César (César Baldaccini) The Man of Saint-Denis 1958

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
The Man of Saint-Denis
L'Homme de Saint-Denis
Date 1958
Medium Steel
Dimensions Object: 511 x 1103 x 280 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1958
Reference
T00183
Not on display

Display caption

Many of César’s sculptures from the late 1950s are of winged figures. In The Man of Saint-Denis the wings come to dwarf the human body, and transform it into an insect-like hybrid. The plates of scrap metal welded into broad sheets lend an armoured aggression to the body. This sculpture was partly inspired by the famous French ‘bird man’ Léo Valentin, who carried out a series of parachute drops wearing wings made of canvas and wood. Saint-Denis was the location of César’s workshop, where the sculpture was made.

July 2012

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