Mother and Child of the Clin by L. Martel

We were living at 169 Faubourg St. Antoine, Paris in the 11th arrondissement. Our younger daughter was attending a French public school that was a short walk down the Rue Forge Royal. Everyday I would walk her to school. At the end of the day I would go to meet her and while waiting for her release from school, I would see women dressed in all sorts of native costumes. One woman, in particular, stood out for her beauty and grace. She was probably from Senegal. She had a young baby strapped to her back wrapped in cloth. I approached the woman and asked her if I could take her picture. I wanted to paint her. She shook her head and I never saw her again. I realized that she was probably an illegal immigrant and I must have frightened her. We don’t always realize the consequences of our actions. I’m sorry for for the trouble I must have caused her. Her likeness in this painting is from memory. This is a 18″x 24″ oil on canvas.



33 thoughts on “Mother and Child of the Clin by L. Martel

  1. That’s a beautiful painting! She could have been from anywhere in West Africa – Nigerians too back babies same way. Ha, the joy of unintended consequences, little did she know you were not a spy for immigration officers. This is what I don’t understand, is it really worth it?

    Liked by 2 people

      • Ha, I understand but one would think she’d be relaxed and just be friendly back as a nice gesture to someone who was curious. Illegal immigrants issues break my heart as they are likely to live forever ‘on the run’ always having something to hide when noone is after them.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If you managed to produced such a beautiful portrait from memory you are a very talented artist, I can understand the reluctance of the woman to have her photograph taken. I remember my own grandmother telling me not have my photograph taken because according to my granny my photograph would be used in a negative way because we are Africans. You may be right she may have been an illegal, whatever her reasons if she would see it now she would love you for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. impressive and emotional post, dear L… Paris, mon amour… ❤ where I lived for several years(12e & 17e), nos 2 "old babies" were born there, too, l'un des 2 y habite encore… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Melanie, our time in Paris was a highlight in our lives. We spent a lot of time at the Louvre and the Muse D’Orsay only to mention a few.


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