George Minne was barely twenty years old when he sculpted Mother Grieving over her Dead Child. This was the artist’s first mature work, and at the same time one of his most dramatic. The despairing woman, who holds the lifeless body of her son grasped against her thin body, almost primitively expresses the artist’s compassion for humanity and its suffering. Its frontal position and the fusion of the bodies with the block on which they are sitting is entirely different from the classical idiom that Minne had still been using until shortly before this, in the preliminary terracotta version of the same subject. The distortion of the limbs and the uninhibited expression of deep pain herald the arrival of Expressionism.