Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Sepulchral Figure


Not on display
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915
Bath stone
Object: 406.4 x 368.8 x 203.2 mm, 24 kg
Bequeathed by the Earl of Sandwich 1962

Display caption

The title suggests this work might
be a funeral monument; it was originally exhibited with the title Grief. Next
to some of Gaudier's other works
it seems very conventional. Though
based on life-drawings, the pose is one traditionally used for mourning figures.
It might also have been dictated by the shape of the stone. The impoverished Gaudier was reliant on cheap off-cuts
or gifts of material and was even said
to have stolen stone from masons'
yards at night.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Not inscribed.
Bath stone, 16×14 1/2×8 (41×37×20), including base; the back right corner of the base has been broken and repaired.
Bequeathed by the Earl of Sandwich 1962.
Coll: Given by the artist to Alfred Wolmark in exchange for a portrait of himself by Wolmark; purchased by the Earl of Sandwich through the Leicester Galleries 1954.
Exh: Leicester Galleries, May–June 1918 (89); Beaux Arts Gallery, June 1952 (7), as ‘Sepulchral Figure’; Artists of Fame and of Promise, Leicester Galleries, July–August 1954 (152); Orléans, March–April 1956 (2), as ‘Jeune Femme Assise’, lent by the Earl of Sandwich; Arts Council, 1956–7 (8).
Lit: Ede, 1930, pp.196–7; Catalogue of the Paintings, Sculpture, Pottery, Porcelain, Glass and Objets d'Art in the Collection of the Earl of Sandwich, Hinchingbrooke, Huntingdon (privately duplicated 1957), pp.31, 51.
Repr: The Egoist, 1, 16 February 1914, p.80, with N04514, as ‘Two Statues’; Brodzky, 1933, facing p.33, as ‘Sepulchral Monument’.

The figure is listed in the artist's catalogue of his works under 1913 as ‘Statuette Funéraire, échangée, proprietaire Al. Wolmark, fini ciseau’. A bronze cast, also listed, was later in the George Eumorfopoulos Collection (Ede, 1930, pp.196–7) and was exhibited at the Beaux Arts Gallery, June 1952 (11).

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I


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