© 2014 Podorvanov Art Gallery 

MOSCOW, NOVOSLOBODSKAYA STR 20/4

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Mother's happiness

Breastfeeding is the most beautiful moment in motherhood for every

woman. It’s not only about mother feeding her baby, but more about sacred ties

between them. This is the way she gives her baby love and the feeling of safety.

Elena Yukhnevich shows us this sacrament in her painting.

We can see a young breastfeeding mother with a baby on her lap. The

painting is full of soft light radiating from the golden halos and the dawn in the

background, which symbolizes the beginning of a new life. There are some

accents: glowing figures of the mother and her son against the muted background

become the center of the painting. These techniques are intended to draw the

viewer's attention to such a sacramental moment.

The mother's face is calm and peaceful. It may even seem asleep because her

eyes are half-closed. A brooding nursing mother with a child is the projection of a

peaceful life with a mystery known only by the two of them.

Yukhnevich's work is created in keeping with the icon painting traditions:

spherical perspective, large color planes, and expressive, almost sparkling figure of

the boy become the focal point. We can barely see the woman's facial expression,

but the baby's features are painted in detail. We admire his wide-open eyes looking

directly at the viewer, cute curls, plump arms and small feet.

This picture, as well as "Mother’s fears", "Glimpse into the future", "By the

cradle", was painted by Elena Yukhnevich during the Mellow period. The artist

herself and her son Ivan were inspiration for the painting. What caused the author

to create this work are her reflections on the benefits of breastfeeding and desire to

draw attention to the global problem of the women who stop feeding their children

with breast milk too early and thus break spiritual ties between them.

Only the mother who experienced all the stages of her child's growing up is

able to capture playfulness and touching nature of child's features, and even to

convey the majesty and, at the same time, the tenderness which make the

characters of this masterpiece incredibly convincing.

Mother's happiness

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    27/31/4 cm, oil painting on linden wood, decorated with gold leaf

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