La Bonne Mere


Sentimental genre prints documented the social image of Victorian virtue through domestic scenes of courtship, family, home life, and images of the “genteel female.” Children are depicted studying nature or caring for their obedient pets as they learn their place in the greater world. Romantic scenes picture devoted husbands with their contented, dutiful wives. In these prints, young women educated in reading, music, needlework, the arts, the language of flowers, basic math and science are subjugated to their family’s needs.

These prints became popular as lithography was introduced to 19th Century Americans. As a new art form, it was affordable for the masses and provided a means to share visual information by crossing the barriers of race, class and language. Sentimental prints encouraged the artistic endeavors of schoolgirls and promoted the ambitions of amateur artists, while serving as both moral instruction and home or business decoration. They are a pictorial record of our romanticized past.

This full length colored portrait print is of a mother feeding her young child. She is seated on an ornately carved bench in a garden next to a stone monument, which has a wreath on the front. On top of the monument are a bowl, a cat and two birds in a cage. On her other side is a wall with a flower pot. She is wearing a turban, necklace, bracelets on both wrists and a simple dress. One of her feet rests on a pillow. The baby is sitting on her mother's lap, swaddled in fringed cloth.

J. Belden Jr was a lithographer who worked in Hartford, Connecticut.

Date Made: n.d.

Lithographer: Belden, Jr., J.Artist: Ball, W.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Connecticut, Hartford

Subject: EatingCostumePetsAdornmentChildren


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Domestic Life, Art, Peters Prints, Domestic Furnishings


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Peters, Harry T.. America on Stone

Credit Line: Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: DL.60.2322Catalog Number: 60.2322Accession Number: 228146

Object Name: lithographObject Type: Lithograph

Physical Description: hand-colored (image production method/technique)ink (overall material)paper (overall material)Measurements: image: 12 in x 13 1/2 in; 30.48 cm x 34.29 cmoverall: 12 in x 13 3/4 in; 30.48 cm x 34.925 cm


Record Id: nmah_324658

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