Description & Technical information

Henri Laurens is one of the most outstanding French sculptors of the 20th century.  He is particulary renowed for his Cubist works and studies of the female figure.

In 1911 te sculptor entered into a lifelong friendship whith Georges Braque, who introduced him to Cubism. From that point on, Laurens became deeply involved in the Cubist movement, drawing inspiration from the work of fellow artists such as Léger, Picasso, and Braque. Laurens began
to translate the ideas of Analytical Cubism into sculptures, polychrome bas-reliefs and collages.

His bronze sculptures and polychrome reliefs of 1919 and 1920 are considered as the best exemples of Cubist sculpture. It was a transitional period for the artist during which his work evolved from sharp geometric forms to a decorative sensuality of curving lines and shapes. He created highly abstract, rhythmic figures - usually female

Femme à l'éventail is an exceptional exemple of this sculptural transition.The angularity of the reclining nude and the geometric composition are a clear example
of the artist's austere Cubist rendering of the human figure. The significant motivation behind this creation was a form of art based on a non-figurative vocabulary of sculptural signs. Laurens was not
concerned with trying to impact a likeness of subject on his scultpure,
but with the formal aspect of the work which he referred to as "the
sculptural event". Like fellow Cubists Laurens was primarily interested
in the rhythms of line and volume.

Signed with monogram and numbered : HL.5/6. Stamped with the foundry mark : C. Valsuani / Cire Perdue. Edition of 9 proofs including one proof musées nationaux (MN), one artist proof (EA), one proof 0 and 6 copies numbered from 1 to 6/6.

Mr Quentin Laurens, holder of the moral right of Henri Laurens confirmed that this work was listed in his records.

Date:  1919
Period:  20th century
Origin:  Suisse
Medium: Bronze with brown patina
Dimensions: 28 x 61 x 27 cm (11 x 24 x 10⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: Louise Leiris Gallery, Paris. n°8197.5 - photo ref. n°7832. Label inside.
Robert Rothschild's collection, acquired on February 25th 1969.
Directly acquired from Mr Robert Rothschild.


Henri Laurens : Sculpteur de 1915 à 1924, Marthe Laurens, Pierre Bérès Editions, Paris, 1955, other model illustrated under the n°IV-1, p.74.
Henri Laurens, Exhibition Catalogue, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1962, other model illustrated under the n°3.
Henri Laurens : Exposition de la donation aux Musées Nationaux, Exhibition Catalogue, Grand Palais, Paris, 1967, other model illustrated under the n°3.
The Sculpture of Henri Laurens, Werner Hofmann, Harry N. Abrams Editions, New York, 1970, other model illustrated p.104-105.
Sculpture and Drawings by Henri Laurens, 1885-1954, The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1971, other model illustrated.
Henri Laurens, Exhibition Catalogue, Accademia di Francia a Roma, De Luca Editore, Rome, 1980, other model illustrated under the n°28, p.64.
Henri Laurens: Bronzes, collages, drawings, prints, The Arts Council of Great Britain, 1980, other model illustrated under the n°1.

Henri Laurens : Rétrospective, Exhibition Catalogue, Musée d'art moderne de la Communauté Urbaine de la Lille, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, 1992, other model
illustrated under the n°44, p.139.
Degas to Delaunay : Masterworks from the Robert & Maurine Rothschild family collection, Exhibition Catalogue, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Florida, 1999, illustrated under the n°22, p.24.

Las Formas del Cubismo, Escultura 1909-1919, Exhibition Catalogue, Museo Nacional - Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2002, other model illustrated under the n°156.
Braque/Laurens: un dialogue, Exhibition Catalogue, around the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne and the Musée des
beaux-arts de Lyon, Centre Pompidou Editions, Paris, 2005, other model illustrated p.84.

Tête à tête : Léger, Laurens, Exhibition catalogue, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Hatje Cantz, 2012, illustrated under the n°42, p.84.

Braque et Laurens: 40 années d'amitié, Exhibition catalogue, Musée de l'Annonciade, Saint-Tropez, June 6th - October 8th, 2017, illustrated in] color, full page, p.23, listed p.89.

Exhibitions: Degas to Delaunay : Masterworks from the Robert & Maurine Rothschild  family collection, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida, March 12th - May 1st 1999.
Tête à tête : Léger, Laurens, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, from June 23rd  to November 4th, 2012.

Braque et Laurens : 40 années d'amitié, Musée de l'Annonciade, Saint-Tropez, June 6th - October 8th, 2017.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints