Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

Influenced by the fragmentary configurations of artists such as Braque and Picasso, Lipchitz was able to translate into three dimensions the rupture of form that had been essential to analytic cubist painting. Bather, produced at the end of his cubist phase, embodies the relationship between form and space at a moment of transition in his oeuvre. The combination of angular and curving lines and the multiple perspectives they offer are characteristic of cubism’s formal innovations, yet the depth of form and lustrous quality of the stone illustrates Lipchitz’s progression toward open geometric figuration — what he would later call his “transparents.” Lipchitz described a related bronze, Bather (1923–25), as “my farewell to literal cubism, the record of the moment when it was no longer necessary for me to concentrate on the vocabulary of forms, when I could move on to a sculpture of themes and ideas.” From 1925 onward Lipchitz focused primarily on themes of mythology and religion.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Jacques Lipchitz, French (Druskieniki, Lithuania 1891 - 1973 Capri, Italy)
Work Type
Persistent Link
Level 1, Room 1300, Modern and Contemporary Art, Early Modernism
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Physical Descriptions
Coarsely crystalline banded limestone
67.3 x 30.5 x 21.6 cm (26 1/2 x 12 x 8 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Carved into base: J Lipchitz '24
[Buchholz Gallery, New York, New York], sold; to Lois Orswell, Pomfret Center, Connecticut, 1945, gift; to Fogg Art Museum, 1960.

Note: Documentary evidence suggests Lipchitz sold directly to Valentin.

NOTE: Provenance information from "Lois Orswell David Smith and Modern Art", Harvard University Art Museums, 2002.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lois Orswell
© The Estate of Jacques Lipchitz
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Publication History

Caroline A. Jones, Modern Art at Harvard: The Formation of the Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Collections of the Harvard University Art Museums (New York, NY and Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press, 1985). With an essay by John Coolidge and a preface by John M. Rosenfield. To accompany the inaugural exhibition at the Sackler Museum, Oct 21 1985 - Jan 5 1986, p. 110, fig. 107, ill. (color)

Alan G. Wilkinson, Jacques Lipchitz, 1891-1973, Thames and Hudson, Ltd. (London, England, 1996), p. 69, no. 170

Kenneth Wayne, Picasso, Braque, Leger and the Cubist Spirit, 1919-1939, exh. cat., Portland Museum of Art (Portland, ME, 1996), p. 32, fig. 21

Jonathan Fineberg and Christopher Green, Lipchitz and the Avant-Garde: From Paris to New York, exh. cat., ed. Josef Helfenstein, Krannert Art Museum & Kinkead Pavilion (Urbana-Champaign, 2001), p. 38 (Fig. 1, ill. in b/w), 46

Marjorie B. Cohn and Sarah Kianovsky, Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), pp. 40-41 (repr. color), 331, 373; cat. no.147, fig. 15.

Exhibition History

20th Century Abstract Painting and Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 04/16/1947 - 05/18/1947

20th Century Art in New England, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Boston, 05/06/1948 - 06/30/1948

A Century of Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 03/30/1950 - 05/18/1950

Cubism: Explorations and Adaptations, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 09/18/1982 - 10/26/1982

Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000

Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/21/2002 - 02/16/2003

32Q: 1300 Early Modernism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at