Brancusi made some of the first purely abstract sculptures, although he always found this term which he found restricted. The Beginning of the World c.1920 is the epitome of this new development. The ovoid form recalls the heads derived from Sleeping Muse and is especially close to Sculpture for the Blind 1916 (both on display in the previous room). In The Beginning of the World a simple form manages to embody universal aspirations. The egg-like ovoid shape suggests fertility, evoking ancient myths of cosmic origins, as confirmed by the title.
The Beginning of the World is one of many sculptures in which Brancusi challenged the accepted distinction between a work of art and its base. He dissolved this traditional hierarchy and began to make works which used an accumulation of elements in contrasting materials. By doing this he believed the work of art became more firmly rooted in space.