Born in rural Romania, Brancusi came to art through traditional crafts, learning woodworking techniques in his youth. After moving to Paris in 1904, he joined avant-garde artistic circles, where he drew on his craft-based training to develop a new approach to modern sculpture. Brancusi directly carved his work from marble, limestone, and various woods, sometimes casting the results in bronze.
Using a vocabulary of simplified shapes that pushed towards abstraction, Brancusi created imaginative sculptures that evoke rather than resemble their subjects. He frequently made multiple versions of the same work, returning to the same subjects—birds, newborn babies, female heads—again and again. His multi-part bases often combine several materials to achieve a variety of color and texture. As such, they, perform a dual function: they serve simultaneously as components of the artworks and as their supports.