American, 1882-1935

Equestrienne (Woman on Horseback) [LF 22]

modeled in 1917, cast ca. 1930-31; polished bronze
inscribed Gaston Lachaise 1918 on base
inscribed Roman Bronze Works. N.Y. on base
height of bronze: 10 7/8 in., width of bronze: 9 3/8 in., depth of bronze: 5 in.; height of base: 3/4 in., width of base: 10 3/8 in., depth of base: 5 7/8 in.

  • Provenance:
    Erhard Weyhe, New York, 1931; Katherine Urquhart Warren (1897–1976), from the above, 1938; by descent to the present owner. Katherine Warren, of New York City and Newport, RI, was an avid art collector who was elected a trustee of the Museum of Modern Art (New York) in 1943.

    - A New American Sculpture 1914-1945, Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach, Portland, May 26 - September 8, 2017, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN, October 14, 2017 - January 7, 2018, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, TX, February 17 - May 13, 2018. cat. no. 33 (illus).
    - Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT. Face & Figure: The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, September 22, 2012 - January 6, 2013, cat. no. 7 (illus).
    - Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence, RI. The Katherine Urquhart Warren Collection, March 11-27, 1983. cat. no. 25 (illus).
    - Warren Apartment, New York, auspices of the Radcliffe Club of New York, 1966
    - Warren Apartment, New York, auspices of the Museum of Modern Art, 1956
  • Literature:
    - D. B. Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise, Sculptor," Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 227–28, 229, 241, 256n. 80, 258n. 99, 325, 378, 406n. 28, 463–64, 482, 485; vol. 2, pp. 474–75; pp. 205–08, pls. XCVII–A and XCVII–B, the present example (and eleven other examples) referenced; the plaster model illustrated.
    - V. Budny in Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, Gaston Lachaise: For the Love of Woman, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2016, pp. 6, 24–25, 13n.18, fig. 7, inside back cover, the present example referenced, another example illustrated.
    - V. Budny, Entry for "Gaston Lachaise, Equestrienne [LF 22]," American Art [Sale 17663], Christie's,
    New York, November 20, 2019, lot 93, the present example referenced, another example illustrated.
  • Notes:
    Grogan & Company thanks Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation, for her assistance in cataloging this lot.

    Gaston Lachaise's delightful Equestrienne (Woman on Horseback) [LF 22], which represents a shapely nude woman astride a similarly shapely horse, was evidently inspired by a childhood visit to Buffalo Bill Cody's famous circus (this would have been in 1889), where, among the "thrills to a little boy," he saw a "wonderful bosomed and round hipped lady tossing herself up and down from a beautifully decorated big horse galloping gently in circles." (Autobiographical manuscript [1931], p.3; Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library) The rhythmically composed statuette appears to capture and distill this childhood memory.

    According to Lachaise's records, the statuette was modeled by 1917, not, as is often stated, 1918 (the date inscribed on the model). Thirteen bronze casts, including the present example, were produced during his lifetime. The first, made for his first solo show, at the Bourgeois Galleries, New York City, in 1918, was exhibited there as Amazone (the dealer's title). It was illustrated in Henry McBride's laudatory review of the exhibition in the Fine Arts Journal, and sold to the theatrical dressmaker Eda Hartman (1884–1934), the sister of painter Bertram Hartman, wife of Lawrence Boyle from 1921, and subject of both a portrait created by Lachaise in 1922 and a Masque derived from the portrait. The present location of that cast is unknown. The second, cast on December 14, 1923, and illustrated in A.E. Gallatin's book on Lachaise published in 1924, was consigned by Lachaise to his dealer, John Kraushaar, sold to Mrs. John D. Rockefeller Jr., donated by her to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, later deaccessioned, and eventually acquired by a private collector. Neither cast is located today.

    Eleven other casts of the statuette are known to have been made during Lachaise's lifetime. Ten were produced in 1930–31 by the Roman Bronze Works for Erhard Weyhe, owner of the Weyhe Gallery, New York City. The first was delivered to Weyhe in September 1930. The other nine were ordered in the same month and delivered in April 1931. Six were returned to the foundry for refinishing in April 1936, six months after Lachaise's unexpected death. The present cast, purchased by Katherine Urquhart Warren (1897–1976) in 1938 from the Weyhe Gallery, is likely one of these six. Five of the other casts made for Weyhe are presently located; these in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (Corcoran Collection, Gift of the Honorable Francis Biddle) and the San Diego Museum of Art, California (Bequest of Earle W. Grant), and three in private collections. The eleventh cast, made at an unknown date and now unlocated, was sold by Lachaise in 1934. The first four digits of the number recorded on the undersides of the San Diego example and one of the privately owned casts correspond to the foundry order number for the group of nine casts, and thus indicate their early history. The other four lifetime casts demonstrably made for Weyhe that are known today, including the present example, lack an inscribed order number.

    In 1934, Lachaise sold a cast of Equestrienne (Woman on Horseback) [LF 22] to O'Donnell Iselin (1984–1971), one of his patrons. It had been made at an unknown date, and is presently unlocated. After Lachaise's death, his widow, Isabel Dutaud Lachaise (1872–1957), authorized a small number of casts. The Lachaise Foundation, established in 1963, issued an edition of three Estate casts, and, in 2005, an artist's proof, and has assigned the number LF 22 to the work. Although Lachaise himself named the statuette Woman on Horseback, the work is generally known as Equestrienne, and occasionally, misleadingly, as Lady Godiva.

  • Condition: Uneven patina, otherwise in overall good condition.

    Please note: All property is sold "AS IS" and any statement, whether oral or written, is given as a courtesy and shall not be deemed as a guarantee, warranty, or representation of the authenticity of authorship, physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, provenance, exhibitions, literature or historical relevance of the property or otherwise. The absence of a condition report does not imply the item is in perfect condition.

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