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Maternal Affection: M.3-1974

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Object information

Current Location: Founder's Entrance Hall Upper Landing


Maternal Affection


Sculptor: Baily, Edward Hodges




White marble, carved in the round. Seated mother and child on a rectangular base with rounded ends. The mother sits on a rectangular chest in profile to the viewer. Her hair is dressed in 'Grecian' style. The lower part of her body is draped and the upper part is nude. Her left leg is forward, and her right foot tucked under it so that its sole faces the viewer. The child rests on the left side of her back, snuggling against her, and kissing her left cheek, while touching her right with his left hand. She holds her left arm out behind her to support the child's right foot, and turns the upper part of her body to the front, leaning her right elbow on her left thigh, and raising her hand towards the child.

Legal notes

Given Anonymously

Measurements and weight

Height: 91.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1974) by Anonymous


19th Century, Mid#
Production date: AD 1841


Baily exhibited a plaster group of a mother and child entitled ‘Affection etc.’ at the Royal Academy in 1823 and subsequently carved several variants in marble. One of these is dated 1837, and is now in the Victoria and Albert Museum: it is thought to be the work called ‘Group, Maternal Affection’ (no. 1179) that he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1837. The Fitzwillam’s marble is a copy of this, carved four years later. 'Maternal Affection' was so popular that it was also reproduced on a reduced scale in Parian ware, a newly invented type of porcelain. This made the composition available to aspiring middle class collectors.

The son of a ship’s carver, Baily began his career as a modeller in wax. He spent seven years in John Flaxman’s studio, acknowledged as his favourite and most devoted pupil. He came to fame in 1818 with his statue, 'Eve at the Fountain', but his most famous work is the portrait of Lord Nelson atop Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Sculpture UK

Materials used in production

White marble

Techniques used in production

Carving : White marble, carved in the round

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 'E.H. BAILY.R.A./Sculp. London/1841'
  • Method of creation: Incised
  • Type: Signature

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.3-1974
Primary reference Number: 31039
External ID: CAM_CCF_M_3_1974
Sketchfab model
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 4 June 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Maternal Affection" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-25 16:20:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Maternal Affection |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-25 16:20:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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