Musical Instruments with Bunch of Grapes

Jacques Lipchitz, American (born Lithuania), 1891 - 1973

Date:
1922-1924

Medium:
Plaster

Dimensions:
33 x 43 x 8 1/2 inches (83.8 x 109.2 x 21.6 cm)

Copyright:
© The Estate of Jacques Lipchitz, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
2002-88-2

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of the Jacques and Yulla Lipchitz Foundation, Inc., 2002

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Label:
This plaster cast of one of Lipchitz's limestone wall reliefs for the Barnes Foundation building reveals how he used unusually deep undercutting to produce strong contrasts of light and shadow, thus making the composition visible from a considerable distance. Lipchitz, who suffered from bursitis, hired a professional stonemason to cut the limestone block and rough out the arrangement before finishing the details himself. He combined the fruit and the musical instruments with abstract shapes to create an integrated design, like a jigsaw puzzle in which interlocking pieces fit together to create a harmonious pictorial image.

Additional information:
  • PublicationGifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    Philadelphia is an important destination for admirers of Jacques Lipchitz's sculpture. Work from all periods of the artist's long and prolific career has an important presence inside and outside the Museum, in the center of the city, and along the Schuylkill River, as well as at The Barnes Foundation in Merion, just beyond the city limits. Throughout his life, Lipchitz enjoyed a special connection with area collectors, including Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who in 1922 commissioned him to execute the reliefs for Paul Cret s handsome Beaux-Arts building for the Barnes Foundation, and R. Sturgis Ingersoll, longtime president of this Museum, who became a close friend after the artist arrived in New York in 1941.

    While Lipchitz is best known for the Cubist work he made in Paris during the 1910s, for the next five decades his output was characterized by ongoing metamorphosis, as amply evident from the examples in Philadelphia's collections. This gift of four works in plaster and one in terra cotta richly adds to the eleven sculptures already owned by the Museum. In this context the works possess special resonance; for example, the painted plaster Reader II is an informative counterpart to the Museum's two important Cubist bronze sculptures by the artist, Sailor and Woman with Braid, both of 1914. It also makes an excellent partner to Juan Gris's painted plaster Harlequin of 1918, the Spanish artist's sole sculpture, made with the help of Lipchitz, one of his good friends. Musical Instruments, on the other hand, is a study for one of the stone reliefs on the facade of the Barnes Foundation. The plaster Lesson of a Disaster exemplifies the last decade of Lipchitz's career, in which the allegorical power so important to all of his work becomes more boldly eloquent than ever. Ann Temkin, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 141.