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Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)

Back of Walking Woman [LF 33]

Details
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Back of Walking Woman [LF 33]
inscribed '©/C G LACHAISE/1933' (on the reverse)
polished bronze
18 ¾ in. (47.6 cm.) high
Modeled and cast by 1933.
Provenance
The artist.
Isabel Lachaise, wife of the above.
[With]M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, 1946.
The Downtown Gallery, New York, acquired from the above, 1953.
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Watter, Washington, D.C., acquired from the above, 1955.
Parke-Bernet, New York, 19 October 1967, lot 21 (as Walking Woman).
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, acquired from the above.
[With]Washburn Gallery, New York, 1978.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1978.
Literature
D.B. Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise: Sculptor," vol. 2, Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1969, p. 431.
J.R. Mellow, "Lachaise Nude Sculptures Displayed," The New York Times, October 27, 1973, p. 27.
G. Henry, “Gaston Lachaise,” Art News, vol. 72, no. 9, December 1973, p. 90, illustrated.
Exhibited
New York, The Downtown Gallery, Contemporary Art, Gallery Purchases, May 24-June 11, 1955, no. 16.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Twentieth Century American Painting and Sculpture from Philadelphia Collections, October 25-November 30, 1958, n.p., no. 272.
Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Gaston Lachaise: 1883-1935, Sculpture and Drawings, December 3, 1963-April 5, 1964, n.p., no. 33, illustrated.
New York, Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, Gaston Lachaise, October 20-November 29, 1973.
New York, Washburn Gallery, From the Intimate Gallery: Room 303, October 4-28, 1978, no. 9.
St. Louis, Missouri, St. Louis Art Museum; Honolulu, Hawaii, Honolulu Academy of Arts; Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts, The Ebsworth Collection: American Modernism, 1911-1947, November 20, 1987-June 5, 1988, pp. 118-19, 210, no. 37, illustrated.
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Twentieth-Century American Art: The Ebsworth Collection, March 5-November 12, 2000, pp. 164-65, 289, no. 38, illustrated.
Special notice

On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

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Sara Friedlander
Sara Friedlander

Lot Essay

We are grateful to Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation, for her assistance in preparing the catalogue entry for this work.

Gaston Lachaise’s Back of Walking Woman, a high relief, was derived from the back of Walking Woman [LF 31], a statuette modeled in the round in 1919. The earlier work was intended to celebrate the robust vitality of the modern American Woman and was based on the artist's shapely, energetic wife, Isabel Dutaud Lachaise, who was described around that time as "a woman capable of advancing down Eighth Street [in Greenwich Village] with the inspiring gait of an empress” (as quoted in V. Budny, "Gaston Lachaise’s American Venus: The Genesis and Evolution of Elevation," The American Art Journal, vols. 34-35, 2003-04, p. 72).

To create the model for the present work, Lachaise significantly shortened the length of the woman’s dress and eliminated nearly all of her arms as well as much of her lower legs, thus focusing the viewer’s attention closely on the proud arch of her upper back and the firm, voluptuous forms of her lower torso that are both revealed and enhanced by her close-fitting garment. This practice of revisiting and editing an earlier work to create a new one is typical of Lachaise's artistic process.

The present bronze is a unique sand cast made by the Herman Daub foundry, New York. The inscription, ground into the metal with a grinder, is autograph. There are no other bronze casts of the work. Lachaise also made a headless version [LF 249] of Back of Walking Woman, known in two bronze copies--one of these is lost, and the other is said to be inscribed with Lachaise’s signature and a copyright date of 1931. A damaged plaster model that may have been used for both versions of Back of Walking Woman, and to which the identification number LF 278 has been assigned, is owned by the Lachaise Foundation.

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