Artist Frederic Leighton demonstrates that he was truly a man of his times in the work Mother and Child (Cherries). In this painting, we see an example of a cozy, charming Victorian interior scene, complete with a beautiful young mother and her adorable child. The title was obviously inspired by the action of the little girl feeding ripe cherries to her reclining mother.
Both figures are seated on the floor, resting comfortably on an opulently hued Oriental carpet. Details, such as a vase of lilies and a golden screen, form the backdrop for this delightful drama. Everything in the painting is equally visually enchanting, from the flower petals to the glossy red cherries to the sophisticated sheen of the woman's gown. Here again, Lord Leighton displays his prowess as an artist.
It is worth noting that the sense of sentimentality that was so much a part of Victorian art and life is captured in this splendid image. F. G. Stephens made this revealing comment about Mother and Child (Cherries): "Another picture, a very charming one indeed, illustrates what is the most popular side of Mr. Leighton's art."
The Art of Lord Leighton
In this beautiful book, author Christopher Newall examines the life and works of eminent Victorian artist Frederic Leighton. The chapters deal with Leighton's evolution as a painter, from his early phase as "The Outsider", to success as "The President of the Royal Academy". And there are plenty of gorgeous color images to complement the text.