Human Forest (Forêt humaine)
Ossip Zadkine, known primarily as a modernist sculptor, made this gouache of metamorphosing, interconnected human-plant figures after he returned to France from New York, where he had fled in 1941 after the Nazis seized Paris. When the Museum purchased it, he described the circumstances around its creation in a letter to the curatorial department: “When I returned back in October 1945 I found France in a pathetic state, to say little. . . . . I was a sculptor with no house, no workshop, a . . . sort of a D.P. [displaced person]. The human forest seemed to me strange and hostile and inhospitable. I went to the country where I have a house, the only one left to me where I did a group of drawings and gouaches representing this flora of today.”
Opaque watercolor, pen, and black ink over graphite on wove paper
Signed and dated bottom right: "O. ZADKINE 46"
Museum Collection Fund
This item is not on view
Ossip Zadkine (French, born Vitebsk, present-day Belarus (former Russian Empire), 1890-1967). Human Forest (Forêt humaine), 1946. Opaque watercolor, pen, and black ink over graphite on wove paper, sheet: 36 × 22 in. (91.4 × 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 47.111. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.47.111.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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