Walking Madonna was commissioned for Salisbury Cathedral in 1981. For an artist usually preoccupied with the male nude, the celebrated Walking Madonna is the best known exception. Frink, educated in a Catholic convent, brought to the sculpture a feeling of austerity and evident suffering through the coarse homespun of the garment, combined with a grim optimism as the figure strides determinedly forward. The artist herself related the angularity of the piece with the shape of the Cathedral (see S. Kent, Another View: The sculpture of Elisabeth Frink, London, Royal Academy exhibition catalogue, London, 1985, p. 25).
Another cast was sold at Christie's on 7 June 2002 (£182,650), the then auction record for the artist.