DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Henri GAUDIER-BRZESKA | L'Oiseau de feu [Firebird]
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Henri GAUDIER-BRZESKA
St Jean-de-Braye, France 1891 – France 1915
England from 1907, France 1909-10, and 1914-15
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L'Oiseau de feu
[Firebird]
1912
plaster with black paint
three plaster casts were made from the original clay sculpture, one of which was sent to the Parlanti Foundry, Parsons Green, to serve as the mould for the bronze; the location of the other two plaster is not known Raymond Drey had three bronzes cast from the plaster c.1914 - 1918 Leicester Galleries had a further six bronzes made after 1918
63.6 (h) x 34.0 (w) x 27.0 (d) cm
signed, incised lower right base, "H. Gaudier/ Brzeska";
not dated
Purchased 1981
NGA 1981.727
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Biography

Henri Gaudier was born on 4 October 1891 at St Jean-de-Braye, near Orléans, France. He settled in London in 1911 with Sophie Brzeska, whose surname he added to his own so that his subsequent work was produced under the composite name Gaudier-Brzeska. In London he established friendships with both writers and artists, notably with Katherine Mansfield and Middleton Murry, Horace Brodzky, Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound and Jacob Epstein. In 1913 he exhibited with the Allied Artists' Association and gave up his job as a clerk with a shipping broker in order to devote himself to his art full-time. Although briefly affiliated in 1913 with roger Fry's Omega Workshops, he soon allied himself with the Rebel Art Centre and the Vorticists, contributing to both issues of their magazine Blast. He left England in September 1914 to fight for France and on 5 June 1915 was killed during an infantry charge at Neuville-Saint-Vaast.

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