About this artwork

This sculpture is an intermediary model for a six-metre-tall stone carving, which stands on a hill near Niederbruck in Alsace, France. The style of the work reflects Bourdelle's love of French Gothic sculpture. The figure of the Virgin is based on the artist's wife Cléopatre, and the child Jesus is modelled on his daughter Rhodia. Cléopatre was also a sculptor and the head-scarf worn by the Virgin was inspired by one she used when carving, to keep the dust out of her hair.

Emile-Antoine Bourdelle

Emile-Antoine Bourdelle