Brancusi attempted to capture the essential qualities of a human face or an animal in abstract and elementary forms. Here a bronze 'fish' stands on a polished disc, (its 'pool'), above a carved wooden base. Brancusi explained: 'When you see a fish, you do not think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through water ... If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement and hold you by a pattern, or a shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirit.'