Sculpture Marble Mother & Child Biomorphic 3ft 10in high Modernist Abstract



Artist Unknown. A massive 45½"high modernist Mother & Child, Henry Moore inspired abstract biomorphic, grey, marble sculpture, 20th century. Private Collection. Height 116cm., 45 ½ inches Width65 cm., 25 ½ inches., Depth 30cm., 12 inches This marble sculpture is equally striking displayed inside or outside within a landscape. As a medium marble is very practical within a landscape as it is hardwearing and the patina will only improve with weathering over time. "Sculpture is an art of the open air... I would rather have a piece of my sculpture put in a landscape, almost any landscape, than in, or on, the most beautiful building I know."

This massive sculpture reflects the universal theme of the cycle of life and the evolution of humanity, while expressing the tenderness and care felt by one human being for another. The distinctive upper torso of the mother birthing the child within the profile of a pair of intertwined circles, in a figure of eight, creates a rhythmic fluidity in the composition and represents the different cycles of life. Viewed from the side the sculpture has the profile of an egg alluding the theme.

The mother is physically fused with the child who is emerging from her belly and womb, just as the block of marble gives birth to the form of the sculpture. Their intimate bond is illustrated by way the child is nestling and held within the lower half of the body of the mother and the mother's loving and nurturing gaze focusing on her child. The inner circular recess adds depth to the perspective and is suggestive of entering into the world. The cuddling arms of both the mother and the child mirror each other creating balance within and hold the composition as the mother holds the child. The artist has reduced the figures to their essential form, removing all features except the mother's breasts and paring down the form creating a feeling of eternity which is also reinforced by using marble, a stone that comes from the earth. The simplicity alludes to divine maternity, although the mother and child are accessible and human, in monumental broad and simple form. MOTHER & CHILD The mother and child is a 'subject so consecrated by its antiquity, so hallowed by its profound significance, so endeared by its associations with the softest and deepest of our human sympathies, that our mind has never wearied of its repetition, nor the eye become saturated with its beauty'. (The Legends of the Madonna Anna Jameson) The image of a mother and child summons feelings of warmth, love and protection and is used as a powerful symbolic motif of fecundity, maternity and creativity throughout the history of art. From the fertility goddess figures of the Paleolithic period to the twentieth century, the mother and child theme has recurringly emerged as an empowering, symbolic theme in art used to define a subject's inner reality while presenting it in a new form that illuminates new meanings (Susanne Langer).

Changes in beliefs and society are reflected through different portrayal of the mother and child image over time. From the fertility goddess of ancient culture to the symbol of Christianity as the Madonna and Child and, as religious influence on society, declined becoming a secular conception. In the 19th century Mary Cassatt's paintings reflected these changes as the mother and child became a symbol of importance and influence in society and Kathe Kollwitz explored the horrors of human existence through the voice of motherhood. In the 20th century Henry Moore sees the mother and child as the epitome of creativity and allied himself with the mother as a creative force in bringing about form.

HENRY MOORE - MOTHER & CHILD This massive sculpture is inspired by and bears influences of Henry Moore's obsession with the theme of mother & child which he experimented with, creating new sculptural possibilities throughout his career. The qualities of eternity, the paring down of the form and absence of features, the expression of tenderness and care, the intimate bond, the physical fusion, the focus of attention on the child, are found in Moore's treatment of this theme. Henry Moore Catalogue Raisonne References - Sculptures •\tLH 839, 1981 - similar working of the child's form emerging from the belly of the mother •\tLH716, 1977 - similar working with curvaceous integration of form •\tLH158a cast b, cast 1967 - similar working with curvaceous integration of form •\tLH257, 1947 - similar working of the child's body and head •\tLH730 cast a, 1977 - similar working of the child's form fusing with the mother •\tLH849 cast O, 1982 - similar side, egg profile •\tLH753 cast O, 1978 - similar working of recess and relationship with child, more abstracted •\tLH792, 1983 - similar working of the curved form Henry Moore Catalogue Raisonne References - Drawings, Ideas for Sculpture •\tAG30.9r &f HMF 822, 1930 - similar working of the form •\tAG33.62r, 1933 - ditto •\tAG33.62r, 1933 - ditto •\tAG50.51.46rv, 1950 - ditto •\tAG66.39, 1966 - ditto •\tAG83.10, 1983 - ditto

All prices exclude custom clearance fees which, where appropriate, will be charged directly to the client by your receiving courier, importer or government.
Height 116 cm / 45 34"
Width 65 cm / 25 34"
Depth 30 cm / 12"

20th Century


circa 1988



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