Spirit of Antiquity

Ossip Zadkine (Russian (active in Paris from 1909), 1890–1967)


Overall (column): 30.5 x 31.6 cm (12 x 12 7/16 in.) Overall (scroll): 26.7 x 37.5 cm (10 1/2 x 14 3/4 in.) Overall (head): 44.5 cm (17 1/2 in.) Overall (painted glass): 53 x 40 cm (20 7/8 x 15 3/4 in.) Overall (marble): 45.7 x 50.2 cm (18 x 19 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone, painted glass, plaster, marble

Not On View





Stone and glass in 5 pieces. Fluted column segment in white stone. Stone scroll with simulated writing; rough stone head with curly hair; glass rectangle with painted column against blue background. Supporting marble rectangle signed Zadkine.

Born in Belarus, Zadkine went to art school in Britain and spent most of his career in France. Upon arriving in Paris in 1909 he immediately fell in with the intellectual and artistic circle that gave birth to Cubism, forging links that remained with the artist for the rest of his career. In the mid 1920s, as much of the French art world wrestled with the legacy of classicism and its relationship to the modern world, Zadkine produced this very modern, collage-like sculpture in homage to antiquity.


signed Zadkine on marble platform on which head rests


By 1971, Margarett Williams Sargent McKean (b. 1892 - d. 1978), Boston; 1973, gift of Margarett Williams Sargent McKean to the MFA. (Accession date: February 14, 1973)

Credit Line

Gift of Margarett Sargent McKean


© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.