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Maternity, 2006
Bronze
19 1/4 h x 7 7/8 w x 7 1/2 d in
49 h x 20 w x 19 d cm

Fortunately, my subjects have been very limited. In the history of sculpture, eighty percent of the subject matter has been a woman, either reclining standing or seated. It is a great tribute paid to the most beautiful form of nature. The interesting thing is that in returning to the same subject, you always say something different. This is one of the charms, one of the limitations and one of the difficulties that I describe in being a sculptor. You have to truly be original each time. -Fernando Botero, Botero in Washington, Washington, D.C., 1996

Maternity is a stunning tabletop bronze sculpture of a sitting nude mother holding a baby in her lap, exemplifying Botero’s endless fascination with the age-old tradition of the female form. The nude and her child, a classical depiction that references the Virgin Mary cradling baby Christ, is rendered in Botero’s rotund technique of ‘Boterismo,’ paying homage to his European predecessors in a distinct Latin American style. The fleshy eroticized figure with large rounded proportions exemplifies Botero’s mastery of emphasis on volume and sensuality of form. This bronze is both satirical and graceful, as it enchants and engages the viewer through art historical references of the female form in sculpture, a theme dating back through time.

The whimsical proportions of Maternity are mirrored in Botero’s other bronze sculptures of people and animals, such as Woman on Horse and Dancers. Botero’s monumental public sculptures can be found on the streets of New York and Paris, among others. His mastery of voluptuous fleshy figures has become his trademark style and is immediately recognizable as Botero’s creations around the world.