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Young Mother in the Grotto
Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917)
H. 36 cm ; W. 28.2 cm ; D. 24 cm
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Probably modelled in 1885, the plaster was shown at the Salon the same year under the title Woman and Love. Several bronze and marble versions of it were made during Rodin’s lifetime.
The woman and child theme was very present in Rodin’s oeuvre at this time. Whether used to represent maternal love or a mythological theme, the association of the baby and the young woman was both sentimental and sensual. His chubby bodies and tender gestures, not devoid of a certain mawkishness, may be seen as a continuation of the Second Empire decorative style and a reinterpretation of 18thcentury sculpture. The roof beneath which the two figures are sheltering echoes that found in Dried-Up Springs . As a result, the two works share the same shadow effects,but their themes – the beginning and end of life – differ diametrically, this dichotomy being represented by the repetition of the figure of the old woman in Dried-Up Springs .