Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) is undoubtedly one of the most important sculptors of
The Romanian-French artist was born on February 19, 1876 in Boitza. He was one of the
most influential sculptors of the 20th Century. He had al lasting influence of the sculptural
art. His figures are characterized by the perfection of simplicity and reduction. He once
said: Simplicity is not a goal but an unavoidable approximation to the true meaning of
Constantin Brancusi came to Paris in 1904, studied until 1907 at the École des Beaux-Arts
and became friends with Modigliani, Archipenko, Duchamp and Cocteau.
He deals with themes of antiquity and elements of African and Romanian folk art and
developed these themes in long series of works.
When he met Auguste Rodin in 1906, he was decisively influenced by his statues. In 1907 he
became a friend of the sculptor, painter and drawer Amedeo Modigliani. Both influenced the
artwork of each other.
The typical style of him was characterized by simplicity and by reductions; Le Baiser was his
first sculpture designed with his new style. In 1907 he found his own style. His serial working
method is characterized by series such as The Kiss, Bird in Space, Princess X, Négresse
Blanche, Endless column and so on. He used materials such as stone, bronze, plaster and
Bird in Space and The Sleeping Muse are figures of animate objects; however, unlike ones
from Ancient Greece or Rome, or those from the High Renaissance period, these statues are
more abstract in style. Similar models, but made from materials such as bronze, were also
produced by Brancusi and placed in exhibitions.
In 1913 Brâncusi took first time part at the Salon des Indépendants where also his Princess
X was presented in 1920. His Princess X was quite provoking because of its phallus shaped
Constantin Brâncusi was supposed to create a wide variation of limited themes. His last
piece was created by him in 1949 and named The Big Cock. The sculpture was made of
gypsum and was a documentary of a last change of his characteristic style.
In 1952 the Romanian citizen received the French citizenship and later handed his complete
artwork over to the French government. One year later, on March 16, 1957, the artist passed
away after a long disease. He was buried on the Cimetière Montparnasse.
His works are housed in the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Museum of
Art of Romania (Bucharest), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), as well as in
other major museums around the world. The Philadelphia-Museum of Art currently has the
largest collection of his sculptures in the United States.