Virgin of the Offering

Dublin Core


Virgin of the Offering


Alsace, bronze, Christ, Christianity, Émile-Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929), gothic, infant Jesus, Jesus, Madonna, Mary, model, Niederbruck, religious sculpture, Romanesque, sculpture, SA, South Australia, virgin, virgin and child


This work by French sculptor Émile-Antoine Bourdelle was gifted to the Art Gallery of South Australia by William Bowmore AO OBE, through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation in 1994. It is a 2.5m tall bronze sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the infant Jesus aloft. Along with similar sculptures held by the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo and the National Galleries of Scotland (titled La Vierge d’Alsace), this work appears to be a model for Bourdelle’s much larger 6m tall stone carving of the subject, which was completed in 1922 and is situated on a hill in Niederbruck, Alsace, France. Bourdelle studied sculpture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris after training as a wood-carver with his father, and entered Rodin’s studio as a practitioner in 1893. He incorporated both subjects and techniques from Ancient Greek and medieval sculpture into his work. In ‘Virgin and the Offering’, his admiration of gothic and medieval religious art is evident in his choice of subject, while his use of simplified forms is reminiscent of earlier Romanesque sculpture. On the Gothic and Romanesque influences of Bourdelle’s work, see the catalogue description of NG Scotland’s La Vierge d’Alsace at: 2.


Bourdelle, Émile-Antoine


Art Gallery of South Australia




Art Gallery of South Australia


Bronze Sculpture, 250 x 90 x 70cm; Hyperlink

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