Lot 32
  • 32

Jacques Lipchitz

800,000 - 1,200,000 USD
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  • Jacques Lipchitz
  • Baigneuse
  • Inscribed Lipchitz, stamped with the artist's thumbprint and numbered 6/7
  • Bronze
  • Height: 35 in.
  • 89 cm


Fine Arts Associates, Inc., New York

Private Collection, Canada (acquired from the above on February 26, 1959)

Thence by descent 


New York, Fine Arts Associates, Inc., Jacques Lipchitz, Thirty-Three Semi-Automatics 1955-1956, and Earlier Works 1915-1928, 1957, no. 40

New York, Fine Arts Associates, Inc., Paintings, Watercolors, Sculpture, 1958, illustration of another cast no. 27 


Fifty Years of Lipchitz Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), Otto Gerson Gallery, New York & Andrew Dickson White Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 1961-62, another cast listed no. 13

Lipchitz: The Cubist Period, 1913-1930 (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, Inc., New York, 1968, illustration of another cast no. 29

Jacques Lipchitz & H. H. Arnason, My Life in Sculpture, New York, 1972, illustration of another cast p. 47

A. M. Hammacher, Lipchitz in Otterlo (exhibition catalogue), Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, Netherlands, 1977, illustration of another cast n.p.

Alan G. Wilkinson, Jacques Lipchitz, A Life in Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1989, another cast illustrated no. 24

Alan G. Wilkinson, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz, A Catalogue Raaisonné, Volume One, The Paris Years, 1910-1940, New York, 1996, no. 64, illustration of another cast & the stone version p. 47

Helen Gardner, Horst De la Croix, Richard G. Tansey & Diane Kirkpatrick, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, Belmont, California, 2005, illustration of another cast in color p. 976

Catalogue Note

Conceived in 1917, Baigneuse, is one of Lipchitz’s most successful Cubist sculptures. Fascinated by the unique sculptural challenge of representing the female figure in a Cubist manner, Lipchitz created a large number of bathers between the early 1910s and the end of the decade, the first of which were strictly geometrical while others, like the present work, incorporated arabesques and curved features, giving the sculptures an irrepressibly human-quality. Discussing the present work and two others he produced at the same time, Lipchitz wrote: “In all three there is the sense of twisting movement, of the figure spiraling around its axis. There is the massive monumentality I was now seeking. Although these sculptures are still generally small in scale, thirty-six or forty inches high, they have a monumental feeling and could easily have been translated into far larger sculptures. They represent some of my first finding in this direction, the moment at which I began to sense the possibilities of sculpture as a truly monumental form of expression. All three are intricate works, highly complex in the manner in which the figures are built up of many different interacting elements… Once again I believe that these figures evoke the living human figure into which the forms were translated, while maintaining the purity of those forms. The bathers, observed from different angles, are even reminiscent of traditional portraits of bathers as seen in the history of sculpture from ancient times through the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries. Bather [the present work] is conceived as a bather stepping down to a pool or a river, holding her drapery as her head turns over her shoulder” (J. Lipchitz, My Life in Sculpture, New York, 1972, pp. 46-49).

Working alongside many of the key Cubist painters in Paris, such as Juan Gris and Fernand Léger, Lipchitz was naturally drawn to the innovative manner in which they worked. Lipchitz’s challenge was to develop a Cubist idiom that translated into three-dimensions while retaining a sense of the graphic, non-literal style of representation that he so admired. Discussing his early achievements, Henry R. Hope has written: "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 the whole, and the overall effect of agitated movement, conflicting with the sheer, static mass of stone gives these sculptures a quality that is unique in cubist art” (H. R. Hope, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1954, p. 11).

Other casts of Baigneuse reside in the permanent collections of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City while the stone version is held in the collection of The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Baigneuse was conceived in 1917 and cast in an edition of 7 bronzes numbered 1 through 7. The present work was most likely cast between 1945 and 1957, as were the vast majority of the artist's cast bronze works numbered 4, 5, 6 and 7.