Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891 – 1915)

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gaudier, Woman Carrying Sacks

Woman Carrying Sacks
1912/CAST 1956 or 1964 Bronze 14 1/8 x 11 1/8 x 1 7/8in. (35.9 x 28.3 x 4.6cm)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Henri Gaudier was a French sculptor, known for his direct style of carving. Gaudier was born in the town of Saint-Jean-de- Braye near Orléans, where he lived until moving to London in 1910. Gaudier moved to London with the Polish writer, Sophie Brzeska, with whom he had a long-term relationship. Though the couple never officially married, Henri changed his surname to Gaudier-Brzeska as a symbol of his affection and devotion for Sophie.

gaudier, Wrestler

1912-1913/CAST by 1930 Lead 24 X 13 7/8 X 14 1/8 IN. (60.0 X 35.1 X 35.7 CM.) WT: 83 LB. (37.4 KG.)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

In England, Gaudier-Brzeska was inspired by the work of Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis who participated in the Vorticism movement. Gaudier-Brzeska began to make sculptures based on Primitive and Cubist aesthetics as well as Chinese calligraphy and poetry.

gaudier, Nude Male Study

Nude Male Study
1913 Pen and Ink on Paper
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

With the coming of the First World War, Gaudier-Brzeska joined the French army, which led to his early and unfortunate death in the trenches of Neuville-St.-Vast. Soon after his death Sophie was admitted to an insane asylum, where she dies in 1925. After Sophie’s death, Jim Ede, a writer who later published the book “Savage Messiah”, which was based on the artist’s work and life, purchased much of Gaudier-Brzeska’s work. The book was later adapted into a film by Ken Russell.

gaudier, Mother And Child (Doorknocker)

Mother And Child (Doorknocker)
1912-1914 Bronze 7 X 3 1/4 X 3/4 IN. (17.8 X 8.2 X 1.8 CM.)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

gaudier, Birds Erect

Birds Erect
1914 Limestone 26 5/8 x 10 1/4 x 12 3/8″ (67.6 x 26 x 31.4 cm)
Museum of Modern Art NY

gaudier, Bust of Enid Bagnold

Bust of Enid Bagnold
1912 Plaster
Courtauld Institute of Art

gaudier, Bust of Frank Harris

Bust of Frank Harris
1913 Plaster
Courtauld Institute of Art

gaudier, Bird Swallowing a Fish

Bird Swallowing a Fish
1913 Bronze
Courtauld Institute of Art

gaudier, Crouching Figure

Crouching Figure
1914 Marble
Walker Art Center

gaudier, Self-Portrait

1913 Pastel on paper

While Gaudier-Brzeska did not have many years to make work, his reputation has continued to grow post-humanously. His work has greatly influenced modernist sculpture in France, England and around the world. Gaudier-Brzeska’s work can now be seen at the Tate Gallery and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, among other well-known collections. Do you think you may own a piece by Gaudier-Brzeska? Contact us. We are the experts on Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.