- Object: 711 x 927 x 76 mm
- Presented by Kettle's Yard Collection, Cambridge 1966
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915
T00837 Wrestlers 1914 cast circa 1965
Inscribed with Gaudier’s monogram, lower centre.
Herculite, 28 x 36½ x 3 (71 x 92.5 x 7.5).
Presented by the Kettle’s Yard Collection, Cambridge 1966.
No. 6 in an edition of eight casts made by H. S. Ede from the original plaster now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The original is the ‘“Lutteurs”, bas-relief listed by Gaudier himself in his partial list of his work, printed in the 1930 edition of Ede’s Life (op. cit.). Horace Brodzky in his Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 1933, relates (p. 123) how at one period Major Charles Wheeler ‘saw much of Brzeska and often took him to wrestling bouts at the London Wrestling Club, off Fleet Street. Here Brzeska made drawings and revelled in the sport. The plaster relief, the lino-cut and the other works are the result of these trips.’ (The lino-cut, executed as a Christmas card, is reproduced in Brodzky, op. cit., p. 129, and closely related drawings are reproduced in Pound, op. cit., pi. 33, and in Mervyn Levy (introd.) Gaudier-Brzeska: Drawings and Sculpture, 1965, pl. 58.) Brodzky (op. cit., p. 31) describes how Gaudier covered over with plaster a canvas on which he had abandoned two paintings in succession, and carved two wrestling figures in the plaster. Although stylistically unrelated to the present relief, his lead sculpture ‘The Wrestler’ 1913 (repr. Brodzky, opposite p. 33) is a further example of his interest in wrestling.
Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1966–1967, London 1967.
Drawing on material in the Tate Archive and early twentieth-century sports periodicals, and using previously unexamined material about Gaudier-Brzeska’s ...