T03508 Head of a Woman 1911–12
Plaster, the head coated with shellac 6 1/4 × 2 1/2 × 2 1/8 (158 × 63 × 54)
Inscribed ‘491’ on back of head in black paint
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Arnason 1969, repr. A (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, p.4 and repr.1 (bronze)
This very small head of a girl (without the support it is about 3 ins. high) is related to Lipchitz's ‘Woman with Gazelles’ which he exhibited in the Salon d'Automne in November 1913, where it became his first public success. It is the same scale as the head of the woman in this group, but although it is broken around the neck it is not a fragment of the original plaster for this figure as it differs in detail, particularly the position of the headband and the slope of the neck at the left.
Lipchitz records (op.cit., p.7) that he originally made this group in 1911, with only one gazelle, and that the small head was associated with work he did at the Académie Julian, which he attended from about early 1910.
There is no specific record of an early bronze cast of this head. The plaster returned into Lipchitz's possession during the preparation of Arnason's catalogue of his Sketches in Bronze in 1968–9. A bronze cast, considerably reworked in the wax, was reproduced in this book as an extra illustration. Another cast, more faithful to this plaster, was reproduced in Lipchitz's autobiography. Neither of these bronzes has the same plaster support as T 03508, which was evidently made in the 1970s.
The plaster is presumably an original cast of 1911–12. Part of the headband at the crown was cut away at an early date. The original metal armature has been cut below the neck, and slightly protrudes.
[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]
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986