Brancusi’s Birds | MoMA

Brancusi’s Birds

Constantin Brancusi. Maiastra. 1910-12. 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. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Katherine S. Dreier Bequest. © Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2018. Photo: Thomas Griesel

Maiastra

Constantin Brancusi. Maiastra. 1910-12. 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. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Katherine S. Dreier Bequest. © Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2018. Photo: Thomas Griesel

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. 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. Maiastra marks the first time the artist incorporated an existing sculpture into a pedestal, a practice he would continue throughout his career.

Constantin Brancusi. Maiastra. 1910-12. 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. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Katherine S. Dreier Bequest. © Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2018. Photo: Thomas Griesel
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