Images of pregnancy and birth in western painting
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Rather than a survey of the entire history of the subject, I will focus on images of pregnancy and birth from the Renaissance to modem times. My goal is to study the symbolism of images of pregnancy in western painting. Some questions I hope to answer are: Is the symbolism of such paintings always the same or do they portray different meanings? What role do the images play in society? How have such images changed (or not) over time? I believe that art reflects the views and values of the society that produces it and that art therefore can be used as a sociological or anthropological tool. What do artist's depictions tell us of how pregnancy and birth were viewed in Renaissance society and how they are viewed in contemporary society?