Jacques Lipchitz
Song of Songs 1945

Artwork details

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Song of Songs
Le Cantique des cantiques
Date 1945
Medium Plaster
Dimensions Object: 139 x 216 x 89 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Not on display

Catalogue entry

T03489 Song of Songs 1945

Plaster, coated with shellac and painted 5 1/2 × 8 1/2 × 3 1/2 (139 × 216 × 89)
Not inscribed
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz 1972, pp.107–8 and 167

A bronze cast, gilt, of this sculpture was exhibited at the Buchholz Gallery, New York in 1946 (Jacques Lipchitz, March–April 1946, 16, repr.). The exhibition also included a larger bronze, 20 1/2 ins. high, of the same composition but with much smoother shapes. T03532 is a development of this subject.

The subject is King Solomon playing a harp. The general appearance of the sculpture is reminiscent of the later version of ‘Prometheus Strangling the Vulture’ (1943) in which the hero grasps the vulture with both hands, his cloak fluttering behind him so as to make the piece horizontal. Lipchitz evidently saw this further possibility of changing the mood of the subject within the same configuration. It also in part represents the sculptor working his material, and it was among a list of subjects described by the artist as of an ‘encounter ... an encounter between the artist, the material, and the forms he is using’ (Lipchitz, op.cit., p.108).

The plaster is an original cast of 1945.

[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

About this artwork