The theme of mother love does not occur often in Auguste Rodin’s work, except for a period around 1885. Apparently, this theme then played a big part in his life. This touching sculpture of a nude mother seated on a rock being gently nuzzled by her young child is a beautiful and eternal statement about motherhood. She calmly reflects on the spiritual connection between herself and her son or daughter.
The Young Mother composition can also be distinguished in relief on the side panel of the Gates of Hell, a bronze portal meant for the Musee des Arts Decoratifs which was never finished. A bronze copy was offered by the artist to be auctioned as a contribution towards the costs of the monument in honor of Claude Lorrain, a 17th century-painter whom Rodin greatly admired. AUGUSTE RODIN (1840-1917)In between Romanticism and Impressionism this self-willed Frenchman created some of the most famous pieces known in the art of sculpting. He was very talented at conveying feeling in his compositions by emphasizing gesture. Also, his rough surface texture with deep hollows added strong shadows and naturalism to the human form. Rodin’s goal, as he put it, was “to render inner feelings through muscular movement.” He achieved this aim by joining his profound knowledge of anatomy and movement with special attention to the body’s surfaces, saying, “The sculptor must learn to reproduce the surface, which means all that vibrates on the surface, soul, love, passion, life…Sculpture is thus the art of hollows and mounds, not of smoothness, or even polished planes.”