Madonna and Child 1943 (LH 223)


height 13.8cm

There are two particular motives or subjects which I have constantly used in my sculpture in the last twenty years; they are the Reclining Figure idea and the Mother and Child idea. (Perhaps of the two the Mother and Child has been the more fundamental obsession.) I began thinking of the Madonna and Child for St. Matthew’s by considering in what ways a Madonna and Child differs from a carving of just a Mother and Child - that is, by considering how in my opinion, religious art differs from secular art.

It’s not easy to describe in words what this difference is, except by saying in general terms that the Madonna and Child should have an austerity and a nobility, and some touch of grandeur (even hieratic aloofness) which is missing in the everyday Mother and Child idea.

Church of S.Matthew, Northampton, 1893-1943, St Matthew's Church, Northampton 1943