Modern and Contemporary Art
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Artist: Raymond Duchamp-Villon, French, 1876–1918

Seated Woman


Bronze with a black marble pedestal and base

71.1 × 20.3 × 18.1 cm (28 × 8 × 7 1/8 in.)
base: 5.4 × 18.1 × 18.1 cm(2 1/8 × 7 1/8 × 7 1/8 in.)
Gift of Katherine S. Dreier
Raymond Duchamp-Villon became a proponent of Cubism around 1912, when he and one of his brothers, painter Jacques Villon, hosted a weekly salon for the Puteaux group. The group included their younger brother, Marcel Duchamp, and Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, and Henri Le Fauconnier, among many others. Seated Woman conveys the modern dynamism that preoccupied the sculptor, but nevertheless recapitulates the age-old conception of the female nude as the embodiment of beauty and sensuality. Duchamp-Villon’s short career ended in 1918, only four years after the casting of this work, when he died of typhoid, which he contracted as a medical officer in World War I. Katherine Dreier purchased Seated Woman from Duchamp-Villon’s widow in 1927 (it had been in her possession since the 1926 Brooklyn exhibition), and it became one of Dreier’s favorite sculptures, which she gave a prominent place in her home. She bequeathed it to the Société Anonyme in 1952.
20th century

Alexander Archipenko: Vision and Continuity, exh. cat. (New York: Ukrainian Museum, 2005).

Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 153, fig. 14.

Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 251, no. 247, ill.

Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1950), 3-4, ill.

Richard Meyer, “ ‘Big, Middle-Class Modernism’,” October 131 (Winter 2010): 75, ill.

Paul B. Franklin et al., Étant donné: Marcel Duchamp, Katherine S. Dreier, and La Société Anonyme, Inc. (Paris: Association pour l’étude de Marcel Duchamp, 2009), 165, ill.

Oliver A. I. Botar and Isabel Wünsche, Biocentrism and Modernism (Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2011), 166–167, fig. 8.3.

Ketevan Kintsurashvili, David Kakabadzé: Georgian Modern Artist and Inventor (New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013), 142.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.