T00147 SOPHIE BRZESKA 1913
Pastel, 22×15 1/8 (56×38·5).
Purchased from H. S. Ede (Grant-in-Aid) 1957.
Coll: Estate of Miss Sophie Brzeska; purchased from the Treasury by McKnight Kauffer 1927; H. S. Ede.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, May–June 1918 (14, 36 or 73, as ‘Portrait (pastel)’); Orléans, March–April 1956 (48, repr.); Arts Council, 1956–7 (36).
Lit: Gaudier in Ede, 1930, pp.196–7.
Repr: Ede, 1930, pl.20 (in colour); Ede, 1931, facing p.112; Sir John Rothenstein, British Art since 1900, 1962, pl.33.
Sophie Brzeska, a Polish woman, who was studying languages in Paris, met Gaudier in the Sainte-Geneviève Library in 1910. At the time she was thirty-eight and he was eighteen. They became close friends and companions. She went with him to England and he linked her name to his. After his death she had a mental breakdown and died intestate in an asylum in 1922.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I