This sculpture is a portrait of Margit Pogany, a Hungarian artist who sat for Brancusi several times in 1910 and 1911 while she was in Paris studying painting. Shortly after her return to Hungary, Brancusi carved a marble Mlle Pogany from memory, then made a plaster mold of the work, from which he cast four additional versions, including this one, in bronze. In representing its subject through highly stylized and simplified forms, the work was a significant departure from conventional portraiture. Large almond-shaped eyes overwhelm the oval face, and a black patina represents the hair that covers the top of the head and extends over the elaborate chignon at the nape of the neck. As with other motifs, this was a subject Brancusi would return to and rework in the years to come.
Gallery label from Constantin Brancusi Sculpture, 2018