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Mother and Child Waiting, 1952-1953



Michael Michaeledes (1923-0)
Mother and Child Waiting, 1952-1953
Oil on plywood
AGLC 502 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

The theme of motherhood recurs frequently in Cypriot representational painting. In this painting, Michael Michaelides captured with great sensitivity a picture from the life of rural Cyprus. A mother, her child in her arms, sits on a rock in the fields, waiting. What for? Maybe a means of transportation to take her to her destination. The woman is dressed warmly, as is the child, a fact which evokes one of those fair, sun-filled winter days, which are so typical of the temperate Cypriot climate. The atmosphere is clear, allowing the lines to be clearly drawn. The low intensity of the winter light accentuates the tones of the colours, in contrast to the harsh summer light, which fades them. The reds, blues and yellows are given with clear tonalities, kneaded in the light and enhancing the human presence.

The light, emerging as it does from everywhere, takes on a spiritual quality. The mother is transformed into a modern-day Virgin. Is the combination of colours, which simulates those of Byzantine painting, merely a coincidence? Still, it is a Virgin who has lost her blissful, transcendent calm; a Virgin who lives in a difficult world, which, however, has made her stronger and has forced her to develop the resilience and powers by which to survive. Her gaze seems to be examining and assessing the stranger who is observing her; she is ready to tackle him and to defend herself and her child.

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About the artist

Michael Michaeledes was born in Nicosia in 1923. He studied architecture and fine arts in Italy and the United Kingdom. His talent was recognized from early on when he was a student at the Pancyprian Gymansium, where he was taught by the artist Adamantios Diamantis. His early work reveals his teacher’s influence.

More paintings of the artist
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