Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Torso (Ogunquit Torso) [LF 112]
inscribed '©/G. LACHAISE/1927' (on the reverse)
bronze with reddish brown patina and black finish
1014 in. (26 cm.) high
Modeled by 1925; cast circa 1927.
Thomas R. Smith, New York, circa 1927.
Private collection, New York, gift from the above, circa late 1920s-30s.
By descent to the present owner.
Brummer Gallery, Lachaise, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1928, no. 2 or 9, an unidentified example referenced.
Creative Art, vol. 2, no. 3, March 1928, p. XXXIII, an unidentified example illustrated.
H. Perkins, Boston Evening Transcript, March 3, 1928, an unidentified example referenced.
Municipal Art Gallery, Exhibition of American Contemporary Art, exhibition catalogue, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1929, n.p., no. 38a, pl. 38a, another example illustrated.
M. Knoedler & Co., Gaston Lachaise, 1882–1935, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1947, p. 15, no. 20, pl. 20, another example illustrated.
Museum of Art of Ogunquit, Fifth Annual Exhibit, exhibition catalogue, Ogunquit, Maine, 1957, n.p., no. 5, another example illustrated.
The Collection of William and Rebecca James, exhibition catalogue, Albuquerque,1966, p. 13, another example illustrated.
D.B. Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise, Sculptor," PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 1969, vol. 1, p. 581; vol. 2, pp. 441-42, other examples and the plaster model referenced.
G. Nordland, Gaston Lachaise, The Man and His Work, New York, 1974, pp. 139-40, fig. 74, another example illustrated.
Arts Magazine, vol. 54, no. 2, October 1979, p. 55, another example illustrated.
Art News, vol. 81, no. 4, April 1982, p. 23, another example illustrated.
Vassar College, Art Gallery, Vassar College Art Gallery Sculpture: A Complete Illustrated List of Works it the Gallery’s Collection, Poughkeepsie, New York, 1982, p. 91, another example illustrated.
L.D. Marsden-Atlass, One Hundred Works from the 20th Century at the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine, 1996, pp. 118-19, another example illustrated.
R. Rosenblum, et al., 2929: The Kogod Collection, Washington, D.C., 2004, pp. 36-37, 340, fig. 10, another example illustrated.
J. Day, et al., Gaston Lachaise: Characteristics of His Bronze Sculpture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2012, pp. 30, 33-35, 39, 41, 55n30, 56n38-39, 61, 63, 68, figs. 27a-27b, another example illustrated.
Gerald Peters Gallery, Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2012, n.p., pl. 23, another example illustrated.
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Lot Essay

We are grateful to Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation, for her assistance in preparing the catalogue entry for this work.

One of Gaston Lachaise's most popular works, Torso is a hollow-backed high relief representing an artfully cropped section of a seductively posed nude. The present bronze cast was produced shortly after five initial, nickel-plated examples, including the one owned by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, had been made in 1925. It closely compares with the uninscribed cast said to have been sold to a private collector in the early 1930s, and now in another private collection. The artist’s signature and copyright date inscribed on the back of the present example were ground into the metal as a finishing touch by Lachaise himself.

Other casts made during Lachaise’s lifetime that are located today are the uninscribed example at the Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums (cast by 1928), and a coherent group of six casts, four of which are legibly inscribed with the copyright date of 1928. Those six casts are the examples owned by the Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Ogunquit, Maine (cast by 1929); the Colby College Museum of Art; Gerald and Kathleen Peters, New York City; and another private collector; and the ones formerly owned by M. R. Werner (cast by 1929) and Richards H. Emerson, and now in private collections. Posthumous casts include those in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York (cast at the end of 1936 or January 1937); the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico (cast by 1938); the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts (cast by 1957); and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (cast by 1962). Of an edition of four numbered casts authorized by the Lachaise Foundation (established in 1963 to administer the artist’s estate), three, each silver-plated, have been produced.
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