The history of art is full of interesting family portraits and loving, mother son images.
However the pictorial record of fathers and sons is quite a different story.
Here are a few famous mother and son paintings.
The few examples of father and son paintings go in an entirely different direction.
In the Rubens and the Goya, the son is seen as rival and dealt with rather
primatively. Rembrandt’s scene is the return of the prodigal son. Here the son is
welcomed back with a combination of love, sadness, and resigned acceptance
of his inevitable wandering and the pain it causes.
The existence of so few loving images of fathers and children (other than the Norman Rockwell variety) in painting, tells something very powerful and distressing about our culture and its’ archetypes.
Something to ponder on Father’s Day…..but thanks to a comment by my friend, Margaret Pirrouette, I’ve decided to end on a more positive note.
Though they are photographs, as the man said, “…all you need is love…”