Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Sketchbook titled ‘Le Chaos’

1910

Details

Created by
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915
Title
Sketchbook titled ‘Le Chaos’
Date
1910
Format
Bound volume - sketchbook
Collection
Tate Archive
Acquisition
Purchased 2012
Reference
TGA 20127/1

Graphite and ink on paper, forty-one leaves plus covers, 267 x 212 mm

This sketchbook consists of forty-one leaves with drawings on one side only. The content is largely stylized portrait heads of readers in the Bibliothéque Ste-Geneviéve in Paris, including the first drawings of Sophie Brzeska. There are often several heads to a page, all with faces down-turned as they read, producing the effect of tumbling avalanches of physiognomy. This sketchbook reinforces an understanding of the effect the symbolist movement had on Gaudier. There are several marginal grotesques in the book and several pages include verses from 'Les Fleurs du Mal' (the poem 'L'Ideal' is transcribed on the same page as a portrait of Sophie Brzeska). The sketchbook ends with a vigorous presumed self portrait of the artist reduced to a skeleton, clad in riding boots with spurs and wide brimmed hat, a sword hanging from his bony waist, smoking a clay pipe as he paints and dances.

Page 1, Title page, 'Le Chaos'
Page 2, Blank page
Page 3, Five studies of male heads looking downward
Page 4, Blank page
Page 5, Five studies of male heads looking downward, some wearing hats and spectacles
Page 6, Blank page
Page 7, Profile sketch of a male head with long sideburns, titled 'Le Vieux Almundssen'
Page 8, Blank page
Page 9, Several studies of male and female heads looking downward
Page 10, Blank page
Page 11, Studies of two female heads, a male head and a devil-like figure looking downward
Page 12, Blank page
Page 13, Several studies of heads looking downward and a dragon-like creature
Page 14, Blank page
Page 15, Several studies of male and female heads looking downward
Page 16, Blank page
Page 17, Four studies of male heads looking downward
Page 18, Blank page
Page 19, Study of a man looking downward with six smaller studies of heads also looking downward, a cat and a transcription of 'Les Chats' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 20, Blank page
Page 21, Studies of three heads looking downward and a transcription of 'Une nuit que j'étais près d'une affreuse Juive' from 'Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 22, Blank page
Page 23, Several studies of heads looking downward and a transcription of 'Spleen' from 'Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 24, Blank page
Page 25, Several studies of heads looking downward and a devil
Page 26, Blank page
Page 27, Seven studies of heads looking downwards
Page 28, Blank page
Page 29, Thirteen studies of various heads looking downward
Page 30, Blank page
Page 31, Seven studies of male heads looking downward
Page 32, Blank page
Page 33, Eight studies of female heads looking downward
Page 34, Blank page
Page 35, Five studies of male and female heads looking downward and a demonic figure
Page 36, Blank page
Page 37, Several studies of male and female heads looking downward
Page 38, Blank page
Page 39, Eight studies of heads looking downward and one smoking a pipe
Page 40, Blank page
Page 41, Study of a female head looking downward and five smaller studies of various heads
Page 42, Blank page
Page 43, Four studies of heads looking downward and a transcription of 'Le Poison' from 'Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 44, Blank page
Page 45, Six profile studies of heads looking downward and text
Page 46, Blank page
Page 47, Eight studies of male heads looking downward
Page 48, Blank page
Page 49, Four studies of male heads looking downward, seen from various angles
Page 50, A transcription of part of 'Danse Macabre' from 'Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 51, Study of a male head looking downward and four smaller studies of various heads
Page 52, Blank page
Page 53, Four studies of heads looking downward
Page 54, Blank page
Page 55, Three studies of heads (including one of Sophie Brzeska) looking down and a transcription of 'L'Idéal' from 'Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 56, Sketch of an elderly male head with a beard looking downward
Page 57, Blank page
Page 58, Four studies of female heads looking downward
Page 59, Blank page
Page 60, Three sketches of heads looking downward and a partial transcription of 'La Beauté' from 'Fleurs du mal' by Charles Baudelaire
Page 61, Blank page
Page 62, Study of a man reading a book and four smaller studies of heads looking downward
Page 63, Blank page
Page 64, Five studies of male heads, some looking downward
Page 65, Blank page
Page 66, Five studies of heads looking downward
Page 67, Blank page
Page 68, Large study of a man's head with a parting in his hair and four smaller studies of heads
Page 69, Blank page
Page 70, Several studies of heads looking down
Page 71, Blank page
Page 72, Seven studies of heads
Page 73, Blank page
Page 74, Four studies of male heads looking downward
Page 75, Blank page
Page 76, Sketch of a man's head with long hair looking downward
Page 77, Blank page
Page 78, Eleven studies of various heads, all looking downward
Page 79, Blank page
Page 80, Sketch of four male heads looking downward
Page 81, Blank page
Page 82, Sketch of a skeleton wearing boots and a hat and smoking a pipe
Page 83, Blank page
Loose insert, Profile sketch of a man's head
Loose insert, Partial page of text

Archive context

You might like

Explore