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Visage de femme dite «l'egyptienne» (Woman's Face Called "The Egyptian")

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  • Date: 
    1912-1914 (circa)
  • Material: 
    Copper
  • Technique: 
    Embossing
  • Dimensions: 
    32,5 x 23,8 x 12,9 cm
  • Edition/serial number: 
    Unique work
  • Category: 
    Sculpture
  • Entry date: 
    1988
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
  • Register number: 
    AS03098
  • Donation of Roberta González, 1973
  • On display in:

Julio González’s came to sculpture was through drawing studies and a solid grounding in technical training in ironwork. However, when he did this piece, his work was still divided between painting, sculpture and precious metal work. He went to Paris in 1899, where he was able to actually see the works of Rodin, who he so admired, and the innovative work of the Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso, whose wax pieces were a direct influence on works like Visage de femme dite «l'egyptienne» (Woman's Face Called "The Egyptian"). This piece is one of many faces he sculpted in the early years of his time in Paris, forming the basis of the Máscaras (Mask) that he was to work on during the middle years of his career. The embossing technique used in gold and silverwork, here applied to copper sheet metal, meant the artist could give the piece an impressionist quality, the subtlety of which contrasts with the initial rigidity of the material, and allowed him to produce in metal a sculptural surface approaching that rendered in wax by Medardo Rosso. The Egyptian art reference is as deeply rooted in Cubism’s interest in the representational strategies and fractured perspective that characterized ancient Egypt’s art, as a countermodel to the classical canons, as it is in a more generic interest in the primitive.

Carmen Fernández Aparicio

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