Young Mother in the Grotto by Rodin
Auguste Rodin modelled young “Mother in the Grotto” in 1885, and the plaster sculpture was exhibited under the title “Woman and Love”. Several versions in bronze and marble were made during Rodin’s lifetime. The woman and child theme was evident in Rodin’s early body of work during the mid-1880s.
This sculpture represents maternal love in a mythological theme; the baby and the young woman was both sentimental and spiritual. In the later periods of his career, the subject of maternal love is much less prevalent in Rodin’s work as compared to the theme of love between man and woman.
The woman, crouching in a grotto and shielding her child from the elements, embodies maternal love and protection. The contrasting textures of the smooth figures against the rough grotto walls highlight the way that human forms can magically emerge from the stone, during the masters’ sculpturing process, as Rodin learnt from studying Michelangelo’s work.
Like many of Rodin’s other works, the “Young Mother in a Grotto” is related to a mother and child pair found on the left panel of the “Gates of Hell”.
Auguste Rodin is generally considered the father of modern sculpture; he possessed a unique ability to model a complex and deeply pocketed surface in clay. Many of his most notable sculptures were criticised during his lifetime. Rodin’s most original work departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory, he modelled the human body with realism and with personal character and physicality. By 1900, he was a world-renowned artist and remained one of the few sculptors widely known outside the arts community.
Young Mother in the Grotto
- Title: Young Mother in the Grotto
- Year: Modelled in clay 1885;
- Carved in marble 1891 by Jean Escoula (French, 1851 – 1911)
- Place of Origin: France
- Material: Marble
- Dimensions: H. 36 cm ; W. 28.2 cm ; D. 24 cm
- Museum: Rodin Museum, Philadelphia
- Name: François-Auguste-René Rodin
- Born: 1840 – Paris, France
- Died: 1917 (aged 77) – Meudon, France
- Nationality: French
- Notable works:
- Eternal Springtime (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- Two Hands (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Cathedral (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Hand of God (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Thinker (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Gates of Hell (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Hand from the Tomb (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Sirens (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- Young Mother in the Grotto (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- Colossal Head of Saint John the Baptist (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- The Secret (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- “The Thinker” at the Rodin Museum, Philadelphia (Full Size)
- The Burghers of Calais (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden)
- The Burghers of Calais (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- Balzac (Rodin Museum, Philadelphia)
- “The Gates of Hell” by Auguste Rodin (Kunsthaus Zürich)
- Eve (Musée Rodin, Paris)
- Is it not amazing what can emerge from an artists hands?
Explore Museums in Philadelphia
- The Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Penn Museum
- The Barnes Foundation
- Museum of the American Revolution
- Rodin Museum
“I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don’t need.”
– Auguste Rodin
Photo Credit: JOM