Mare i Xiquet (Mother and Child)
Maternity / Paternity
Gender and space
Sexual/gender division of labor
This scene of motherhood depicted by painter José Benlliure Ortiz takes us to the intimate world of the home, which has been the woman’s place throughout history. The woman, in her role as wife and mother, was responsible for responding to all of the family’s domestic needs, in contrast to the husband and father, who fulfilled the role of family breadwinner by working outside the home, and at the same time acting as legal guardian of both the children and his wife. Production was associated with men, who boasted the role of continuous procurement in the public sphere to provide for the family, while women held the role of reproduction within a reduced domestic space. This dichotomy based on sexual and gender differences was present in Valencian homes until well into the mid-20th century.