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Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Born 1891, Saint-Jean-de-Braye, France. Died 1915

The son of a carpenter and wood carver, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska first came to England in 1906 on a scholarship to study business methods at University College, Bristol. In Paris in 1910 he started working as a sculptor and met Sophie Brzeska whose name he took. He settled in London in 1911 until the outbreak of war when he joined the French Army. He was killed in the trenches at Neuville-Saint-Vaast in 1915 aged 24.

While in London he moved in the most avante-garde circles, was a Vorticist and contributed to Blast 1 and 2. His brief working life produced work, which had a profound effect on contemporaries such as Jacob Epstein, and on the next generation of British sculptors, most notably Henry Moore. H S Ede's biography Savage Messiah (1931) was the subject of a film about the sculptor by Ken Russell. The Seated Female Nude drawing was presented to the University by H S Ede in 1968.

In 1983 Kettle's Yard, Cambridge organised a major exhibition of his work. This was recently superseded by another exhibition in 2007, again at Kettle's Yard, which examined the work of Gaudier Brzeska alongside that of his contemporaries.

Seated Female Nude