Gaston Lachaise "Standing Woman" Metropolitan Museum
Gaston Lachaise “Standing Woman” Metropolitan Museum

I am always attracted to Gaston Lachaise’s work and his “Standing Woman 1912” at the Metropolitan is fantastic. I don’t usually read wall tags in a museum but I sometimes photograph them and read them at home. I can only take in so much art before my senses are dulled so I look at the work and skip the reading.

The wall tag for this piece reads; “Lachaise was working in Paris in 1903 when he met his lifelong muse, Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he later married in 1917. Responding to Nagle’s voluptuous figure, the sculptor created a powerful archetype of womanhood; “Standing Woman” is almost a modern fertility goddess. Swelling and undulating with elegant strength, she perches delicately on her tiptoes, seeming nearly to levitate despite her evident weight. Her closed eyes enhance her detachment from the realm of the viewer, whom the sculptor invites to marvel at her extraordinary body.”

You certainly don’t have to read the tag to get the impact of his sculpture but I thought the text does a good job. Click on the photo for an enlargement.


3 Replies to “Looking”

  1. I’m over at the Memorial Art Gallery looking at their Gaston Lachaise piece and I tried clicking on your photo enlargement of the Lachaise sculpture at the Metropolitan. It doesn’t pop up.

  2. a stunning photo, yes, his love for Isabel led to one of the great love stories in art history. She was a poet, published during her lifetime under a pseudonym but little-known outside her group of contemporaries, though she did exhibit art in the 1917 Salon des independents. She was ten years older than he, and yet the goddess he sought to express in all his work, he said. She worried about getting older, and he assured her all her marks would be marks of beauty.

  3. “he assured her all her marks would be marks of beauty” I love that. There are a few LaChaise pieces in our local museum, Memorial Art Gallery. The Sibley founder commissioned a few works. I wish there was a book devoted to his drawings. I don’t understand why LaChaise isn’t wildly popular. I love the video of your lecture. Thank you Paula.

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