Lot 61
  • 61

Jacques Lipchitz

600,000 - 800,000 USD
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  • Jacques Lipchitz
  • Femme Assise
  • Inscribed J. Lipchitz
  • Marble
  • Height: 60 in.
  • 152.4 cm


Yulla Lipchitz, New York (the artist's wife)
Private Collection, New York (a gift from the above)
Irving Galleries, Palm Beach
Acquired from the above in March 2001


Lipchitz, The Cubist Period 1913-1930 (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, Inc., New York, 1968, no. 25, illustration of the stone version n.p.
Jacques Lipchitz: Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, 1911-1969 
(exhibition catalogue), Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museim der Stadt Duisburg, 1971, no. 14, illustration of a bronze cast n.p.
Jacques Lipchitz: Sculpture and Drawings from the Cubist Epoch (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough Fine Art, London, 1978, no. 9, illustration of a bronze cast n.p.
Alan G. Wilkinson, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz, A Catalogue Raisonné, The Paris Years, 1910-1940, vol. I, London & New York, 1996, no. 52, illustrated p. 45


Carved marble with gray veining throughout. There is a small nick to the top right corner of the highest point of the marble, and to the front left corner of the base. A few small scattered and shallow holes appear at various points in the surface of the stone that are a result of the carving process. There is also some scuffing and abrasion to the back left and right corners of the base. Overall this work is in very good condition.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Jacques Lipchitz was twenty five when he met Juan Gris in 1916, introduced by the dealer Léonce Rosenberg whose contract with Lipchitz that same year gave the sculptor the opportunity to have his clay models realized in stone. Through Gris, Lipchitz entered a circle of artists, philosophers and poets such as Princet, Reverdy and Apollinaire, as well as the Cubists Metzinger and Gleizes. He categorized his rapid discovery of Cubism as “a form of emancipation essentially different from artistic movements that had preceded it” (J. Lipchitz & H.H. Arnason, My Life in Sculpture, New York, 1972, p. 40). According to Henry Hope, “In the sculpture which followed, Lipchitz began to show his grasp of the Cubists’ analysis and penetration of form. His figures were represented as if seen from many angles and perspectives, often with a richly broken up surface of deep and shallow facets—yet the subordination of parts to whole, and the over-all effect of agitated movement, conflicting with the sheer, static mass of stone gives these sculptures a quality that is unique in Cubist art” (H. Hope, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz, New York, 1954, p. 11).

In the early 1970s Lipchitz’s attention turned back to his Cubist works of 1915 to 1920. He executed a series of eight recorded sculptures in marble, including the present piece, which directly relate to his earlier output. These works were carved with the assistance of master carver Gugliemo Antognazzi from 1970 to 1972 in Northern Italy. The present work is based on the 1916 carved stone version, currently in the collection of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, which is smaller and bears the same title.  With the eye positioned clearly on the head, this figure is more legible than the more abstracted renderings of the body from Lipchitz's prior years, indicating his dogmatic shift toward the clarity of form.  Lipchitz also made a plaster cast from the stone carving, which is now in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo. A bronze edition of seven casts also exists of this model, one of which resides at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia. 

Although it has been known by several titles, Lipchitz himself stated that the subject of this work is a woman seated with her legs crossed on a bench. This is one of the first examples in which the figure and its base are entirely integrated, and the form may be related to Picasso's Cubist watercolors of figures seated in armchairs from 1915-16. In a conversation with Deborah Stott in 1969, the artist explained that the vertical block behind the figure's head was meant "to give value to the head, the back of the head, you know." The comment underscores Lipchitz's novel approach to constructing the human body and his approach to the balance of form. 

Of the eight unique marble sculptures carved in the early 1970s, two are currently in public collections: Baigneuse (The Israel Museum, Jerusalem) and Baigneuse Assise (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).

Fig. 1 Jacques Lipchitz, Seated Woman (also known as Cubist FigureStanding Figure and Sculpture), 1916, stone, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas