'Fleeting Love', about 1885
Cast in bronze from a model
Accession Number WAG3176
This intimate group is typical of the small decorative bronzes inspired by 18th-century ceramics that Rodin produced in the 1880s. They emphasised either tender domesticity or playful eroticism. Such small groups were popular with British collectors who wanted to experience Rodin's modelling skills at close hand.
The couple's puzzling symbolism - the child appears to glide over the lap of the seated woman - is also typical of much of Rodin's work. The sculpture's first owners, the Smiths, called it 'Nymph and Child' and other titles have included 'Maternal Love'. It was the first Rodin sculpture that James Smith bought in 1899.
Bequeathed by James Smith in 1927.