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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

LAUGHING    TORSO

that he had done a statue of a princess. I had seen
one that he did about fourteen years before in
marble, of a very beautiful woman with her head
slightly leaning on one side and nude to the waist.
He had worked and worked on it until it was almost
completely abstract and resembled the same object
that Gaudier Brzeska's head of Ezra Pound did.
He had apparently sent it to the Salon d'Automne.
It was also made of polished bronze, the same
material that the bird was made of. It was placed
in the Salon in the middle of a large room. One
day the President arrived and sent for the police.
He explained to them that it was an indecent object.
The policeman said, " Je ne vois rien d'indecent; ga a
Vapparence d?un escargot" Brancusi was sent for and
the President said, " It is disgraceful to exhibit such
a thing in the same place as Monsieur Rodin ex-
hibited. " Brancusi said, " Mais Monsieur Rodin rfa
pas pris la place pour perpetuite" All the same he had
to remove it. The night I dined with him I asked
to see the portrait of the Princess. In the corner of
the studio I saw something wrapped up in a white
sheet. Brancusi uncovered it and said, " There it
is! " I did not like it as much as some of his things
and Brancusi said, ** Voild le portrait de la Princesse!"
And I said, " And a remarkably handsome woman/9
and he covered it up again.
Wassilieff I saw every day. She was not painting
much at that time but making the most amusing
dolls, portraits of people. They were made of kid
and the eyelashes and eyebrows were sewn in silk.
She went to a shop where they stuffed birds and
"4