The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mother and Children
  • Hippolyte (Paul) Delaroche (1797 - 1856)
  • Mother and Children
  • France
  • c. 1843 - 1848
  • Painting
  • Oil on mahogany panel
  • Image size: 14.4 x 13.8 cm
    Diameter: 13 cm, painted area
    Object size: 30 x 30 x 6.5 cm
  • Signature: 'Paul DelaRoche'
  • P355
  • Reserve Gallery
Further Reading
  • ‘Mother and Children’ is a version of a much larger picture, ‘A Mother’s Joy’ (Luxembourg, Musée J.-P. Pescatore), painted in 1843 for Willem II of Holland. It seems in part to be a homage to Raphael’s famous representations of the Virgin and Child, and there are also parallels with eighteenth-century art. ‘Mother and Children’ is painted in a soft buttery technique reminiscent of Fragonard, and its subject recalls the Enlightenment cult of motherhood; though the severity of the mother in Delaroche’s scene is exceptional. It is almost certainly a pendant to 'A Child learning to Read' (P358) - the two works contrast wealth, emotional mood and physical type. Parenthood was a matter of great concern to Delaroche, one of two sons who himself was the father of two sons.