Like many artists of his time, Petrov-Vodkin believed that the job of any person of art is not just to reflect the surrounding reality in the paintings as impartially as possible, but to carry some idea, change people with their help. To teach them an ethical and aesthetic lesson, to instill in them the taste and thirst for beauty.
Because his paintings are often imbued with light and holiness, they can cause long thoughts of an almost philosophical sense - they are needed to elevate the spirit, so that the ordinary world suddenly seems to the viewer to be completely different, impossible and marvelous. To things that seemed empty and stupid, suddenly made sense.
Throughout his work, the theme of motherhood runs through a red thread - this is “Mother”, and “Petrograd Madonna”, and many others, on which a woman with a child appears in the image of an angel, a wondrous creature penetrated by heavenly beauty, standing above grayness and dirt, performing something like a holy mission.
“Motherhood” is knocked out of this general line - it’s not an enthusiastic hymn, not a solemn song, but like recognition of the fact that being a mother is vital, it’s simple, it happens often and does not cause surprise and admiration.
Many women do this and do not require a special relationship, without thinking about the fact that in motherhood there is a particle of holiness.
This is also indicated by the faces of women - lowered eyelashes, the tired tenderness with which they look at the child.
This is evidenced by the look of the baby - childishly meaningless and at the same time intense. This is evidenced by the mother’s chest - nude routine, in passing, for business, unable to cause love of excitement and emotions. The muted, dark, fleshly (but not dirty!) Colors speak about the same thing - they seem to emphasize how simple and close to the ground the scene depicted in the picture is.
Sistine Madonna Rafael Santi