The images of children that abound in Western art do not simply mirror reality; they are imaginative constructs, representing childhood as a special stage of human life, or emblematic of the human condition itself. In a compelling book ranging widely across time, national boundaries, and genres from ancient Egyptian amulets to Picasso's Guernica, Erika Langmuir demonstrates that no historic period has a monopoly on the 'discovery of childhood'. Famous pictures by great artists, as well as barely known anonymous artefacts, illustrate not only Western society's perennially ambivalent attitudes to children, but also the many and varied functions that works of art have played throughout its history.
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Adoration adult Ages Agostino Agostino Novello altarpiece ancient Anthony Van Dyck artist baby baby-walker Baltasar Carlos Bouguereau Bruegel's bubbles century Chapel Chardin Charity chil childhood Children's Games Chodowiecki Christian cited contemporary daughter dead death decorated depicted Dutch Dyck emblem book emblematic engraving father figure Florence Foundling Hospital Foundling Museum fresco funerary genre girl Goya Greek Hieronymus Bosch hobby-horse human iconography imagery infant Innocents Italian Jacob Jordaens Jan Steen Jesus King Kunsthistorisches Museum little boy London Madrid Maria Massacre medieval mother motif Mulready Museum National Gallery nature Neils and Oakley painter painting Paris Peter Paul Rubens Philip picture play portrait Prado Museum Prince prints putto Queen Renaissance Roman Rome royal Rubens Saint sarcophagi Sassetti Chapel scene seventeenth-century shows Siena Simone Martini Spanish swaddled tion Titian toddler tradition transl Velazquez viewers Virgin visual whirligig woman woodcut young Zoffany