description of La négresse blonde (The Blond Negress) by Constantin Brancusi

This abstract sculpture, which stands six feet tall, consists of a simple white limestone base on which sits a black marble stand, and a shiny, elongated ellipsoid bronze head. The title suggests that the figure depicted is a woman of African descent. The bronze has a reflective, high-polish finish, and the head is composed of three distinct features. On the front is a mouth with full, lush lips. On the opposite side is a short ponytail just above the neck with three points, resembling the tail of a cartoon fish. And topping off the sculpture is a smaller, slender ellipsoid coil of hair which resembles a smooth bronze egg balanced on one end. The length of the egg shape is bisected by an arched line, perhaps a fold in her knotted hair style. The stand that holds the head is perfectly smooth and black, and is shaped like an x or a plus sign when viewed from above. It is topped with a small black cylindrical pedestal upon which the elongated bronze head sits. The head itself is so highly polished that it reflects everything and everyone in the room around it in its golden sheen.

Constantin Brancusi, La Négresse blonde (The Blond Negress), 1926
Constantin Brancusi, La Négresse blonde (The Blond Negress), 1926; bronze, marble, and limestone, 70 3/4 in. x 10 3/4 in. x 10 3/4 in. (179.71 cm x 27.31 cm x 27.31 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Agnes E. Meyer and Elise S. Haas; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Constantin Brancusi, La Négresse blonde (The Blond Negress), 1926

Artwork Info

Artwork title
La Négresse blonde (The Blond Negress)
Artist name
Constantin Brancusi
Date created
1926
Classification
sculpture
Medium
bronze, marble, and limestone
Dimensions
70 3/4 in. x 10 3/4 in. x 10 3/4 in. (179.71 cm x 27.31 cm x 27.31 cm)
Date acquired
1958
Credit
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Agnes E. Meyer and Elise S. Haas
Copyright
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/58.4382.A-C
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900

Please note that artwork locations are subject to change, and not all works are on view at all times. If you are planning a visit to SFMOMA to see a specific work of art, we suggest you contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to confirm it will be on view.

Only a portion of SFMOMA's collection is currently online, and the information presented here is subject to revision. Please contact us at collections@sfmoma.org to verify collection holdings and artwork information. If you are interested in receiving a high resolution image of an artwork for educational, scholarly, or publication purposes, please contact us at copyright@sfmoma.org.

This resource is for educational use and its contents may not be reproduced without permission. Please review our Terms of Use for more information.