Greatest American Painters

John Rettig (1858 – 1932)

Posted by M.R.N. on June 16, 2012

The New Baby

Mission Oak

Costume Ball

Harbor Scene


5 Responses to “John Rettig (1858 – 1932)”

  1. vincenzo said

    I read his biography, and I think it is a versatile artist, very creative and culturally valid.

    “The New Baby” is a beautiful painting, I suppose small, but what I can not understand is who the two women depicted is the mother of the baby.

    The mother is one who is peeling potatoes or one that lies in bed?

    It should be the first, while that is in the bed should be the grandmother, perhaps tired or sick.

    In any case I like the painting because it’s an intimate family scene very realistic

    • Bruce said

      On an auction web site, the painting is described thus: “In a dimly lit interior, a midwife dutifully watches over a newborn while peeling vegetables. A set of double-doors open into a sleeping chamber, revealing the mother who is resting after childbirth.”

      “Midwife” is English for “ostetrica” in Italian. L’ostetrica è una professionista specializzata nell’assistenza alla donna durante la gravidanza, conduce e porta a termine parti eutocici con propria responsabilità.

      • Bruce said

        Quoted from Italian Wiki: 😉

      • vincenzo said

        I’m not entirely convinced. I think this is a error of interpretation the Auction web site, because it is true that the baby is a baby, but it seems to me he was born for some weeks, or maybe even a month or two, and the task of ‘midwife, as assistant to the delivery, must already have been exhausted.

        The woman in the bed has all the air to be an elderly person sick. This can be noticed from the very elderly face and arms heavy and motionless on the bed.

        Also, I think any woman (normal) who has given birth, although tired, always feel the joy and consolation vital had given birth to a new creature.

        She seems much more likely that the mother of Beby is precisely the young woman who is peeling potatoes.

        I do not think that midwives, even in those days, took care of cooking for the mother. Would seem to me very strange.
        I think it is an error in the reading of the painting, made ​​by the website you mentioned.

        I hope that my English is good.

      • Bruce said

        With a second look at the painting, I think you may be right.

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