Maternity. Albert Toft (1862-1949). 1908. Gilt copper alloy with inlaid stones, 22 1/2 inches (57 cm.). [Click on images to enlarge them.]

According to Robert Bowman, who points out that "this rare cast of Maternity is known to us in only one other version, also in gilt bronze, in the Cyfarthfa Museum and Art Gallery in Wales," this work "closely relates to the high relief bronze Charity on the pedestal of the monument to Queen Victoria erected in Nottingham in 1905 and they were probably conceived about the same time. The composition with a baby held in each hand and the arrangement of her robe and looped hair are almost identical save in details."

"Maternity numbers among Toft's well received ideal works that included Fate-led (1890) and The Spirit of Contemplation (1901). They show the confluence of the Lantéri-Dalou tradition which Toft learn at the National Art Training School, with the symbolist overtons of his friend Alfred Gilbert" (117).

Related material

Photograph courtesy Robert Bowman and the Fine Art Society, London, have most generously given their permission to use information, images, and text from Sir Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture in the Victorian Web. Copyright on text and images from their catalogues remains, of course, with them. [GPL]


Bowman, Robert. Sir Alfred Gilbert and the New Sculpture. London: The Fine Art Society, 2008. 118-20.

Created 27 May 2008

Last modified 25 February 2020