Jacques Lipchitz, American (born Lithuania), 1891 - 1973
When Lipchitz made The Prayer in 1943 at the Modern Art Foundry in Long Island City, New York, it represented a tremendous feat of bronze casting. The sculpture's large scale, intricate arrangement of concave and convex forms, and delicate surfaces made casting extremely difficult. Lipchitz used the image of an aged, broken man performing a ritual sacrifice to express his horror at the discovery of Nazi concentration camps. The artist later recalled that he had cried throughout the making of this emotional work, which was his heartfelt prayer for the innocent victims of Hitler's atrocities.