Catalogue entry

T03485 Spanish Servant Girl 1915

Plaster 35 × 9 × 5 1/2 (889 × 228 × 139)
Inscribed ‘Lipchitz’, moulded at back of base, with a thumbprint
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Stott 1975, p.256 (17, bronze)

The ‘Spanish Servant Girl’ is not recorded before Lipchitz's exhibition at the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York, in 1968, which included a bronze cast, dated in the catalogue 1915 (Lipchitz. The Cubist Period 1913–1920, March–April 1968, 14, repr.).

Lipchitz made four sculptures of standing Spanish figures, all about 30 ins. high, in 1914–15, of which this is the latest and the most advanced stylistically. The rigid pose, with hand on hip and face in profile, is similar to that of the ‘Toreador’ (1914–15, T03487) and the ‘Woman with Braids’ (1914). The figure is not nude and the flat pieces attached to the arms and legs represent the flounces of the costume. It was made in Paris after his return from Spain, and is a reworking of his Spanish figures in a different style.

The figure is similar to the ‘Detachable Dancer’ of 1915 (private collection, New York) which is made of flat wooden pieces screwed and glued together. The original is the ‘Demountable Figure: Dancer’ (1915, painted wood) in the collection of Mrs Lipchitz (exhibited in Qu'est-ce que la sculpture moderne, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris July–October 1986 (37, repr.)). The plaster was not, however, cast directly from this construction, since: a) it shows no sign of the wood grain b) the signature and thumbprint at the base are moulded, and have been transferred from another original c) no casts have been taken from it, as would be the case were it an old cast and the source of the bronze. The flat pieces on the wooden construction are removable, and differ from those in the Tate Gallery's plaster. It is likely that the bronze exhibited in 1968 was cast indirectly from the construction, perhaps via another plaster cast. The flat pieces were modelled anew in order to make the bronze, and were added to the wax. The Tate Gallery's plaster was then cast from the bronze as a record of the completed work. The Marlborough-Gerson catalogue of 1968 states that the bronze was made in an editon of only two, although Lipchitz's practice was otherwise to cast an edition of seven.

Two drawings of this subject by Lipchitz, undated but labelled in the exhibition ‘1914’, were shown at Marlborough Fine Art in 1978 (Jacques Lipchitz, Sculpture and Drawings from the Cubist Epoch), October–November 1978, not catalogued).

The plaster is missing two small pieces broken from the left arm.

[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