Jacques Lipchitz

Bather III

1917–8, cast 1960s

Original title
Baigneuse III
Object: 737 x 254 x 267 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Technique and condition

The original clay master had a surface of small buttons of clay modelled, manipulated and shaped to build this form. Modelling tools were used to smooth, shape and texture the surface.

Most of Lipchitz’s plasters can be recognised as primary plasters, cast from moulds taken directly from the clay models. This particular cast was cast from a mould taken from the original plaster cast held in the Muse National d’Art Modern, Paris. As a consequence, the quality of the casting is diminished. In many cases the plasters retain evidence in their surface of gelatine mould residue and raised mould lines, either left, or reworked and smoothed after casting; or evidence of surface pointing marks used by stone carvers. This cast is of bare plaster with no coating. Not all the primary plasters were translated into other mediums but Bather III has a version in both stone and bronze. Many plasters contain wood and wire armatures to support and strengthen the structures. These would have been secreted inside the negative gelatine mould before pouring the liquid plaster. X-ray examination would be the only way of providing positive identification of existing armatures. There is no inscription.

Arnason 1969. rep. 82 (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, pp 127-8.
The Lipchitz Gift 1986. Tate pp15-17.

Sandra Deighton
February 2005

Catalogue entry

T03486 Bather III 1917–18

Plaster 29 × 10 × 10 1/2 (737 × 254 × 267)
Not inscribed
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz 1972, pp.46–7; Stott 1975, pp.134–6, 257 (35, stone) and 285–9, reprs. 27–9 (stone and bronze)

The stone carving of this sculpture, dated 1918, is in the collection of the Barnes Foundation, Merion, USA, and was purchased from the artist by Dr Barnes in Paris in 1922 (Maurice Raynal, Lipchitz, 1920, n.p., repr.). The original plaster belongs to the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris (Centre Pompidou 1978, II).

There are no sculptures specifically titled ‘Bather I’ and ‘Bather II’, and the present title for this sculpture was first used at the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery in 1968 in an exhibition which included two other ‘Bathers’ of 1917 (Lipchitz. The Cubist Period 1913–1930, 26, 28 and 29). This plaster is of poor quality, and has not been finished, and was cast during the 1960s from a mould used to cast a wax.

[For T03397 and T03479 to T03534 the foundry inscriptions, and reproductions of casts in other materials in the books listed below, are recorded. Abbreviations used:

Arnason 1969 H.H. Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, 1969

Lipchitz 1972 Jacques Lipchitz, My Life in Sculpture, 1972

Stott 1975 Deborah A. Stott, Jacques Lipchitz and Cubism, 1975 (reprinted 1978)

Otterlo 1977 A.M. Hammacher, Lipchitz in Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1977

Centre Pompidou 1978 Nicole Barbier, Lipchitz: oeuvres de Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973) dans les collections du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1978

Arizona 1982 Jacques Lipchitz. Sketches and Models in the collection of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Introduction and catalogue by Peter Bermingham, 1982]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986