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Henri Gaudier-Brzeska French, 1891-1915

French Sculptor and draughtsman. Born St Jean-de-Braye, near Orleans, France. Visited London for two months in 1906 on travelling scholarship and returned 1907 on a second scholarship to spend two years in Bristol and Cardiff studying English business methods. 1909 another bursary sent him to Nuremberg and Munich.

 

His interest in art and in drawing had been growing all the while and in 1911 he left France for London with Sophie Brzeska, a Polish woman twenty years his senior whom he had met in a library and whose name he adopted. By 1912 he had made contact with several names in artistic and literary London. He had met Jacob Epstein and begun carving but it was not until 1913 that he gave up his job at a clerk with a shipping broker in order to devote himself wholly to art.

 

His association with Vorticisim, and in particular the ideas of T.E. Hulme, developed his respect for the machine and its principles into his work, but his innate feeling for animals and for the human form suggests that this influence was not wholly assimilated. He was killed in action in 1915 and a memorial exhibition was held at the Leicester Galleries, London, three years.