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