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Russian-born Zadkine moved to Paris in 1909 and became a French citizen in 1921. Immediately before the First World War he became friends with the Cubist circle of artists, and explored the representation of volume in sculpture using concave surfaces and hollows. In the interwar years he continued to work in a style influenced by Cubism, but he looked increasingly to the classical tradition of sculpture and to the myths of the ancient world for inspiration. One of his best known works of the period, this sculpture represents a group of followers of Bacchus, and is based on the flying figure of 'Victory' by the fifth-century Thracian sculptor Paeonius.