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This sculpture, which is made from plaster, has the immediacy of a sketch. The distortions of the head betray the artist’s nascent interest in Cubist faceting of surfaces. The title may come from the sitter’s cross-eyed expression, and one close friend of the artist identified the head as a satirical self-portrait. It was first exhibited with the title Head of a Jew.

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was born in 1891 in St Jean de Braye, near Orléans, in France. He died in battle at Neuville-Saint-Vaast in France in 1915.

August 2004