Julio González

Study for ‘Maternity’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Etude pour 'La Maternité'
Graphite, crayon and ink on paper
Support: 244 × 159 mm
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972

Display caption

These two drawings demonstrate González's abiding interest in the theme of mother and child. The 1941 drawing shows his use of a simplified realism, reducing form to sheer planes. The 1934 work is a study for the sculpture <i>Maternity</i>, shown nearby. The drawing demonstrates the precision with which González envisaged structural ideas on paper, even if slight differences in detail occurred in the completed sculpture.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01500 Etude pour 'La Maternité' (Study for 'Maternity') 1934

Inscribed 'J.G. | 1934' b.r.
Pen, pencil and crayon on cream paper, 9 5/8 x 6 1/4 (24.6 x 15.9)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Exh: Julio Gonzalez: Drawings and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York, touring exhibition, November 1968-January 1971 (16)
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Les Maternités (Paris 1975), p.70 repr.
Repr: Ronald Alley, The González Gift to the Tate Gallery (London 1974), p.26

A study for the Tate's sculpture T01242. It differs from the finished work mainly in lacking the rod which runs almost the entire height of the sculpture from the eyes to one side of the circular base; the C-shaped curve which forms the head is also slightly smaller and one can see that it was first sketched in very tentatively in pencil in several sizes. Another, rather similar study, also in pen and ink and dated 1934, is reproduced in Gibert, op. cit., p.70. It is to some extent complementary in that it shows the vertical rod mentioned above (though the bottom end of this lies inside the circle, as in the 'Small Maternity', instead of being attached more or less to the perimeter), but on the other hand it does not include the thicker vertical member with the right-angle twist that appears in T01500.

[All the drawings by Julio González given to the Tate are authenticated on the back by his daughter Roberta González and inscribed with a title and date, or approximate date. The titles are used in the catalogue entries, but the dating has been made more precise wherever possible. (Julio Gonzalez's drawings are usually dated from about 1934 onwards, but the great majority of the early drawings are undated).]

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.314, reproduced p.314


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