The mother and child had been a major theme in Moore's work since the 1920s. Yet when the vicar of the Church of
St Matthew, Northampton, invited Moore to make a sculpture of the Madonna and Child for the church, he was reluctant
to accept. He felt unsure how to adapt his secular interests to the Christian tradition.
These bronzes are casts of the original terracotta models he made for the project. They are unusually naturalistic and steeped in references to religious art of the Renaissance. This suggests Moore was trying to produce a sculpture that people would find both modern and familiar.