Henri Gaudier-Brzeska


c.1913–14, ?posthumous cast

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Not on display
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915
Object: 121 x 51 x 38 mm, 0.4 kg
Transferred from the Victoria & Albert Museum 1983

Display caption

This seated figure is an intimate work, both in its size and its introspective attitude. Gaudier-Brzeska wrote about a life class he had attended: 'I should have liked to have a model who didn't pose at all, but did everything he wanted to, walked, ran, danced, sat, etc.' In this work angular contours and a rythmic arrangement of planes are combined with a stylised treatment of the detailed parts, such as the triangle incised into the oval of the face. These features are characteristic of the artist's Vorticist style. Henry Moore commented: 'Gaudier-Brzeska has given the reassurance that it was possible for figurative and non-figurative elements to co-exist without serious risk.'

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

T03732 Figure c. 1913–14

Bronze 4 3/4 × 2 × 1 1/2 (121 × 51 × 38)
Not inscribed
Transferred from the Victoria and Albert Museum 1983
Prov: ...; Dr G.A. Jellicoe (date of purchase not known); The Leicester Galleries (date of purchase not known); Dr N. Goodman 1933 by whom presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum 1971 (A. 23–1971)
Exh: On loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum
Lit: Roger Cole, Burning to Speak. The Life and Art of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Oxford, 1978, p.128 (repr. as ‘Figure Study’)
Also repr: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891–1915) Vu et Raconté par les Elèves du Lycée Professionel de Saint-Jean-de-Braye, Saint-Jean-de-Braye, 1986, p.117

This sculpture is in Gaudier's Vorticist style and is not listed by Gaudier in his list of works. It depicts a seated figure. Cole dates it to 1912–13 but the compiler considers this to be too early in view of its primitive idiom.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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