In this painting motherhood is presented in idealised form – the mother and baby are pristine and sit at a piano, a marker of status within the domestic sphere and a key indication of middle-class standing.

The place of middle-class children within the home and attitudes of parents towards them is under-researched and a subject that the Geffrye hopes to open up with a major exhibition in the future. The painting modifies the stereotypical view that Victorian children were to be seen and not heard. Children have been under-represented in the Geffrye MuseumÂ’s collection of Victorian paintings.


JS Maas & Co, London; Sir David Scott, 1986; Sotheby's, 2008.

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