The Human Forest

    The Human Forest

  • Valentine Prax bequest, 1981
  • [1957 - 1958]
  • Bronze, proof 1/6, Susse Foundry, Paris
  • Inv. MZS 241
  • Garden

In 1948, on his return from exile in the United States, Zadkine, strongly affected by the war, designed a small terracotta composition with a highly allegorical slant and which he entitled The Human Forest. "I made a group of three characters the base of which was like a disastrous tomorrow – broken forms, chaotic in their decline – and the top pierced but rebuilt: I was confronted with the human forest".

Ten years later, Zadkine delivered a monumental version of this work, playing on the entanglement of concave and convex forms, of filled and empty spaces, characteristic of his work in these years. The fusion of the human body and plant material was one of Zadkine's favourite themes allowing him to give free rein to his lyricism. In February 1960, Zadkine, invited to Israel by the Van Leer Foundation for the Advancement of Human Culture, received an order for an enlarged 4.70 metre version of this second monumental version of his work.