Elisabeth Frink: Walking Madonna


Elisabeth Frink: Walking Madonna


Elisabeth Frink: Walking Madonna

Initially a temporary installation that became permanent, Walking Madonna sits in the Cathedral close. Dwarfed by the Cathedral, she is life size. A rare piece by Elizabeth Frink, in that the sculpture depicts a woman, Walking Madonna is positioned with her back to the Cathedral, moving towards the outside world.

British sculptor and printmaker, Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993, British) was part of a group of post-war British sculptors, known as the ‘Geometry of Fear School’. ‘Geometry of Fear’ was a term coined by Herbert Read for the sculptors who participated in the ground-breaking British pavilion at the 1952 Venice Biennale; sculptors in post-war Britain whose work was directly informed by both the horrors of the Holocaust and WWII and the undercurrent of unease of the Cold War. Frink’s subject matter was mostly men, birds and animals. Later in her career she produced monumental heads and several winged figures. The distinctive aesthetic of her sculptures was achieved by a process of plastering an armature, then carving directly into the plaster and finally casting it in bronze. During her career Frink exhibited widely both at home and abroad. She passed away the week after the installation of her monumental final piece Risen Christ, for Liverpool Cathedral. Stephen Gardiner, Frink's official biographer, said of her final piece: ‘This awesome work, beautiful, clear and commanding, a vivid mirror-image of the artist's mind and spirit, created against fearful odds, was a perfect memorial for a remarkable great individual.’

Other artworks in churches by this artist:

Eagle Lecturn (1962), Coventry Cathedral; Risen Christ (1964), Our Lady of the Wayside Solihull; Altar Cross (1966), Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral; Christ (1963), All Saints' Basingstoke; Risen Christ(1993), Liverpool Cathedral; Christ Crucified, St Edmundsbury Cathedral


Title: Walking Madonna
Artist: Elisabeth Frink
Date: 1981

Artwork Materials: Bronze

Location: Salisbury Cathedral