The subject of a sleeping head occupied Brancusi for almost twenty years. In conceiving and executing Sleeping Muse, the sculptor eschewed drama and detail in favor of reducing ideas to fundamental forms and simplified details. He rendered the essence of languor in the prostrate position of the head, weighed down by inertia, resting peacefully. This bronze is one of four casts made in 1910 from a marble of the previous year for which Baroness Renée Irana Franchon was the model.
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Artist:Constantin Brancusi (French (born Romania), Hobita 1876–1957 Paris)
Dimensions:6 3/4 × 9 1/2 × 6 in., 12 lb. (17.1 × 24.1 × 15.2 cm, 5.4 kg)
Marking: Foundry mark (under chignon): CIRE/ C. VALSUANI/ PERDUE
the artist (1910–at least 1913; sold through Edward Steichen, probably in summer 1913/ by spring 1914, to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (1913/14–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA with a life interest retained by Emmeline Stieglitz until 1953)
New York. 291. "An Exhibition of Original Sculpture, in Bronze, Marble, and Wood, by Constantine Brancusi, of Paris," March 12–April 1, 1914, extended to April 4, 1914, brochure no. 4.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "History of an American, Alfred Stieglitz: '291' and After, Selections from the Stieglitz Collection," July 1–November 1, 1944, no. 109.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Alfred Stieglitz Exhibition: His Collection," June 10–August 31, 1947, no catalogue (checklist no. 1).
Art Institute of Chicago. "Alfred Stieglitz: His Photographs and His Collection," February 2–29, 1948, extended to March 7, 1948, no catalogue (checklist no. 47.119).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Galleries," April 9–October 17, 1965, no catalogue (unnumbered checklist).
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Constantin Brancusi, 1876–1957: A Retrospective Exhibition," September 26–November 2, 1969, unnumbered cat. (p. 44).
New York. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Constantin Brancusi, 1876–1957: A Retrospective Exhibition," November 21, 1969–February 15, 1970, unnumbered cat.
Art Institute of Chicago. "Constantin Brancusi, 1876–1957: A Retrospective Exhibition," March 14–April 26, 1970, unnumbered cat.
The Hague. Gemeentemuseum. "Brancusi," September 19–November 29, 1970, no. 12.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971, no. 402.
Bellevue, Wash. Bellevue Art Museum. "Five Thousand Years of Faces," January 30–July 30, 1983, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Some Women," December 6, 1996–April 13, 1997, no catalogue [on view until February 10, 1997].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Florene M. Schoenborn Bequest: 12 Artists of the School of Paris," February 11–May 4, 1997, extended to August 31, 1997, not in brochure [among 14 non-Schoenborn bequest works included in the exhibition].
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries," January 28–April 22, 2001, unnumbered cat. (pl. 39).
Athens. National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. "Six Leading Sculptors and the Human Figure: Rodin, Bourdelle, Maillol, Brancusi, Giacometti, Moore," June 9–September 30, 2004, no. 44.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 1.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde," November 26, 2012–April 14, 2013, extended to Sept 2, 2013, no catalogue (on view until April 12, 2013).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Making The Met, 1870–2020," August 29, 2020–January 3, 2021, unnumbered cat. (fig. 180).
[Elisabeth Luther Cary]. "Art at Home and Abroad: Brancusi." New York Times (March 22, 1914), p. SM11.
Charles H. Caffin. "Review of "This is our City: An Exhibition of Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings, Prints, Presented for the Greater New York Fund"." New York American (1914).
S. P. "A Stieglitz Tribute." New York Times (August 22, 1965), p. X17, ill.
Mircea Deac. Constantin Brâncuşi. Bucharest, 1966, pp. 51, 154, 156, fig. 52.
Athena Tacha Spear. "A Contribution to Brancusi Chronology." Art Bulletin 48 (March 1966), pp. 46–48, 52–53, no. 34d, fig. 3.
Sidney Geist. Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture. New York, 1968, pp. 34–35, 175, 218, 78, no. 57d, figs. 56, 57.
George Heard Hamilton. "The Alfred Stieglitz Collection." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), p. 382.
Sidney Geist. Brancusi: The Sculpture and Drawings. New York, 1975, p. 178, no. 72c.
Ionel Jianou. Brancusi. (1st ed., 1963). Paris, 1982, p. 98, no. 47, pl. 25.
Thomas Schlotterback inFive Thousand Years of Faces. Exh. cat., Bellevue Art Museum. Bellevue, Wash., 1983, unpaginated.
Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 1983, p. 426, no. 33, ill. (color).
Sidney Geist. Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture. (1st ed., 1968). New York, 1983, p. 218, no. 57d.
Pontus Hulten, Natalia Dumitresco, and Alexandre Istrati. Brancusi. Paris, 1986, pp. 94, 96, 284, no. 62c.
Radu Varia. Brancusi. New York, 1986, p. 139, ill.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, p. 117, ill.
Anna Chave. Constantin Brancusi: Shifting the Bases of Art. New Haven and London, 1993, pp. 17, 32, 40, 43, 45, 47, 50, 52, 60, 63, 65, 73–74, 90, 125, 129, 138, 205–6, 219, 238–9, fig. 4.5, pl. 1.
Marius de Zayas. How, When, and Why Modern Art Came to New York. Ed. Francis M. Naumann. Cambridge, Mass., 1996, pp. 44, 46, 49.
Lisa Mintz Messinger inStieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2011, p. 14.
Christel Hollevoet-Force inStieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 17–19, 242, no. 1, ill. (color).
Max Hollein. Modern and Contemporary Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2019, p. 7, ill. p. 18 (color).
Douglas Eklund, Marilyn F. Friedman, Randall R. Griffey inMaking The Met, 1870–2020. Ed. Andrea Bayer with Laura D. Corey. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, pp. 166, 253, fig. 180 (color).
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