Jacques Lipchitz

Seated Bather


Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Plaster and terracotta
Object: 736 x 247 x 254 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Not on display

Technique and condition

The original clay master had a smooth modelled surface, manipulated, smoothed and shaped with modelling tools to a leathery hard, flat, multi-faceted finish. Seated Bather is a primary cast with a patchy, dark, terracotta coloured shellac and pigment surface. The plaster retains evidence in the surface of gelatine mould residue and raised mould lines.

Many of Lipchitz’s 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 positive identification in this case. This plaster was translated into a stone and a bronze version.

Inscribed in the top of the base is a number ‘742’. In black paint, the title ‘Seated Bather’ is on the underside of the base.

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

Sandra Deighton
February 2005

Catalogue entry

T03499 Seated Bather 1916–17

Plaster, coated with shellac and pigment 29 × 9 3/4 × 10 (736 × 247 × 254)
Inscribed ‘742’ incised into top of base and ‘SEATED BATHER/17’ (partly illegible) in black paint under base
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz, 1972, pp.42–5 and repr. 30 (bronze); Stott 1975, pp.131–3 and 257 (30, stone)

The stone carving of this sculpture is recorded in 1975 in a private collection in New York (A.M. Hammacher, Jacques Lipchitz, 1975, repr.72). It was first reproduced in the monograph of 1920 by Maurice Raynal.

Lipchitz describes this work in his autobiography, pointing out that it was more effectively three-dimensional than were his preceding cubist sculptures, which had been strictly vertical and horizontal. As a result there was a more emotional feeling to the figure, ‘a brooding quality emphasized by the shadowed face framed in the heavy, hanging locks of hair’ (op.cit., p.45). In conversation with Stott he dated it late 1916 or early 1917 (op.cit., p.131).

The coating of shellac is terracotta colour, and has been prepared for exhibition, although it is now chipped through to the plaster in many places. The plaster is presumably an original of 1916–17.

[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