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Group - Charity
  • Charity
    Dalou, Aimé-Jules, born 1838 - died 1902
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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1878 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dalou, Aimé-Jules, born 1838 - died 1902 (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This group representing Charity was made by Aimé-Jules Dalou in about 1878. The version is virtually reversed and an additional child is looking over Charity's shoulder. It is possibly an earlier version of the final composition for the Royal Exchange drinking fountain group.

Dalou (1838-1902) was the son of a glove maker and initially trained in drawing at the Petit École in Paris. There he was encouraged to do sculpture. In 1854 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he trained for four years. He was known for his left-wing political sympathies and was involved in the establishment of the Paris Commune in 1871. After his overthrow he was forced into exile in London, where he lived from 1871 until his return to Paris in 1879. In London he frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy and he was given a teaching appointment at the National Art Training School in South Kensington (later the Royal College of Art), where he had a profound effect on the development of British sculpture.

Many of his works are of women in intimate domestic situations. Whether reading, sewing or, as here, with small children, they have a remarkable informality and intimacy. Dalou executed a number of versions specifically of Charity 1877-8.

Physical description

Group in terracotta representing Charity. The young seated mother looks downwards at the baby that she holds at her left breast, supported by her right arm. Her left arm is placed round the shoulders of another child who stands nesting beside her. A third child who stands behind holds her arm looking over her right shoulder at the sucking child.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca. 1878 (made)


Dalou, Aimé-Jules, born 1838 - died 1902 (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed on the base


Height: 71 cm

Object history note

Formerly in the Collection of Sir Edmund Davies; given by Mr J E Bullard, in memory of Mr H H Bullard, in 1948. Transferred to the Bethnal Green Museum in 1970, and returned to the V&A in 1983.

Descriptive line

Group, terracotta, Charity, by Aimé-Jules Dalou, Anglo-French, ca. 1878

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bilbey, Diane and Trusted Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470 to 2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 2002. p. 247, cat. no. 375
Avery, C. “From David d’Angers to Rodin – Britain’s national collection of French nineteenth-century sculpture”. In: The Connoisseur, April 1972, vol. 179, no. 722, p. 238






Sculpture Collection

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