Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Sepulchral Figure

1913

Medium
Bath stone
Dimensions
Object: 406.4 x 368.8 x 203.2 mm, 24 kg
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Bequeathed by the Earl of Sandwich 1962
Reference
T00542

Display caption

The title suggests this work might
be a funeral monument; it was originally exhibited with the title Grief. Next
to some of Gaudier's other works
it seems very conventional. Though
based on life-drawings, the pose is one traditionally used for mourning figures.
It might also have been dictated by the shape of the stone. The impoverished Gaudier was reliant on cheap off-cuts
or gifts of material and was even said
to have stolen stone from masons'
yards at night.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T00542 SEPULCHRAL FIGURE 1913
 
Not inscribed.
Bath stone, 16×14 1/2×8 (41×37×20), including base; the back right corner of the base has been broken and repaired.
Bequeathed by the Earl of Sandwich 1962.
Coll: Given by the artist to Alfred Wolmark in exchange for a portrait of himself by Wolmark; purchased by the Earl of Sandwich through the Leicester Galleries 1954.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, May–June 1918 (89); Beaux Arts Gallery, June 1952 (7), as ‘Sepulchral Figure’; Artists of Fame and of Promise, Leicester Galleries, July–August 1954 (152); Orléans, March–April 1956 (2), as ‘Jeune Femme Assise’, lent by the Earl of Sandwich; Arts Council, 1956–7 (8).
Lit: Ede, 1930, pp.196–7; Catalogue of the Paintings, Sculpture, Pottery, Porcelain, Glass and Objets d'Art in the Collection of the Earl of Sandwich, Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon (privately duplicated 1957), pp.31, 51.
Repr: The Egoist, 1, 16 February 1914, p.80, with N04514, as ‘Two Statues’; Brodzky, 1933, facing p.33, as ‘Sepulchral Monument’.

The figure is listed in the artist's catalogue of his works under 1913 as ‘Statuette Funéraire, échangée, proprietaire Al. Wolmark, fini ciseau’. A bronze cast, also listed, was later in the George Eumorfopoulos Collection (Ede, 1930, pp.196–7) and was exhibited at the Beaux Arts Gallery, June 1952 (11).

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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