• American Paintings  auction at Christies

    Sale 2199

    American Paintings

    29 September 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 32

    Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)

    'Woman (Biggest Little Woman in the World)'

    Price Realised  


    Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
    'Woman (Biggest Little Woman in the World)'
    inscribed 'LACHAISE/ESTATE 6/11' and stamped with the Modern Art Foundry and the Founder's Guild insignias (along the base)
    bronze with brown patina
    11¼ in. (28. cm.) high

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    This rotund statuette, entitled Woman by Gaston Lachaise and given the number 127 by the Lachaise Foundation, Boston, is sometimes called Biggest Little Woman in the World after the poet E. E. Cummings's description of the model, which he saw in the sculptor's New York City studio on July 4, 1918: ". . . there's a superb . . . statue in his room, its 'Big-nis in li-telnis' massive, tho 8 [sic] inches high, pose supreme, divine." (Selected Letters of E. E. Cummings, ed. F. W. Dupee and G. Strade, New York, 1969, p. 48, no. 35) Lachaise developed the model from a statuette of a woman he had made in 1910, enlarging the woman's body to goddess-like proportions while leaving her tiny, slippered feet and the garment's train intact. The present example is one of seven of a projected edition of eleven casts issued from 1973 to 1992 by the Lachaise Foundation.

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


    The Lachaise Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts.
    [With]Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, 1990.
    Galerie Gerald Piltzer, Paris, 1991, acquired from the above.
    Acquired by the present owner, by 1999.


    G. Nordland, Gaston Lachaise: The Man and his Work, New York, 1974, pp. 62-65, fig. 7, another example illustrated (as Woman).
    S. Hunter and D. Finn, Lachaise, New York, 1993, pp. 110, 243, another example illustrated (as The Biggest Little Woman in the World).