Both the Family Group and the Mother and Child themes were central to Moore's art. In this drawing and the related sculptural groups, he conveys both the gravitas and timelessness of the traditional figurative pose of the Madonna and Child, and the intimacy and temporality of a mother holding her child in her lap. In Moore’s own words: ‘From very early on I have had an obsession with the Mother and Child theme. It has been a universal theme from the beginning of time and some of the earliest sculptures we’ve found from the Neolithic Age are of a Mother and Child. I discovered when drawing, I could turn every little scribble, blot or smudge into a Mother and Child. (Later, I did the same with the Reclining Figure theme!) So that I was conditioned, as it were, to see it in everything. I suppose it could be explained as a 'Mother' complex’ (Henry Moore & John Hedgecoe, Henry Moore, My Ideas, Inspiration and Life as an Artist, London, 1986, p. 155).
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