Dutch Artist, 1963
9 x 10 1/2 inches
Stamped and signed with edition 12/15
Leonard Baskin admitted that while he was best known for his prints, his real concern was for his sculpture. He started making sculpture with greater seriousness in 1951, when he was working on Man with a Dead Bird (Museum of Modern Art), a wooden sculpture that he completed three years later. While Baskin was first attracted by the medium of wood, he found it to be a challenging material that presented him with limitations. Baskin also worked in bronze and limestone for his figurative sculptures, often working the material into a rough texture. Many of his figurative and animal works are strangely malformed and center on the theme of mortality.
The present work, Dutch Artist, depicts the head of a bearded man wearing a wide brimmed hat. Although the artist is unnamed, the sculpture bears a striking resemblance to two Dutch masters: Rembrandt and Vincent Van Gogh. Baskin’s mastery of the material is seen in the rough modeling of the clay, showing built up layers and textures in the hat and the face and beard of the man.