demonstrates the comparison of “Woman seated in the underground” which was
drawn by Henry Moore OM, CH in 1941 during the second world war and Louise
Bourgeois’s who is well known as a feminist artist “Birth” in 1994.Therefore,
we are going to explore the two drawings that are picked to compare the past
and the current of feminism and the relationship between war, feminism and
women. How women were treated and thought before will be compared with what
people think about women differently unlike the past and also how the thought
and perspective of women in the society were changed.
As one of the
drawings which are “woman seated in the underground” deals with the war, we
will also explore about the wars and how it relates to feminism, women as a
mother and as men went the military and got sent to the wars to fight, what
women could do and how they suffered from the deaths of their sons, husbands
and fathers in the wars as mothers and wives.
Because these two drawings show the different aspect ideal image of
women good to be compared each other and also show how women were thought has
discovering the two artist’s different childhood and background and as the
artists have different genders, we would compare the differences between the
viewpoints of them from different experiences with what techniques, mediums and
effects they used to express their thoughts in the two drawings of them in this
essay. Moreover, as the power of women is growing, we also could compare how women
were expected to be and did in the past but how they are regarded these days
and also how we look at the drawings differently as a feminist nowadays as they
created the drawing in the different centuries.
the connections between women within war and birth will be addressed in this
essay with the relationship with feminism.
Birth is one
of Louise Borugeois’s series “Autobiographical Series” that she captured the
painful moment of the baby leaving the mother’s body. Her works are mostly
based on her memory and trauma from her childhood and her mother. It was drawn
by drypoint on paper. And we can find the sizes of mothers and baby’s are the
same size, it emphasises the pain that the mother is having is excruciating and
also her expression makes the pain look strong. However, on the other hand, the
baby is sleeping in peace unlike the mother. It seems the mother is pushing her
baby out of her belly herself and her hair is holding the baby. She was
inspired from by a drawing that she drew when she had the birth of her second
son in 1941. It shows the different situations between the mother and the baby.
We could find the mother is a strong material as she is handling the birth
herself independently. Tate modern says this work shows the trauma of birth.
seated in the underground, there is a woman who sits down in the London
underground, and we could see she does not sit down with the other people in
the back. It shows she is in another situation unlike them and makes the woman
more focused. As the artist used dark ink and water colour, and gouache for the
drawing, it could show the mood of sadness, anxiety and loneliness and the
artist may illustrate that the people and the lady were covered by dust from
the war and the gloomy atmosphere at that time due to the war is also shown by using a dark. And she
crosses her hands which looks she is waiting for something and feeling nervous.
On the catalogue entry of the drawing, it says this is inspired by the war.
Therefore, we could guess, the lady is waiting for her parents, father, husband
or son who had gone to the war also the other people in the back evacuated from
the war to a safe place where is the London underground. Henry Moore
illustrated the situation and the details of her clothes, hair, and the anxious
pose by crayon in detail. Especially, she is swathed in layers to express the
texture, wrinkles and shadows. Moreover, the technique that he created makes
this drawing look scratchy and sharp also brings fear. For representing the
distance between the space where she sits down and the back, he mixed yellow to
make the brighter dark tone and blue for the background. By the distance, the
lady stands our more in the drawing.
with Birth, Louise Bourgeois had used drypoint more than the other techniques
we may have
been thinking why are women shown as the weak and sex symbols? why do some
artists show women always such as the role expected of women in the wars is waiting
for their husbands or sons behind wars in the past and still? They could be
shown as strong and independent women as they actually are. As feminism is the
imTherefore, as feminism is
In the Birth,
we could found a brave and a tenacity on the mum’s face it is shown she bears
and overcomes a birth by herself.
DiIlorio who is an assistant professor of sociology and director of the women’s
studies programme at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at Indiana
University and Purdue University says “Men make war; women make peace. Men make
war; women make children. Men make war because women make children. Because men
make war, women make children. Women make peace because they make children.”
usually drew the Londoners sleeping or escaping in the London shelter
underground during the wars as he and also his drawings were based on the women
body as well. Therefore, we could find hoomen were at that time by Henry
Moore’s drawing as his art
based on the people sheltering in the London underground and the female body
and they were drawn during the second world war.
We agree the
first world war and the second world war may have been fought by men mostly
but, during the wars, men were not only victims, in The War From Within p.22, ,
people could think women did not get sent to fight and got killed as men and
soldiers, however, men were thought with “soldiers”, women were thought with
“what are protected by soldiers” and “who soldiers are took care of from” women
suffer from losing their fathers, husbands and sons as mothers and as wives.
This was usually believed that what women did during the wars. Women were
usually thought as just mothers and wives of men who were sitting down for
waiting for them coming back safely. But in (year), according to, British women
and child were drawn in the shelter drawings because most of men were sent to
fight in the war. they must had a hard time as they provided their sons into
stereotypes of women.
century, this male artist focused on the lady waiting for her love in the war
as people usually had the stereotype of the women in the century. But in the
century, in the UK, British women had helped to men with () to support
were asked to work for war as mechanics, engineers, munitions workers, air raid
wardens, and also got trained for driving bus and fire engine from March 1941.
On the 2nd August 1914, the Bavarian queen Marie Therese said, Hildegard,
Helmtrude and Gundelinde who are the daughters of her volunteered to help at
the service of the red cross and Adelgunde and Wiltrude were working in the
welfare field from 1870 to 1871. And it changed the stereotype, the position
and the definition of women in war positively. As the Bavarian Queen Marie Threse, Young women
who aged 20 – 30 were summoned to work at first but the percentage of single
women and married women who were summoned to work in factories and as nurses in
hospitals in the area where the war was happening in 1943 were about 90 percent
and 80 percent respectively. Moreover, they got a uniform and lived in the area
where they got sent to work as men. A
lot of women also were sent to help the people from dying of hunger who were in
the London undergrounds. Not only British women, In the United States and
Germany, they served during the world war 2 at home also in uniform as well.
A woman is like a tea
bag—you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” —Eleanor
Roosevelt who is an American politician, diplomat
and activist said, people would not know the help from women would help the war
a lot and they would do the same works as mens they may not know women had a
power that they could do the same things as men did with.
As they have
experienced and have a fear of the world wars but as how they show women in
their drawings differently, we could know how they think women differently and
how women were showed differently by different gender, different centuries. As
Louise Bourgeois said “everything I do was inspired by my early life.” Her
artworks are reflected her childhood memories, traumas, and fear of
abandonment, her mother’s illness and death also infidelities of her father and
the horrors of the first world war. Her art is her experience.