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Charity (c.1877)

Aime Jules Dalou (1838 - 1902)

Woman seated holding baby in right arm which suckles at her breast, looking left and downwards to young boy leaning against her lap and looking up at her.

This sculpture is closely related in pose to a similar group, entitled 'Charity' (marble; height 91 cm) in the Tate Gallery, London (no. 3052). This Tate sculpture is a reduced replica of another marble group made to stand over a drinking fountain in Exchange Avenue at the back of the Royal Exchange London. The sculpture was completed by 1877, though the fountain was not erected and opened until autumn 1879. Although protected by a canopy, its condition had seriously deteriorated by 1895 (see Magazine of Art, 1895 pp. 327-329 note 1) and in 1897 was replaced by a poor copy in bronze which still stands.