The Maman Spider At The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

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Maman is the largest piece of spider art that has ever been made. It is one in a series of steel spiders that Louise Bourgeoius created during the 1990’s. The sculptor’s idea for the giant spiders came from a small ink and charcoal drawing that she created in 1947.  

The spider art provokes an element of fear because of its sheer size but also the design. Awkwardly balanced on thin legs it looks vulnerable but also very powerful. This amazing metal spider sculpture can be found at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.  

It has been designed to be an emblem of maternity. While it conveys an image of both a predator and protector as the silk of a spider is used to capture prey and create cocoons.  

This is a visually powerful sculpture and it almost hovers with grace giving it a real wow-factor that impresses all who visit.

Giant spider sculpture in Bilbao

How was the Maman Spider Made?

Maman is constructed of bronze, stainless steel and marble. It is one of six giant spiders that were made by the sculptor in the late 1990’s.  

Every leg is ribbed and has a sharp tipped point that is made of two pieces of steel that are attached to a collar above. From that a spiralling body rises, with an egg sac positioned below. Inside the sac there are seventeen white and grey marble eggs which hang above the head of those who dare to walk underneath it. They stand out against the darkness of the under-body.

View from underneath the Guggenheim spider

How tall Is The Maman Spider?  

This enormous spider stands at a total of 9 metres in height. It is a monumental steel structure that is designed to capture the imagination. Because of its height it can only be installed outdoors or inside an industrial sized building.  

The space between the legs is vast which makes it possible for viewers to walk under it or through it. This creates a cage-like feeling that really does make viewers appreciate its sheer size.

People walking under Louise Bourgeoius spider art

It is well worth seeing this incredible Maman spider sculpture for yourself to appreciate its grand scale when visiting the city of Bilbao

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