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Torso of a Young Man [I]

Constantin Brancusi, French (born Romania), 1876 - 1957

Made in France, Europe

c. 1917-1922

Maple; limestone block

19 x 12 3/8 x 7 5/16 inches (48.3 x 31.5 x 18.5 cm) Base: 8 7/16 inches (21.5 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 188, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor (Brodsky Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Additional information:
  • PublicationConstantin Brancusi: 1876-1957

    Carved from the fork of a maple branch, this Torso of a Young Man was among the first sculptures Brancusi completed in a wood other than oak. It shows the more abstract and geometrical tendency that marks his work from 1917 onward, while revealing at the same time a great sensitivity in the modeling of the belly and thighs. The subtle curves and delicate inflections of this adolescent body led to some initial confusion as to its subject. In his letters to John Quinn, Henri-Pierre Roché several times referred to this and another in walnut (Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris) as "female torsos"; of the two, he preferred this one, which Quinn acquired in 1923. This sleek androgynous silhouette is reminiscent of the art of Southeast Asia and in particular of the sensuous symmetry of Khmer male figures. Margit Rowell, from Constantin Brancusi 1876-1957 (1995), p. 192.

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