His Mother

Arshile Gorky (American, born in Armenia, 1904-1948)
The Artist and His Mother, c. 1926 - c. 1942

"The painting The Artist and His Mother was based on a photograph of the young artist and his mother taken in 1912 in Van. The photograph was sent to Gorky's father who had immigrated to the United States four years earlier to avoid being drafted into the Turkish army - and was intended to remind him of the family he left behind.
Persecution of the minority Armenians reached its culmination in 1915 when the Turkish army began systematically slaughtering entire Armenian villages, forcing a quarter million refugees, including Gorky, his mother, and his sister to leave their homes and travel more than one hundred miles to the protected frontier of Russian Armenia. In March 1919, Gorky's mother starved to death and the following year Gorky and his sister traveled to the United States. Six years later, while living and working in New York, Gorky began the first of two paintings based on the 1912 photograph.
Both versions of the painting underwent substantial revisions in the 1930s and early 1940s, as the artist continually revised, erased, and repainted the compositions..." 
Thanks to Mekhitar Garabedian's work Back Cover (Gorky), 2014