TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT March 1981

Constantin Brancusi’s Photographs

READILY ACKNOWLEDGED AS ONE of the great sculptors of this century, Constantin Brancusi the photographer is less widely known. Paradoxically enough, Brancusi’s output in sculpture is relatively small, comprising only some 215 known works. At least 40 of these—mainly from his early period—have since disappeared or been destroyed, and are known only from photographs.1 It can almost be said that, given the long span of his life, he endeavored to follow Rodin’s advice, “. . . Above all don’t work too quickly,”2 throughout his career. He did leave, however, a very impressive number of photographs: 560 original negatives, the vast majority of which are on glass plates, and about 1250 original prints, some rendered priceless through the disappearance of the negatives. They were found in his atelier at the time of his death in 1957, together with a complete photographic outfit, consisting of camera, lenses, darkroom, tripod, chemical solutions, etc.3 The sheer bulk of the photographs single Brancusi out as having more than a contingent interest in photography.

Precedents of such interest in photography had been established ever since photography was discovered. Its influence on artists was immediate and persistent, in spite of criticism and sarcasm, starting with the great Ingres; he was probably the first to make use of the newly invented daguerreotype in portraiture, which together with landscape painting, became particularly susceptible to the new medium. The artists of the School of Barbizon found a new source of inspiration in the photographed landscape. Corot—at whose death some 300 photographs were found in his studio—devised his famous effect of “hallation” from the unintentionally blurred effects of photography. Delacroix and Courbet can also be added to the increasingly impressive list of artists who found inspiration in photography. Later in the 19th century the Impressionists held their very first exhibition in 1874 at the photographer Nadar’s gallery. Most of them were influenced by photography in one way or another. There are countless classic examples of the selective use of photographic techniques, leading to the not unreasonable speculation that photography was one of the 19th century’s studio secrets.

Contemporary with Brancusi, Marcel Duchamp and the Futurists, continuing Degas’ passionate interest in movement, employed chromophotography to represent simultaneous movement. Even Picasso’s Cubism, involving the simultaneous and analytical presentation of volume on a flat surface, but teleologically different from the dynamism of the Futurists in its endeavor to represent what we know rather than what the eye sees, was not altogether free from the influence of photography.4

Brancusi’s photographs transcend the recording level and spill over into the realm of art, although it is difficult to assess whether his interest was mainly in capturing the esthetic qualities of his sculpture or if he was concerned also with achieving “artistic” photographs. Only recently have Brancusi’s many photographs begun to be acknowledged as transcending the level of recording evidence, and as an important element themselves within Brancusi’s oeuvre. During the last few years, a series of generous exhibitions in Europe and the U.S. have made Brancusi’s photographs better known, and have made them precious collectors’ items.

The history of this “hobby” of Brancusi’s is somewhat clouded in mystery. It is almost certain that he started to use the camera quite early in his career, initially for strictly documentary purposes. A series of faded photographs of sculptures executed while Brancusi was a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bucharest between 1898 and 1902—sculptures that have long since disappeared without a trace—constitute the sole record of them, and are therefore significant although neither the quality nor the state of preservation of the photographs are exceptional.5 The earliest known photograph of his studio in Bucharest, dated 1901, shows one of the few sculptures still extant from that period, entitled Écorché, which Brancusi executed, for pedagogical purposes, in collaboration with the eminent physician Dr. Dimitrie Gerota. It appears photographed side by side with its model—a plaster cast of Antinoüs—which constituted one of the compulsory subjects of study “after the antique.”6 The female bust in the foreground—probably an example of a “study after nature,”7 has also disappeared. The existing print is a copy,8 which was obviously ordered by Brancusi in an attempt to keep an orderly record of his artistic development right from the beginning. He began to gather photographs both of individual works and of his atelier in Paris as early as a 1905, the year in which he enrolled (for the third time) as a student with Antonin Mercie at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Yet the authorship of these photographs is uncertain, and although it has been suggested that Brancusi was already taking his own photographs by 1905,9 no evidence has been found to substantiate this.

More interesting still are a number of post cards with photographs of Brancusi’s sculptures all signed and dated in his own handwriting. Apparently intended as a kind of promotional device, to increase the sales potential of his work, these were made between 1906 and 1907, at the time of Brancusi’s artistic debut in Paris and exhibited at both the Official Salon and the Salon d’Automne.10 Only recently brought to our attention,11 these post cards (with only one known exception)12 were sent to his Rumanian friend and patron, the rich student Victor N. Popp,13 who over time bought the majority of the sculptures. Brancusi was in fact to continue this practice of making post cards of his work throughout his career. A fascinating example can be found in his correspondence with the American lawyer and art collector John Quinn,14 carried on from 1916 until the latter’s death in 1925.15 On two occasions the artist included several photographs of his works in his letters, with the obvious intention of selling the sculptures to Quinn, whose collection at the time of his death included 32 works by Brancusi.16 In a letter dated Dec. 27, 1917, Brancusi wrote:

. . . The photographs of the other works I am sending you in the same envelope are not terribly good but I did not want to be delayed again. I am sending prints of each [sculpture]. I numbered the prints on the back and gave above the dimensions. . . . There are two replicas nos. 5 and 6 The Bird and Sleeping Muse which must not be considered as reproductions of the first versions because they were conceived differently. They are not finished but one can already see the idea . . . Nr.4 is an early marble [sculpture] which I wanted to keep for myself, but as most of the ones I made after it are in your collection, I thought that perhaps it may interest you . . .

And in the reply written by Quinn to Brancusi, dated June 28, 1922:

There was received at my office last Friday June 23rd, 1922 your letter of May 25, enclosing photographs of your 10 sculptures, 16 prints in all. Of the first 4 photographs, Nr.1 gave the column and the stone base. The dimensions of that stone base given in the photo were 37 x 52 in height. I should like to have you send me such a base. . . . The next three photos each one marked nr.2 gave the front, the back and the profile view of Adam and Eve. . . .

While no esthetic value can be attached to Brancusi’s photographs from 1906 and 1907, (which through sheer historical accident have become unique and therefore valuable records of the sculptures that the artist made during that period), by the time of his correspondence with John Quinn the situation was already different. It is reasonable to assume that by this time Brancusi was already an experienced photographer, although not professionally trained. Probably conscious of this as a shortcoming, he apparently decided to rectify it. The first documented information about his wish to improve his photographic skills came from Man Ray, who would later become his friend. He visited Brancusi in 1921 in order to make his portrait for his file of celebrities. He recalled the visit vividly:

. . . I came to Brancusi with the idea of making a portrait of him to add to my files. When I broached the subject he frowned; he said he did not like to be photographed. What would interest him was to see some good photographs of his work: so far, the few reproductions he had seen were a disappointment. Then he showed me a print Stieglitz had sent him, when his show was being held in New York. It was of one of his marble sculptures, perfect in lighting and texture: it was a beautiful photograph he said, but it did not represent his work. Would I help him acquire the necessary material and give him some points? I’d be glad to, I said; the next day we went shopping, acquired a camera and a tripod. I suggested a photo finisher who would do his darkroom work, but this too he wished to do himself, so he built a darkroom in a corner of the studio, all by himself as he did everything else in the studio, even to the moving of heavy pieces by means of crowbars and pulleys. I directed him in the taking of the pictures and showed him how to finish it in the darkroom. From then on he worked by himself.17

Well before he met Man Ray, Brancusi had almost certainly been acquainted with the two foremost artists in photography at that time, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen.18

In fact, Steichen bought his first sculpture—a Maiastra—from Brancusi sometime between 1910 and 1912.19 And Brancusi’s first one-man show in New York—a small exhibition, consisting of only eight works—was held at 291, Stieglitz’s influential gallery.

Although both Steichen and Stieglitz repeatedly photographed his sculpture, Brancusi was dissatisfied by the results, and his desire to learn to photograph properly eventually led him to request Man Ray’s assistance. Whether he ever became as great a photographer as he was a sculptor remains a matter of debate, given that he never achieved a comparable level of “professionalism” in photography as he had in sculpture. He felt very strongly, however, that only his own photography could do justice to his sculptural work. Man Ray recalled the first samples of photographs which Brancusi showed him after their few sessions together:

. . . Some time later he [Brancusi] showed me his prints. They were out of focus, over or underexposed, scratched and spotty. This, he said, was how his work should be reproduced. Perhaps he was right—one of his golden birds had been caught with the sunrays striking it so that a sort of aurora radiated from it, giving the work an explosive character. Looking at the sculptures themselves, I could not help thinking how much more imposing they appeared now, alongside his amateurish attempts in another medium . . . Thinking also, that he did not wish to attain greater efficiency so that his sculpture would always dominate.21

Much later, Brassaï was equally reserved about Brancusi’s endeavors: “. . . With Brancusi I could never become friendly, he did not let me photograph his work. And he photographed himself always. And not terribly well in my opinion.”22 It is true that Brancusi was in the habit of photographing himself; the cable release visible in his hand in at least one of his portraits shows that it is in fact a self portrait. Brancusi never swayed from his decision to remain sole photographer of his works. He was proud of this, too. In 1938, when the American sculptor Malvina Hoffman visited his atelier and asked for a photograph for a book that she was preparing. Brancusi immediately offered his assistance. Asked by Hoffman if he took his own photographs, he answered: “ . . . Yes, always . . . and moving pictures also, here is my laboratory, and here are my pictures of the Temple of the Kiss. You may have them for your book. They are recent ones.”23 It is interesting that he accepted Hoffman’s intentions readily. With the sole exception of a monograph published in Bucharest in 1947 by his friend V.G. Paleolog, of which 250 copies were printed,24 Brancusi purposely forbade anyone to write his biography during his life time.25 Another Rumanian sculptor, Milita Pătrașcu recalled that “. . . it was impossible to use his bathtub because prints were always washing in it.” She also remembered being given a camera by Brancusi, but she took it back because she did not know how to use it.26

The photographs can be divided into two main categories, according to subject matter: general views of the atelier and photographs of single works. The majority of the latter are kept in the Brancusi Archives at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. To these can be added an unknown number of snapshots of Brancusi in more intimate surroundings—either with friends, on holiday, playing golf or just relaxing—pictures of the sort that would be kept in a family album. They give a touching insight into the private life of this otherwise solitary man, by recording seemingly disparate moments in his life. Yet, when put together, they form a loose biographical outline, from the time when he was a young student in Bucharest, to his old age. Silent witnesses of the passage of time, they record also Brancusi’s change from a dark-haired young man with piercing eyes into a white-bearded sage of sorts, always dressed in white and wearing a peculiar hat, resembling a Phrygian bonnet, to the day of his death—garb Brancusi wore in the last photograph of him ever taken.27

Most of the photographs showing general views of the atelier are from 1917 on, and were taken in the ateliers Brancusi had, first at number 8, and later at number 11, Impasse Ronsin.28 Several photographs, though, from around 1907, when he was still living at number 54, rue de Montparnasse, give us a glimpse of his timid beginnings. There is a startling contrast between the later photographs and the few early ones, in which the appearance of the atelier is classically standard: busts mounted on high plinths, all neatly arranged at eye level. In one example, though, the humorous touch that would later be so characteristic is already discernible in the irreverent placement of a potted plant on top of an unfinished carved head. But neither the sculptures—most of which have long since disappeared—nor the photographs—whose authorship is uncertain—are outstanding in any sense. By 1917, however, the situation had changed radically. And one cannot fail to notice that there is a curious parallel between the standard of Brancusi’s sculpture and that of his photographs, a standard that he maintained throughout. The year 1917 was a peak period in Brancusi’s creative output: he had already produced his most celebrated works, such as Mlle. Pogany, Maiastra and Sleeping Muse, and was involved in a series of subtler and more complex sculptures, mainly in wood—the first documented Column, The Sorcerer, Adam and Eve. . . . He was also experimenting boldly with bases, which he was using interchangeably with various sculptures, thus creating veritable but transient ensembles. This fascinating process of restructuring could only be recorded by photography. A particularly fascinating example related to the atelier, rather than to such ensembles, is provided by two identical shots taken from a bird’s-eye view,30 in which a relatively insignificant detail imposes itself forcefully as the undisputed center of interest—the Bird in Space in the background, in one example the bronze version, replaced in the second example by a marble version. Brancusi took the photographs at night, thus creating an atmosphere of mystery and expectation, very appropriate to the main protagonist in the photograph—the bird from the fairy tale. The theme of the bird was a favorite in Brancusi’s oeuvre. Evolved from the earliest version of Maiastra, through the intermediary phase of the Golden Bird, it culminated with the final Bird in Space. It’s fusiform shape and powerful upward thrust were supposed to be a visual representation of an abstraction—of flight. This totally unprecedented conceit was so thoroughly misunderstood that it landed Brancusi in trouble. In 1926, when he was shipping a Bird in Space to New York for a one-man show at the Brummer Gallery, he was charged duty by the U.S. Customs on what was considered a mere piece of material. Brancusi sued the U.S. Government and won the lawsuit, but it took two years and the testimony of two such outstanding artists as William Zorach and Jacob Epstein to convince the court that in fact they were dealing with “art.”31

In the case of his photographs of single sculptures, Brancusi was trying to capture something of the transcendent qualities of the objects by treating in different ways the various materials employed. He subtly underlined the intrinsic characteristics of the various materials—wood, stone, marble of different colors, bronze—in a multitude of ways, with the same awareness of differentiation of texture that he brought to his sculpture. Brancusi was the first sculptor to treat the material with respect by emphasizing rather than disguising, its secondary qualities—grain, color, texture, density—and to make them work for him: the stoniness of the stone, the deadness of white marble or the translucence of bronze. In a similar way they became main protagonists in his photography. Light became the essential element in these new experiments. By using it directionally to highlight or dissolve contours, to smooth or roughen textures, to highlight a pattern, in what seems almost to have been an attempt to replace the missing natural color, he succeeded in obtaining some unique effects in a medium far from being sufficiently perfected to allow such specific needs to be fulfilled. In the rather special case of the Golden Bird—possibly the very photograph that was criticized by Man Ray—Brancusi succeeded in embodying the essence of flight, by blurring the distinction between object and space almost to the point of obliteration, thus deliberately negating the very materiality of matter—a primary, rather than secondary, quality. On the other hand, skeptics may argue that Brancusi, who achieved this result almost by mistake, must have been more surprised than pleased. Who can tell? The notorious intentional fallacy rears its head again. Another example, perhaps even more revealing, are the photographs of two versions of Mlle. Pogany II—one in veined marble and another in bronze—which can be dated 1919 and 1920, and 1925, respectively.32 It becomes immediately apparent that in the former Brancusi was at pains to emphasize the milky density of the marble surface, by illuminating it uniformly with a slight emphasis on the rounded surface of the forehead, and allowing the pattern to create sufficient visual variety to give the eye prolonged enjoyment. In the example of the two bronzes, on the other hand, not only does he employ an uneven background, in which light and shade are intertwined, thus creating patterns on the walls and complicating the background, but he also makes it difficult to tell whether a single directional light source was used. Furthermore, he deliberately made use of the fascinating, mirror-like quality of the highly polished bronze surface, treating it like a mirror and allowing accidents to occur. He created thus an almost “Alice Through the Looking Glass” effect, of a fleeting world, capriciously captured in the sheen of the surface—an impression which he playfully and deliberately changed from example to example. Thus in the otherwise identical photographs of the bronze versions of Mlle. Pogany II one can discern a photographic tripod reflected in one example, and a somewhat unclear image of part of a seated figure in the other: fragments of a reality outside and in front of the sculpture. Brancusi incorporated the element of time by showing two consecutive events reflected in the polished surfaces of the bronze sculptures in two or more otherwise identical photographs. Another interesting but more specific way in which Brancusi treated single works are the sets of photographs he would make of the same sculpture from its three main vantage angles-front, back and profile. Such photographs were taken repeatedly by the sculptor for a very specific reason: they constituted his presentation kit for prospective buyers. An example comes from the letter already mentioned from John Quinn to Brancusi in June 1922, in which he referred to three such photographs of Adam and Eve, extolling the generally high quality of the sculpture. Equivalents of these can be found in the three-part portraits painted in the 17th century, usually of famous people, that were intended to enable a sculptor to make a portrait bust of the absent sitter. A famous example is the triple portrait of King Charles I of England by Sir Anthony Van Dyck that was sent to the sculptor Bernini, who had been commissioned to carve the royal bust.33

Finally, Brancusi had the unique and curious habit of setting up often charming tableau-vivant-like groups of sculptures, whose existence as collections of objects was just as fleeting as the images reflected in the polished surfaces of his bronzes, and captured by the camera. The claims of both to an ontological status were based on the existence of a photograph of them. These seemingly capricious and perhaps haphazard arrangements created a probable meaning or literary reference. In 1917 Brancusi sent John Quinn such a photograph, entitled The Child in the World. Mobile Group, which consisted of a sculpture otherwise known as Little French Girl34 placed near a column-like base topped by a wooden cup. He provided no additional information or explanation about the group, whose putative poetic reference remains opaque.

Brancusi kept a record of his sculpture by photographing it continuously throughout his career and retaining the rights to his pictures. He was a passionate photographer and his photographs constitute a vital testimony not only for the researcher but also for those who love photography.

Sanda Miller is the author of a book on Brancusi which will be published by Phaeton Press in 1982. She is currently writing a Ph.D. thesis on Brancusi at the Courtauld Institute.

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NOTES

1. Sidney Geist, Brancusi: The Sculpture and Drawings, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1975, p. 171.

2. Ionel Jianou, Brancusi, London: Adam Books, 1963, p. 34; information received from Nathalie Dumitresco and Alexander Istrati.

3. Isabelle Monod-Fontaine and Marielle Tabart, Brancusi photographe, Paris: Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, 1978, p. 10 and p. 12, note 2.

4. Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, London: Penguin Books, 1974.

5. Barbu Brezianu, Brancusi in Romania, Bucharest: Editura Academiei, 1976.

6. Petre Comarnescu, Brancusi: Mit si metamorfoza in sculpture contemporana, Bucharest: Editura Meridiane, 1972, pp. 97–98. Brezianu, Brancusi in Romania, p. 63, note 10, maintains that it was not the statue of Antinoüs that Brancusi copied, but that of Hermes Capitolinus, from the museum with the same name in Rome, whose plaster cast had existed at the Academy since 1865 when it was commissioned by Theodor Aman—the first director of the Academy.

7. Barbu Brezianu, Brancusi in Romania, p. 213. This was possibly the “character study,” for which Brancusi received an honorable mention in June 1901, made after a particular model known to come and sit at the Academy once a month.

8. Monod-Fontaine and Tabart, Brancusi Photographe, p. 117, no. 1.

9. Sidney Geist, Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture, London: Studio Vista, 1968, p. 164.

10. Catalogue of the XVlth Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1906. Entry no. 1715: Constantin Brancusi, 16, Place Dauphine: Portrait of M.G., bust, plaster.
Catalogue of the Salon d’Automne, 1906, nos. 218–220: Portrait of Mr. Stefan Lupescu; Child; Pride.

11. Barbu Brezianu, “Pages inédites de la correspondance de Brancusi,” in Revue Roumaine d’Histoire de l’art, vol. 2, 1964, pp. 385–400.

12. Brancusi sent such a postcard in 1907 to Otilia Cosmutza, the Rumanian journalist and friend who introduced him to Rodin, with the following inscriptions: “C. Brancusi, Eboche, Salon de Paris en 1907.” In “Insemanri al lui Mircea Nicoara,” Familia, February 1966.

13. Victor N. Popp—a rich student from Craiova, where Brancusi did his apprenticeship at the School of Arts and Crafts between 1894–1898—was a student in Paris at about the time Brancusi was starting his career, and became the sculptor’s first patron. On Victor N: Popp, see Ion Schintee, “Exegeza Brancusiana,” in Ramuri, Craiova, Feb. 15,1967.

14. B.L. Reid, The Man from New York: John Quinn and his Friends, New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

15. The correspondence between Brancusi and John Quinn is now in the New York Public Library.

16. John Quinn, Collection of Paintings, Water Colours, Drawings and Sculpture, New York: Pidgeon Hill Press, 1926. With a foreword by Forbes Watson.

17. Man Ray, Self Portrait, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1963, pp. 208–209.

18. William Innes Homer, Alfred Stieglitz and the American Avant-Garde, Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1979.

19. Carola Giedion-Welcker, Constantin Brancusi, Neuchatel, Switzerland: Editions du Griffon, 1958, p. 232. She reproduces a photograph of the Maiastra bought by Edward Steichen located in the garden of his villa in Voulangis, dating it 1910–1912. Sidney Geist, Brancusi: The Sculpture and Drawings, p. 178, no. 76, dates it 1911. This version of the Maiastra is now in the Tate Gallery.

20. Exhibition of sculpture by Constantin Brancusi held in March and April, 1914, at the ‘291’ Gallery in New York. The list of works exhibited was as follows: “‘Sleeping Muse’—marble; ‘Miss Pogany’—marble; ‘Danaide’—marble; ‘Sleeping Muse’—bronze; ‘Pasarea Macastra’—brass [incorrect spelling-it is Pasarea Maiastra, and it is bronze, rather than brass]; ‘The Prodigal Son’—wood [mistaken identity—‘The Prodigal Son,’ also dated 1914–1918, was not in the exhibition; the wooden sculpture exhibited was The First Steps—wood); ‘Naiade’—marble.”

21. Man Ray, Self Portrait, p. 209.

22. Radu Varia, “Brassaï, Brancusi, Giacometti,” Contemporanul, Feb. 18, 1966.

23. Malvina Hoffman, Sculpture Inside and Out, New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1939; Chapter 3: “The Timelessness of Art,” pp. 41–76.

24. V.G. Paleolog, Constantin Brancusi, Bucharest: privately printed, 1947 (in French).

25. David Lewis, Constantin Brancusi, London: Alec Tiranti, 1957, p. 4: The writer recalls that Brancusi told the few writers he permitted to see him, “Promise not to write about me until I am dead. . . .” He even got angry with some: “I’m not a music-hall clown, I don’t need propaganda.” He himself gave the photographs both to David Lewis and Carols Giedion-Welcker—the latter an old and trusted friend—whose respective monographs on Brancusi were published immediately after the sculptor’s death in 1957. A third book—a special edition dedicated to Brancusi with contributions by important artistic personalities—was edited by Christian Zervos and published during the same year: “Constantin Brancusi, sculptures, peintures, fresques, dessins,” Cahiers d’Art, Paris, 1957.

26. Sidney Geist, Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture, p. 164.

27. Reproduced in Brezianu, Brancusi in Romania, p. 50, fig. 79.

28. Petre Comarnescu, “Atelierele pariziene,” in Tribuna (Bucharest), Dec. 29, 1966.

29. Edith Balas, “Object-Sculpture, Base and Assemblage in the Art of Constantin Brancusi,” Art Journal, XXXVIII; 1, Autumn 1978, pp. 36–46.

30. Monod-Fontaine and Tabart, Brancusi Photographe, p. 120. The entries are no. 44—Vue d’atelier, Colonnes sans fin, 1925, and no. 45—Vue d’atelier, Colones sans fin, 1925.

31. Jacob Epstein, An Autobiography, London: Studio Vista, 1955, pp. 131–135.

32. Sidney Geist, Brancusi: The Sculpture and Drawings, pp. 183–184, no. 127, Mlle. Pogany II, 1919, veined marble. No. 128, Mlle. Pogany polished bronze. Geist lists four versions, dating two of them 1920 and the other two 1925.

33. Howard Hibbard, Bernini, London: Penguin Books, 1965, pp. 96–97.

34. Sidney Geist, Brancusi: The Sculpture and Drawings, p. 183, nos. 122 and 123. In both cases this second version of Little French Girl dated by Geist between 1919 and 1920—following immediately the first version with the same title, dated 1914–1918 and now in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (catalogue entry no. 92, p. 180) is referred to as Plato. Under this title the sculpture was reproduced in Little Review, 1921, fig. 7, and later in This Quarter, 1925, no. 22, under the title Socrates and Plato—probably another conceit similar to The Child in the World, Mobile Group. Geist states further that Little French Girl II, alias Plato, was dispersed soon after 1923, without justifying this view in any way. The head that survived was sold around 1950 by the sculptor to Yolanda Penteado, Rio de Janeiro, whose property it was until 1980, when it was bought by the Tate Gallery, London, at Sotheby’s. See Sotheby Parke Bernet, Important Impressionist and Modern Paintings and Sculpture. Catalogue entry: Constantin Brancusi: Head. Wood. The sale took place on March 26,1980. The remaining part of the body, presumed lost or destroyed, was alleged to have been kept by Brancusi and to have been in his atelier in Paris at the time of his death in 1957, after which it disappeared. See Gregory Salzmann, Brancusi’s Woods, M.A. Report, Courtauld Institute, London, 1972, note 15, pp. 77–78. According to him, the fragment is reproduced in three photographs in the Brancusi Archives at the MNAM, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris: nos. 1879,1880 and 1879.