Mother and child

1953

Knysna Yellow Wood. 56 x 19 x 18 cm

In South Africa Herman Wald was fascinated by the vital force exuded by   African women and these have inspired this sculpture which he also  based on the “Venus of Willendorf”, (Vienna,  Museum of Natural History). Like her 21,000 year old  prototype,  this figure has no facial features as it  represents the universal female entity, with the addition of the elongated form of a girl child  joined to her body. The solidity of the figure and the broad thighs express fecundity. He has further stripped down his style to create an effigy that is modern and ancient at the same time.  The figure is absolutely frontal and symmetric, like a pagan idol of the earth mother.

 © Kaplan Centre

Images reproduced by kind permission of Louis Wald

The Life and Art of

HERMAN WALD

(1906-1970)