1933 -1934

Médium: Bois

Dimensions: 13 x 7 x 11 cm

“Petite maternité assise (Small seated maternity)” is a small-scale piece executed in wood by Julio González around 1933-1934.

This sculpture is formed of three pieces of wood, carved into simple geometric forms.  A winged ovoid, placed in front of a triangle at an angle, are positioned perpendicularly on top of a trapezoidal prism with a sort of handle which serves as a base.  González has carved a seated mother, holding a baby in her lap.

The simplification and abstraction of the figures is consistent with González’s sculpture of the early 1930s.  However, here, he decides to apply his avant-gardist experimentation to wood rather than iron. González turns to wood on several occasions at this time, for example, in his fanciful work, “Head called ‘The Apostle’”.

Mother and child scenes are frequent in González’s work.  They refer not only to Christian iconography—González was a non-church-going Catholic and enthusiast of Gothic art–, but also to his personal experience as a doting father.  After his first marriage ended, Julio González raised their only daughter, Roberta, with the help of his sisters, Lola and Pilar.  This was an unusual situation at the turn of the 20th century, but Julio González proved to be a loving and kind father, who was also very supportive of Roberta’s own artistic ambitions.

Though modest in terms of size and medium, the tenderness of the mother-child connection shines through in “Small seated maternity”.  It is an example both of González’s sensitivity and his constant innovation.