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Gaudier-Brzeska made a number of naturalistic works to demonstrate his accomplishment as a sculptor. The artist stated: 'I long to make a statue of a single body, an absolutely truthful copy - something so true that it will live when it is made.' For this work Gaudier-Brzeska made a clay model from which two plaster casts were taken. One of the plasters, one breast of which had broken, was later acquired by the Earl of Sandwich and from it three bronzes were cast, of which this is one. Two similar torsos in marble are listed by Gaudier-Brzeska as portraits of the artist Nina Hamnett. In this work the artist reveals his understanding of classical sculpture.

August 2004