Jacques Lipchitz

Mother and Child I


Not on display

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Original title
Mère et enfant I
Object: 483 × 285 × 254 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Catalogue entry

T03530 Mother and Child I 1949

Plaster coated with shellac and pigment 19 × 11 1/4 × 10 (483 × 285 × 254)
Not inscribed
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz 1972, p.183; Michael Parke-Taylor, Jacques Lipchitz: Mother and Child, exhibition catalogue, Norman MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchawan, 1983, p.25

A bronze cast of this sculpture was exhibited at the Buchholz Gallery, New York, in 1951 (Jacques Lipchitz, May 1951 (28, repr.)) with ‘Mother and Child, II’ of the same date, which is a different composition standing on four legs. The large bronze ‘Mother and Child’ (A.M. Hammacher, Jacques Lipchitz, 1975, repr. 137, 52ins. high) is close in appearance to T03530. In both the mother suckles the baby at her right breast, and is enclosed by flowing drapery with pronounced folds.

Lipchitz described the subject as the birth of his first child in October 1948:

After the ‘Miracle’ and ‘Sacrifice’ series, which were very different from almost anything I had ever done before, reflecting a spirit of anger and even pessimism, my mood changed dramatically as a result of the birth of my daughter, Lolya. It was a fantastic experience at the age of fifty-nine finally to have my own child, particularly a daughter, which is what I wanted, partially because I wanted her to have my mother's name. The result in my sculpture was a series of extremely lyrical works on the theme of the mother and child. These have the curvilinear movement in-the-round of the dancers of the earlier 1940s, but the mood is now much more tender and obviously maternal (Lipchitz, loc.cit.).

Another large ‘Mother and Child’ bronze was included in the 1951 Buchholz Gallery exhibition, and ‘The Cradle’, 1949, takes up the same theme.

The base of this plaster was added later, and still has underneath a scrap of newspaper of the 1960s which stuck to it when it was cast. The figure is probably a cast of 1949, and both it and the base have been painted at the same time in two shades of brown.

[For T03397 and T03479 to T03534 the foundry inscriptions, and reproductions of casts in other materials in the books listed below, are recorded. Abbreviations used:

Arnason 1969 H.H. Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, 1969

Lipchitz 1972 Jacques Lipchitz, My Life in Sculpture, 1972

Stott 1975 Deborah A. Stott, Jacques Lipchitz and Cubism, 1975 (reprinted 1978)

Otterlo 1977 A.M. Hammacher, Lipchitz in Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1977

Centre Pompidou 1978 Nicole Barbier, Lipchitz: oeuvres de Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973) dans les collections du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1978

Arizona 1982 Jacques Lipchitz. Sketches and Models in the collection of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Introduction and catalogue by Peter Bermingham, 1982]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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