Lot 57
  • 57


30,000 - 50,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Aimé-Jules Dalou
  • Maternité
  • signed and dated: DALOU / 1874 and stamped: CIRE / PERDUE / A.A. HEBRARD and with a label to the underside inscribed: MUSÉE DES ARTS DÉCORATIFS. EXPOSITION 1933. M Hébrard and with a further label inscribed in pen: 2821
  • bronze, red-brown patina
  • 47cm., 18½in. 


Mr and Mrs G. Haviland (by 1933)


Paris, Musée des arts décoratifs, Pavillon de Marsan, Palais du Louvre, 1933


Le décor de la vie sous la IIIe république de 1870 à 1900, exh. cat. Pavillon de Marsan, Palais du Louvre, 1933, p. 112, no. 874, p

Catalogue Note

Among Dalou's iconic models of Maternity, conceived during his exile in England between 1871 and 1879, the present group is particularly rare. Significantly, it is also a portrait of the artist's wife. A terracotta model of this subject, given the title Portrait de Madame Dalou, was included in the 1910 exhibition at the Susse Gallery, 13 Boulevard de la Madeleine (no. 11). The present bronze, formerly belonging to Mr and Mrs G. Haviland, was included in the 1933 exhibition at the Palais du Louvre.

As Hunisak notes, Dalou's many sculptural interpretations of maternal themes are 'inseparable from the artist's biography.' His own family consisted of himself, his wife Irma, a former seamstress, and their sickly only child Georgette. Due to Georgette's disability this small family were exceptionally close: even as an adult Georgette needed continual care from her parents. Dalou's wife Irma was not only the manager of the household, she was the sculptor's muse. His breakthrough success at the Salon was his Brodeuse in 1870, which was inspired by his seamstress wife.

However, the present bronze, like his other domestic subjects, has an ideological as well as a personal resonance. Dalou held sincere and fervent left-wing political beliefs, and his elevation of middle class, everyday subjects to the rarefied atmosphere of the Salon and the Royal Academy was a powerful statement of the changing times. 

J. Hunisak, The Sculptor Jules Dalou: Studies in his Style and Imagery, London, 1977, pp. 53-8 and 147-8; F. Delestre, Dalou inédit, exh. cat. Galerie Delestre, 1978, Paris, no. 4