Maternity Figure

Mark A. Johnson Tribal Art
Maternity sculpture with mother holding a child (an Indonesian Madonna and Child). I believe this sculpture comes from the part of Lombok that is culturally connected to Bali and still practices a Hindu/Buddhist religion. Most of the people on Lombok are Muslim Sasak and it is extremely unlikely this came from that group. The mother figure is kneeling and holding a small infant. Her right shoulder leans downward and both project outwards to emphasize her holding the weight of the infant. Her gaze is cast downwards towards the infant in an expression is of endearment and compassion. In her kneeling position, she has one leg tucked under the other, exposing one foot outside the edge of her sarong. On close examination, you can see the pattern of her blouse and sash draped over her left shoulder. There are traces of black pigment on her sarong and her hair, which is tied back into a bun. At the base of the sculpture there are two incised motifs. The one facing, left, is likely a lotus blossom (again an obvious Buddhist symbol), while the one facing, right, is less clear, but almost looks like a Yin-Yang symbol. The infant’s arms are pulled up to rest under its chin and the legs are curved back towards the mother’s body. The infant appears relaxed and comforted in the mother’s hands. Hardwood, pigments. 19th to early 20th century.


Artwork details


Lombok Island, Indonesia.


H 14IN x W 7IN x D 7IN

H 35.56CM x W 17.78CM x D 17.78CM


The overall condition is very good. The tips of the hand under the child’s head have broken off long ago (barely noticeable) and there is an old age crack in the back of the sculpture. There is a metal base, not shown in these photos.

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