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    Sale 1972

    Fine American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture

    7 March 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 177

    Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)

    'Hand of a Pianist (Richard Buhlig)'

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
    'Hand of a Pianist (Richard Buhlig)'
    bronze with brown patina
    20½ in. (52.1 cm.) high on a wood base 3 in. (7.6 cm.) high


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    According to Gaston Lachaise, the plaster model for the present bronze was created in 1928. The model was chosen by the artist for inclusion in his 1935 retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where it was exhibited as a self-contained work titled Hand of a Pianist. The sculpture (LF 81) is based on the right hand and arm of the famed concert pianist Richard Buhlig (1889-1952), whose masterful performances must have deeply moved the music-loving sculptor.

    The present bronze is one of three examples cast from 1952 to 1969. The first bronze, currently unlocated, was authorized by the artist's widow, Isabel Lachaise (1872-1957), and cast in 1952 by an unidentified foundry for friends and students of the recently deceased musician. Presumably, the present bronze was also cast by the same foundry in that same year. The third example, cast in 1969 by Modern Art Foundry and stamped Lachaise Estate, is in the collection of the Lachaise Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts, as is the plaster model.

    We are grateful to Virginia Budny for preparing the catalogue entry for this work.

    Provenance

    Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, California.
    Carter Burden, Jr., New York, acquired from the above, October 1964.
    Sotheby's, New York, 20 November 1990, lot 128.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Estate of Richard Ward Foster


    Literature

    The Museum of Modern Art, Gaston Lachaise: Retrospective Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1935, p. 26, no. 37A, plaster model illustrated.
    The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles, California, 1963, n.p., no. 81, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928; cast 1952).
    H. Kramer, et. al., The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1967, pp. 49, no. 57, 106, fig. 57, illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928).
    D. Goodall, Gaston Lachaise: Sculptor, Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1969, vol. I, pp. 543, note 48 (3), 591, 664, note 40; vol. II, pp. 337-338, pl. CXLIX, 460, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928).
    G. Nordland, Gaston Lachaise: The Man and His Work, New York, 1974, p. 138, fig. 73, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928).
    California State College, Gaston Lachaise: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, San Bernardino, California, 1980, pp. 18, 20, fig. 22, 49, no. 22, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928).
    Palm Springs Desert Museum, Gaston Lachaise: 100th Anniversary Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Palm Springs, California, 1982, pp. 30, fig. 47, 35, no. 47, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928-1929).
    Portland Museum of Art, Gaston Lachaise: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Portland, Maine, 1984, p. 36, no. 62, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1928).
    National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Gaston Lachaise: Portrait Sculpture, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1985, pp. 19, 116, another example illustrated (as Hand of Richard Buhlig, 1952, cast from 1928 plaster).