19. Maternidad-La Cueva, Homage to Zúñiga

Felipe Castañeda

Maternidad-La Cueva, Homage to Zúñiga (Maternity-The Cave, Homage to Zúñiga), 1976, bronze

Gift of Mrs. Richard Harrison Hill, Philip Hulitar, and Mrs. Bradford A. Whittemore

Collection of The Society of the Four Arts, 1981.13


The Mexican sculptor Felipe Castañeda (b. 1933) titled this work as an homage to Francisco Zúñiga, his older contemporary, under whom he worked as a studio assistant. Within a tradition strongly influenced by pre-Columbian art, Castañeda’s figure reworks a similar crouching figure by Zúñiga. However, the addition of the sheltered child and the massiveness of the woman’s limbs and torso, emphasized by her relatively small head, make this an allegorical work, with implications of fertility and maternal devotion.