Lifetime cast 1908
The cutaway right lower jaw as well as the flattened surface of the right cheek enable the piece to be placed either horizontally or in a slightly inclined position by resting it on the side that was cut out. Although the sculpture appears to have a rough image, when viewed in person, its aura communicates the tenderness with which the artist sees and demonstrates love and the force residing in that innocent decency. This is all expressed simultaneously through its fragile form, obscure light, and the naturally expected harmony it is to have with the location where it is displayed.
The architecture, which is essential in sculpture for Brancusi, is recognised in the form and unflappable serenity of a sleeping child’s head. It makes one contemplate a child-pure experience of life and the loss of this child-like purity with the onset of adulthood.
© Cigdem Mirol
The original painted plaster model of L’Enfant endormi is in the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.