celebrated by painters throughout history, and especially with much less conservatism versus today. No coverups or strategically placed cupcakes in sight!
Above: Charity, Andrea Del Sarto, 1518
The work celebrates the birth of the Dauphin, the long-awaited successor to the throne. The nursing baby is an allusion to the recent maternity of Claude of France, while the face of Charity bears certain similarities to that of the queen. The figure in the foreground is a symbol of “Joyous France reposing in peace.” This painting can be found on Level 1 of the Denon Wing in Room 712.
Above: La vierge et l’enfant, Ludovico Carracci, about 1616 – 1619
This work depicts The Virgin Mary tenderly holding baby Jesus. The Virgin Mary and Jesus both have their gaze drawn below, while baby Jesus rests his hand on her chest in a soft and relaxed manner invoking the feeling of comfort and trust between mother and child. Carracci is most well-known for paintings that provoke spiritual emotion. This painting can be found on Level 1 of the Denon Wing in Room 716.
Above: The Virgin of the Green Cushion, Andrea Solario, about 1507 – 1510
This devotional image of the Virgin nursing Jesus is curiously named after the attention-grabbing green cushion placed on a marble plinth in the foreground. The cushion is widely seen as a symbol of comfort and tenderness. This painting can be found on Level 1 of the Denon Wing in Room 710.
Above: Virgin and Child Surrounded by Two Angels St. Rose and St. Catherine, Pietro Perugino, about 1490 – 1495
This 15th century painting showcases the Virgin Mary seated with a baby Jesus in her lap with Rose of Viterbo and Catherine of Alexandria by her side. Rose of Viterbo was known for her mystical gifts of prophecy and miraculous powers. Catherine of Alexandria was both a princess and a scholar. Two angels stand behind them with their hands brought to prayer calling for the protection of Mary and Jesus. This painting can be found on Level 1 of the Denon Wing in Room 710.
Above: Daphnis and Chloé, François Gérard, 1824
It was the “Pinterest-esque” flower crown in this painting that first caught our attention. The painting is based on the novel by the Greek author Longus. Daphnis is seated on a tree trunk, weaving a flower wreath, with Chloé resting her head on Daphnis’s knees. This artwork is believed to be a counterpart to Psyche and Cupid. The painting’s lush greens, flowing pond and Chloé’s relaxed demeanor make this painting all the more enchanting and romantic. This painting can be found on Level 1 of the Denon Wing in Room 700.
As art enthusiasts, these are just a few of our favorite paintings in the Louvre. We have barely scratched the surface and assure you, there’s more to come!