LIPCHITZ, Ossip/Jacques

Druskieniki, Lithuania 1891 - Capri, Italy 1973

Marin à la guitare

Sailor with Guitar




Dimensions (HxWxD): 31 x 11 58 x 8 12 in.

Acc. No.: 1949-78-1

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Morris Wenger in memory of her husband, 1949

Photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art


  • 1949, Gift of Mrs. Morris Wenger in memory of her husband


  • Museum's website, 15 March 2015


  • Museum's website, 15 March 2015:
    The earliest work by Lipchitz in the Museum's collection, Sailor with Guitar marks an important transition in the artist's career, in which the vestiges of his academic training gave way to the influence of Cubist painters like Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. This "proto-cubist" work still retains a degree of realism, however, since it was based on Lipchitz's direct observation of a young Spanish sailor attempting to charm a pretty girl by dancing and playing his guitar.
    Ann Temkin, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gifts in Honor of the 125th Anniversary (2002), p. 141:
    Philadelphia is an important destination for admirers of Jacques Lipchitz's sculpture. Work from all periods of the artist's long and prolific career has an important presence inside and outside the Museum, in the center of the city, and along the Schuylkill River, as well as at The Barnes Foundation in Merion, just beyond the city limits. Throughout his life, Lipchitz enjoyed a special connection with area collectors, including Dr. Albert C. Barnes, who in 1922 commissioned him to execute the reliefs for Paul Cret s handsome Beaux-Arts building for the Barnes Foundation, and R. Sturgis Ingersoll, longtime president of this Museum, who became a close friend after the artist arrived in New York in 1941.
    While Lipchitz is best known for the Cubist work he made in Paris during the 1910s, for the next five decades his output was characterized by ongoing metamorphosis, as amply evident from the examples in Philadelphia's collections. This gift of four works in plaster and one in terra cotta richly adds to the eleven sculptures already owned by the Museum. In this context the works possess special resonance; for example, the painted plaster Reader II is an informative counterpart to the Museum's two important Cubist bronze sculptures by the artist, Sailor and Woman with Braid, both of 1914. It also makes an excellent partner to Juan Gris's painted plaster Harlequin of 1918, the Spanish artist's sole sculpture, made with the help of Lipchitz, one of his good friends. Musical Instruments, on the other hand, is a study for one of the stone reliefs on the facade of the Barnes Foundation. The plaster Lesson of a Disaster exemplifies the last decade of Lipchitz's career, in which the allegorical power so important to all of his work becomes more boldly eloquent than ever.