Jacques Lipchitz

Study for Hagar


Not on display

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Original title
Etude pour Hagar
Plaster and iron filings
Object: 241 × 222 × 203 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Display caption

According to the Bible, Hagar was the mistress of Abraham and bore him a son who became the ancestor of the Arabs. Mother and son were sent into exile by Abraham's wife Sarah, the mother of the ancestor of the Jews. In choosing to work on this theme in 1948, the year in which Israel was established as an independent state, Lipchitz seems to have wanted to appeal in this work for sympathy for the dispossessed Arabs. In his autobiography Lipchitz wrote that 'the Jews and the Arabs ... should live together as brothers, which they were able to do for many centuries'. The 'Hagar' theme expressed, he said, 'tragedy and suffering with tenderness and hope for the future'.

Gallery label, March 1998

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Catalogue entry

T03534 Study for Hagar 1948

Plaster and iron filings 9 1/2 × 8 3/4 × 8 (241 × 222 × 203)
Inscribed ‘JL 3/10’ moulded at back
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz 1972, pp.183–4

See entry on T03519. This sculpture, despite its origin in the studies for the Hagar and Ishmael group, is an independent work and was cast in reinforced plaster in an edition of ten. Iron filings mixed with the plaster have rusted at the surface, as intended, to give a reddish colour. Another cast in the collection of the Kröller-Müller Museum (Otterlo 1977, n.p., repr.).

No other sculptures by Lipchitz were cast in an edition in plaster in this way, but the sculpture is not listed in his exhibition catalogues of the time.

[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

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