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Harlequin with Guitar (Arlequin et guitar)

In the mid-1920s, Jacques Lipchitz created a series of small unique bronzes known as “transparents.” He retained certain visual motifs from Cubism in these works while also intensively exploring the role played by negative space in sculpture. His Harlequin with Guitar (named for the trickster character of the commedia dell’arte, a popular Italian theatrical form) fuses two favorite Cubist subjects: the commedia figure and the musician. In a typically Cubist manner, the guitar has become the lower half of the Harlequin’s body, while the diamond pattern, made by thin, crisscrossed strips of bronze, suggests the brightly checked outfit traditionally worn by this character.

Jacques Lipchitz
Lithuanian (active in France and the United States), 1891–1973
Harlequin with Guitar (Arlequin et guitar)
1926
Bronze
Without base: 13 1/8 x 5 5/8 x 6 ¼ in. (33.3 x 14.3 x 15.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Henry R. Hope, 84.10

Large image not available.