This work is registered in the archives of the Calder Foundation, New York, under application number A11069.
Calder created La botte in 1959, during a period in which he dramatically increased his production of stabiles as both stand-alone works and as maquettes for his monumental pieces. Mildred Glimcher comments:
"Whereas the standing mobile's base mediates between the earth and the air, the stabiles remain rooted to the earth, as does man himself. Like the mobiles, they activate the surrounding space and share their quality of animation, which derives from the organic character of the shapes and the lively outlines of the forms (a quality hard to actually define but essential in all the work). But the stabiles are also the reverse of the mobiles -static, with the potential for movement but not moving. The sense of 'potential energy,' of energy barely contained, endows them with a powerful presence" (M. Glimcher, "Alexander Calder: Toward Monumentalism," Alexander Calder: The 50s, Pace Wildenstein, exh. cat., 1995, pp. 16-17) .
The title of the work may be translated several ways, each a unique interpretation of the combination of shapes. La botte can mean a jack boot (perhaps seen on its side horizontally), or a bunch or bale, or a thrust.
La botte is a maquette for a monumental sculpture of the same name that is in the collection of the Museum Ludwig, in Cologne.