David Evans was born in Manchester in 1895 and studied at the Manchester School of Art. He was awarded numerous prizes and scholarships, including one to the Royal College of Art, training which he undertook after the war under the aegis of Derwent Wood, and ones to the Royal Academy Schools and the British Institute. In 1922 he received the Landseer Scholarship and in the following year won the celebrated Prix de Rome. Evans exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1923 to 1957. In the 1959 show two of his works were posthumously exhibited (nos. 1402 & 1471), and one can therefore assume that he must have died either in 1958 or early 1959.
Besides his portraiture, such as his busts of Hugh Walpole and John Galsworthy, Evans drew most of his subject matter from mythology and Christianity. His years of training brought him not only technical excellence in all media, but also a wide knowledge of ancient, modern and non-European styles in sculpture. The Madonna and Child falls in a confident period of production just after his studies in Rome, in which a fusion of styles resulted in a distinctive and bold type, which finds echoes across the Atlantic in the work of Paul Manship. The bronze Madonna and Child was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1932 (no. 1482), and in the 1935 show in a Burmese teak version (no. 1521). Formally, the group combines hints of the African idol with hierarchical interpretations of the Virgin, both Byzantine and Romanesque, in an entrancing pattern of lines and volumes. Evans' finely cast Madonna and Child stands as an important example of the imagination and skill of British sculptors during the early 20th century, and a work imbued with striking dignity and pathos.