T03528 Sketch for Duluth Monument 1963
Plaster, coated with shellac and pigment 21 × 5 × 5 (533 × 127 × 127)
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz 1972, pp.210, 213
Lipchitz made the first studies in 1963 for a commission from the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth for a monumental portrait of the founder of the city, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth. He had been asked about this commission a few years earlier, but had refused because it was too large a bronze for the Modern Art Foundry in New York. The Tommasi Foundry in Pietrasanta, Italy, were able to cast on this scale, and the plaster studies were made in Lipchitz's Italian studio.
The proportions of the figure were adjusted to suit the viewpoint on the restricted site of the museum's extension:
The Duluth monument was interesting because it was a portrait of a man of whom no portraits existed. Therefore, I had to create an idea of the explorer rather than a specific portrait. The result was that I made a great number of sketches, including a nude model for which a man at the foundry posed one morning. The sculpture was designed to be placed on a high pedestal in a rather narrow courtyard between buildings. So I actually distorted the figure in order to correct the perspective from which it would normally be seen, with the upper part of the body larger than would be natural. The sculpture is about nine feet high and the base about ten feet or more, eighteen feet in all…