Constantin Brancusi Maiastra 1910-12

The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 2, Exhibition Galleries

Maiastra is Brancusi’s first sculpture of a bird. Its title refers to a mythical creature from Romanian legend. Carved from white marble, the work’s streamlined form accentuates the bird’s elongated neck, swollen chest, and tail feathers, imparting a regal elegance commensurate with the subject on which it is based. Maiastra sits perched on a tall tripartite limestone base, the central component of which began as a freestanding sculpture of two figures bearing a stone on their heads, called Double Caryatid. (A caryatid is an architectural support typically carved in the form of a woman.) Maiastra marks the first time the artist incorporated an existing sculpture into a pedestal, a practice he would continue throughout his career.

Gallery label from Constantin Brancusi Sculpture, 2018
Medium
White marble 22" (55.9 cm) high, on three-part limestone pedestal 70" (177.8 cm) high, of which the middle section is Double Caryatid, c. 1908
Credit
Katherine S. Dreier Bequest
Object number
144.1953.a-d
Copyright
© Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2018
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Katherine S. Dreier (1877-1952), West Redding and Milford, Connecticut
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Katherine S. Dreier Bequest, 1953

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