ABSTRACT. The representation of the female has been common practice in art since prehistoric times to the present. There are several characteristics attributed to the female, who remains eminent in various cultures through time. The maternal aspect of women, along with the institution of the family, occupies a major part of these representations. In order to interpret the theoretical background of these artworks, we, frequently, turn towards social sciences, that provide the necessary knowledge for their understanding. It is, therefore, evident that the representation of maternity as well as that of the family constitutes a complex issue that demands an interdisciplinary approach, mainly in a feminist context. This paper analyses that bidirectional approach from a male perspective, in paintings of a Greek artist, Constantine Andreou, who lived most of his life in France, where he became influenced by the artistic movements of the 20th century. His work is presented, mainly from an art-historical aspect, in chronological order, with the aim to portray his artistic evolution, and includes paintings of mothers, mothers with children and families, beginning with one of his premature works, the portrait of his mother. Within a global visual arts community, we will discern that the artist sought to express his own subjectivity, his own psyche which, in spite of his particularity, has acted as a code for deciphering the positions and concepts of the complexity of contemporary world. We will prove that the representation of the mother, aside from a means of expression for artists, also functions as a means of communication, aimed at raising the public’s awareness about social and political issues. Finally, we will deduct that the notion of motherhood is related to his diasporic identity, formed by the memories of his mother land. pp. 121–144

Keywords: Andreou; gender studies; psychology; maternity; art; family; diaspora

How to cite: Mortaki, Sapfo (2016), “Family and Maternity Perceived and Pictured by a Migrant Artist: Paintings of Constantine Andreou,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 6(1): 121–144.

Received 20 December 2015 • Received in revised form 29 January 2016
Accepted 30 January 2016 • Available online 25 February 2016


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Hellenic Open University;
Open University of Cyprus;
Harokopio University Athens

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