Celebrate Mothers at Compton Verney

Celebrate Mothers at Compton Verney

This Mother’s Day we encourage you to celebrate with us at Compton Verney where we not only house a shop filled with thoughtful and creative gifts and expansive grounds filled with wildlife but, also an immense collection of historical art; many pieces of which feature mothers!

Francesco Solimena, Venus with Iapis Tending the Wounded Aeneas © Compton Verney, photo by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

‘Venus with Iapyx Tending the Wounded Aeneas’ by Francesco Solimena, about 1695

This over 300 year-old painting by important Neopolitan artist Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) captures the high drama of the moment when Aeneas, a Trojan prince, was struck by a barbed arrow in his leg. Just when all hope seems lost as portrayed by the morbid expressions and the chaos and violence surrounding them, Aeneas’ mother Venus is shown arriving on a cloud with medicinal herbs to help the healer Iapyx treat her son’s wounds! Her serenity and grace is a welcome breath of calm to the scene and the incomparable love of a mother that can heal all wounds is perhaps the underlying message of this monumental masterpiece!

Flowers of May Costumes

Part of the world-first exhibition ‘Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain’ these three Flowers of May costumes are from a Morris side formed in 1977 by two women, Olive Cutting and Kate Rose. The group were very popular for a number of years, performing at many festivals and days of dance. Their kit was reflective of the times and consisted of Laura Ashley fabric dresses, white aprons, black shoes and vests. The three costumes on display showcase two women and a small child. The far left is an altered maternity dress and the child’s costume features a small waistcoat that was passed between the children of the team. The all-female nature of the side was ‘revolutionary’ at the time and the heart-warming impression of the three costumes in the exhibition is one of maternal legacy and female celebration!

Bernardo Cavallino, The Flight into Egypt © Compton Verney, photo by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

‘The Flight into Egypt’ by Bernardo Cavillino, about 1640-50

Cavallino painted with the dark tonality fashionable in Naples in the 1630s-40s under the influence of the artists Caravaggio and Jusepe de Ribera. This scene depicts the biblical account that Joseph “rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt” when he was warned by an angel that King Herod had ordered all infants in Bethlehem to be killed. Brightly lit, Mary and Jesus are seated on a tired donkey, whilst Joseph can just be made out in the background. The effect of the dramatic light contrast that focuses the entire painting puts motherhood and its love and tenderness at the centre of the piece.

Come to Compton Verney from 10am-5pm, Tuesdays-Sundays to explore our entire collection and to celebrate mothers this March!