Mother and Child thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Grand Entrance, Room 60

Mother and Child

Half Figure
1895 (sculpted)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This Mother and Child group was made at the height of Frampton's early career. Frampton was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1894 and exhibited regularly across Europe, contributing to the Munich and Vienna Secession movements. This group was first shown at the Royal Academy in 1895 and subsequently at the Venice Biennale in 1897 and the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, where Frampton won the Grand Prix with four works. The models for the group were the sculptor's wife, Christabel, whom he married in 1893, and his son Meredith (born 17 March 1894), who later became a painter and gave this bronze and a plaster model of the group to the Museum (Mus. no. A.9-1985). As a portrait group of Frampton's young family this work is an intimate and fond expression of motherhood.

Like the best works of the so-called 'New Sculpture' produced in England in the last quarter of the 19th century, Mother and Child has many subtle layers of meaning. The mother supports the child by leaning her right arm on a shaped ledge, recalling a recognised type of Renaissance portrait, and her baggy sleeves and the child's full robe and cap also suggest a former era. This sense of an ideal group would have been further emphasised by a bright copper plaque with a white enamelled disc in the centre, which Frampton originally designed to form a backing to the sculpture. This Symbolist format connects it with Frampton's masterpiece of 1892 Mysteriach, now in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Mother and Child is a notable example of Frampton's experiments with colour in sculpture, combining as it did the coppery backboard, white disc and silvered bronze.

Sir George James Frampton (1860-1928) was an English sculptor, medallist and decorative artist. He worked in an architects office before being apprenticed to a firm of architectural masons. He studied modelling a the London School of Art under W.S. Frith, and in 1881 entered the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a gold medal and travelling scholarship in 1887. Like Lanteri he was involved in the exterior decoration of the Museum, executing the spandrel reliefs of Truth and Beauty above the Main Entrance. Frampton was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1894 and exhibited regularly across Europe, contributing to the Munich and Vienna Secession movements.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Cast, silvered bronze
Brief Description
Figure, silvered bronze, of 'Mother and Child', by Sir George Frampton, Britain, 1895
Physical Description
Half figure of a Mother and Child. The mother is holding her son on her left side, looking down at him. The child wears a cap and a full dress decorated with a lace (?) design; he looks at his outstretched fingers. Signed and dated.
Dimensions
  • Height: 102cm
  • Weight: 90kg
Marks and Inscriptions
'Geo FRAMPTON / 1895' (on the left side)
Credit line
Given by Meredith Frampton, Esq.
Object history
Given by the Late Meredith Frampton, Esq., who is the "child" (son) of this subject in 1984. He was the son of the sculptor.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This Mother and Child group was made at the height of Frampton's early career. Frampton was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1894 and exhibited regularly across Europe, contributing to the Munich and Vienna Secession movements. This group was first shown at the Royal Academy in 1895 and subsequently at the Venice Biennale in 1897 and the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, where Frampton won the Grand Prix with four works. The models for the group were the sculptor's wife, Christabel, whom he married in 1893, and his son Meredith (born 17 March 1894), who later became a painter and gave this bronze and a plaster model of the group to the Museum (Mus. no. A.9-1985). As a portrait group of Frampton's young family this work is an intimate and fond expression of motherhood.



Like the best works of the so-called 'New Sculpture' produced in England in the last quarter of the 19th century, Mother and Child has many subtle layers of meaning. The mother supports the child by leaning her right arm on a shaped ledge, recalling a recognised type of Renaissance portrait, and her baggy sleeves and the child's full robe and cap also suggest a former era. This sense of an ideal group would have been further emphasised by a bright copper plaque with a white enamelled disc in the centre, which Frampton originally designed to form a backing to the sculpture. This Symbolist format connects it with Frampton's masterpiece of 1892 Mysteriach, now in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Mother and Child is a notable example of Frampton's experiments with colour in sculpture, combining as it did the coppery backboard, white disc and silvered bronze.



Sir George James Frampton (1860-1928) was an English sculptor, medallist and decorative artist. He worked in an architects office before being apprenticed to a firm of architectural masons. He studied modelling a the London School of Art under W.S. Frith, and in 1881 entered the Royal Academy Schools, where he won a gold medal and travelling scholarship in 1887. Like Lanteri he was involved in the exterior decoration of the Museum, executing the spandrel reliefs of Truth and Beauty above the Main Entrance. Frampton was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1894 and exhibited regularly across Europe, contributing to the Munich and Vienna Secession movements.

Associated Object
A.9-1985 (Model)
Bibliographic References
  • Williamson, Paul, ed. European Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996, p. 180, fig. 181
  • 'Afternoons in Studios: a chat with Mr. George Frampton, A.R.A.', in: The Studio, Vol. VI, no. 34, January, 1896, pp. 204-212
  • Stephens, Timothy, 'George Frampton', in: Curtin, P. (ed.), Patronage & Practice. Scultpure on Merseyside, Tate Gallery, Liverpool,1989, p. 76
  • Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture New Haven and London: Yale, 1983. pp. 160
  • Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 262, cat.no 394
  • Livingstone, Karen & Parry, Linda (eds.), International Arts and Crafts, London : V&A Publications, 2005no. 2.15
  • Works by the old masters : and by deceased masters of the British school, including a collection illustrating the sculptor-goldsmith's art, chiefly of the 15th and 16th centuries, London : Printed by W. Clowes and Sons for the Royal Academy, 1895no.1644
  • International Fine Arts Exhibition, Rome 1911 : British section - catalogue, London : Board of Trade Exhibitions Branch, 1911no. 1120
Other Number
10 (Seconda Expositione Universelle, Venice 1897) - Exhibition number
Collection
Accession Number
A.8-1985

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record createdNovember 6, 2002
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