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The origins of this small sculpture lie in a commission Lipchitz received from the designer Coco Chanel for a pair of firedogs for a rococo-style fireplace. He designed each of the firedogs in the form of a reclining woman, composed from figure-of-eight curves. Chanel then commissioned him to make a sculpture for her garden, for which this is a study. The garden sculpture was never completed, but the study, which drew on the earlier work, was an important new departure for Lipchitz in its curvilinear shapes and its subject of a reclining woman. It is also one of the first hand-sized modelled maquettes made by the artist.

August 2004