Jean FautrierHead of a Hostage 1943-4

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Artwork details

Jean Fautrier (1898‑1964)
Head of a Hostage
Tête d'otage
Date 1943-4
MediumLead on marble base
Dimensionsobject: 540 x 295 x 310 mm, 25.2 kg
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1997


Head of a Hostage is both the last in Jean Fautrier's Hostage series of 1943-5 and the last sculpture that he made. This example in lead is one of an edition of four bronze and two lead casts. It is inscribed 'Fautrier' and '3/6' and is stamped with the Valsuani mark, the foundry used by Fautrier for casting the majority of his sculptures. It is believed that the edition was completed before the artist's death in 1964. The other lead cast is in the collection of the Musée de l'Ile de France, Château de Sceaux, Sceaux.

Fautrier was part of a Resistance circle of writers, poets, and artists in Paris during World War II. In January 1943 he was arrested by the Nazis because of this affiliation. He was released upon the intervention of the German sculptor Arno Breker and withdrew to Châtenay-Malabray, a mental asylum in the suburbs of Paris… (read more)

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