Maternity can also be beautiful!
Beyond risks and complications, suffering and pain, most of the time maternity is a beautiful experience, something that you wish you can remember long. Here we include into "maternity" fecondity, pregnancy and childbirth. If beautiful, why not representing them, then, on a long-lasting medium: stone, wood, clay, bronze, canvas, paper, book...?
In the ancient times humans worshipped maternity, because they did not understand it. Nowadays, they may understand it better, they do not worship it any longer, but many find it beautiful.
In folk cultures, fertility is a must, and representations of pregnancy or maternity are meant to call the attention of the gods or the spirits. Almost all religions have had a miraculous event, worthy of representation: the birth of Lord Buddha, the conception of the Virgin Mary...
Yet artistic representations of pregnancy, and moreover of childbirth, are rare. Look for images of the two most famous women in our culture: the Virgin Mary and Eve! Rare but not impossible to find, if you look for them. This is what I have been doing in the last 20 years, and here is a sampling of my findings.
I want to thank the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA, my former employer) to have allowed me to spend time on this collection.
The work is never finished, thanks to all those who wish to contribute and send suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org