Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)
'The Young Mother'
Height 36.5 cm
Inscribed 'À mon ami C. Phillips. A. Rodin' on the lower left front of the surround
Bequeathed by Sir Claude Phillips
Museum no. A.25-1924
Rodin drew and modelled clay studies of mother and child groups in the 1860s, some of which survive in the Musée Rodin. Many of them were based on Rose Beuret, his mistress, and their son Auguste, born on 23 January 1866. He then continued to explore the possibilities of these groups in his work for the Sèvres porcelain works and, in the 1880s, for The Gates of Hell. One version of this composition can be seen on the lower left corner of The Gates.
This plaster has also been known as The Young Mother at the Grotto, referring to the cave-like surround. Other versions, some without the grotto, are called Sister and Brother, or Mother and Daughter. These various titles are typical of Rodin and his associates' practice of renaming his work.
The composition was also the inspiration for a work by the British sculptor John Tweed, who was a great admirer and supporter of Rodin.