Maternal bodies in the visual arts brings images of the maternal and pregnant body into the centre of art-historical enquiry. By exploring religious, secular and scientific traditions as well as contemporary art practices, it shows the power of visual imagery in framing our understanding of maternal bodies and affirming or contesting prevailing maternal ideals. The book reassesses historical models and, in drawing on original case studies, shows how visual practices by artists may offer the means of reconfiguring the maternal. It will appeal to students, academics and researchers in art history, gender studies and cultural studies, as well as to general readers interested in the maternal and visual culture. -- .