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This work depicts Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941), a Polish pianist who was renowned for his dazzling technique and luxuriant head of hair. In 1918 he became Prime Minister of Poland. The bust was completed in two hours while Paderewski played the piano in Gilbert’s studio. The plaster was not cast into bronze until 1934, suggesting that Gilbert considered it unfinished. However, it has a sense of freedom not found in other contemporary portraits by Gilbert.

February 2010